In the time it takes to say "verified," a celebrity can get millions of followers on social media without putting in much effort. But, even though their fame hooks a lot of followers, business owners can learn from celebrities when it comes to managing social media.
As the owner of a company that manages social media for several celebrities, I can see two main reasons why people love to follow and engage with celebrities over social media. It humanizes the typically unreachable mega star, and for the chance of acknowledgment -- being retweeted or receiving a reply over Facebook from a famous person can make a fan's day.
What does this mean for the business owner who is building his or her social media presence? Here are three basic principles that you can apply to your social media accounts.
1. Keep current.
One of the biggest reasons people follow celebrities is curiosity. They want a peek into their lives. The same can apply to you and your brand. People who follow you on social media are interested in information about you or your company. Keep people posted with interesting information about what your company is doing. Stagnant personalities don't gain or keep followers or get retweets. Be human, keep in touch and let your personality shine.
2. Acknowledge your followers.
It doesn't matter if you're a celebrity or not, people want acknowledgment. If someone tweets about your company, or posts a comment on your Facebook page, engage with them. Just because you're not a football player or a famous actor doesn't mean that you can't make someone's day by replying to them.
3. Think before you post.
Not all publicity is good publicity. Too many celebrities let their emotions get the best of them and reply to the hate and trolling they see on social media. You can't win that battle, no matter if you delete or explain it. Before you post something, ask yourself, "Would I say this to my mother?"
Take for example a recent Twitter exchange in which the person managing the Kansas City Chiefs football team's Twitter page lashed out at a follower for saying he no longer was a fan of the team. The team later apologized over Twitter but the damage had already been done.
I make a serious effort every day to reply to people and make new social media friends. Treat people with respect and they will become fans. I can't tell you how many times people have replied back thanking me for talking to them.
If you think like a celebrity, you can grow your following and give people a reason to love you. Posting frequent updates, being personal and engaging with people can give you and your budding business more traction on social media.
Scott Levy is the founder and CEO of Fuel Online, an online marketing agency that focuses on social media and SEO. He has been specializing in online marketing for more than 15 years and is a respected speaker, writer and consultant. Scott is based in Nashville. Follow him on Twitter at @FuelOnline or on Facebook at http://www.Facebook.com/FuelInternetMarketing