What The Kardashians Can Teach You About Social Media Marketing

Sophie Hardbattle By Sophie Hardbattle

Social media marketing is a big part of one’s digital marketing plan. It’s ‘hip’, it’s ‘happening’ and it’s where a LOT of our potential audiences and customers are. Don’t worry, I don’t think I’m breaking this to you as a major news headline- ‘Social media is a hit- who knew!?’.

Brands are constantly finding cool and creative ways to use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat (the list goes on) to engage with their followers and increase brand awareness. However, they’re not the only ones. Celebrity A-listers are utilising social media to leverage their brand and grow their follower base too. Although the world of pop culture usually gets disregarded by intellectual types, I reckon we should all take note! There’s some things we, as digital marketers (novices and pros), could learn from the Kardashians and One Direction. WARNING: this post may contain obscene amounts of ‘fangirling’ but I’ll try to keep it to a minimum.

Understanding your audience like the Kardashians

The whole Kardashian and Jenner clan are absolutely, 100%, undoubtedly the queens of social media. I am not ashamed to say that I’m slightly obsessed. As well as being models, business women and TV personalities, they are switched on when it comes to just ‘getting’ their followers… That’s probably why everything they touch turns to gold.

They are on every social media platform that their target demographic is on. For example, they are huge on Twitter but not so popular on LinkedIn… They are everywhere I am (and I love it). Audiences are constantly being reinforced with the family’s brand name but it doesn’t feel forced or unnatural. They have created a huge buzz around their family, their brand, so much so that every move they make or tweet they post is a momentous occasion that will receive huge amounts of engagement.

It’s unrealistic to think that any brand will produce this sort of hype but it shows the importance of understanding your audience and knowing what platforms they are using.

Creating a customer journey like PointlessBlog

PointlessBlog, Zoella, Marcus Butler, they’re all doing it! These vloggers know how to manage their user journeys and create a unified brand message throughout each social media platform. For example, let’s say they’re uploading a new video:

  1. First of all, they promote their Snapchat on Facebook.

  2. On Snapchat, within their story, they post a little teaser of their YouTube video.

  3. On Instagram they post another teaser, whether that's a screenshot, photo or video clip, directing the followers to a link for the video.

For a digital marketer, adding another step in the user journey is a great thing. This doesn’t mean elongating the buying process but adding another point of communication within it. Adding more communication between you and your customer will allow more opportunities to nudge them and convince them to buy your product or service.

PointlessBlog post on Facebook

PointlessBlog post on Facebook

Being an unpredictable brand like Beyoncé

If there’s one thing that Bey can teach us, apart from how to be completely flawless, it’s how to create a social media storm. Back in December 2013, Beyoncé did something that was practically unheard of; she released her self titled album with little to no publicity at all. Within the next 12 hours ‘Beyoncé’ was mentioned on twitter 1.2 million times. 1.2 MILLION. I repeat, with NO PUBLICITY.

Now don’t be so hasty, my point isn’t that you must stop publicising your brand and let your inner Beyoncé shine. The reason why this worked so well is because it was unpredictable, new and innovative. Innovation is key; our followers, customers and audiences are excited by it! Rather than looking at what other brands are doing and copying them, it can often be far more beneficial to lead your own way.

Audience-first content with One Direction

The reason why One Direction are so insanely famous could be down to their floppy hair, big smiles and good looks (I could go on but, remember, I’m keeping the fangirling to a minimum). That’s one theory. Or, their success could be down to their use of social media… It’s probably a mixture of the two.

Currently, 1D are the most followed UK band on Twitter, with the number of Directioners growing daily- in 2013 approximately 1/20 accounts on Twitter followed at least one member of One Direction. All Harry has to do is tweet an ambiguous post about chocolate and he receives 320k favourites.

Harry Styles has Chocolate coin problems

One thing 1D has got right, from the get go, is their use of social media in everything they do. Arguably, if it wasn't for their and their fan’s use of Twitter in the early days, then they wouldn’t have been half as successful, half as quick. Mark Hardy, former Syco/Sony Music Entertainment Marketing Director, explains how the band used social media, "The essence of the strategy was not to position One Direction as demi-gods but as ‘my mate’ the girls could have access to 24/7”. So that’s what they did; fans weren’t watching One Direction rise to fame but went on that journey with them. They got access to behind the scenes photo shoots, they helped to make decisions on outfits and where the next photoshoot should be and they got the opportunity to win competitions to hang out with the boys.

I think, as marketers, we can learn a lot from this quote “It was all about interaction, collaboration and content” said Hardy. “Showcasing the fans rather than the boys themselves”. Once you realise that the followers/audience/customers are just as important as the product or service you’re selling, then your strategy and content will reflect this and people will be more likely to engage with you. Don’t always post with the aim to make a sale, think about what your followers want and what they will enjoy.

So, I don’t know about you, but I will definitely be keeping an eye on all of these celebs to see what marketing tricks they have up their sleeve… Definitely not because I want to see who Harry Styles is dating or what Kim Kardashian is wearing…


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