An early version of this article was written for Inman. Check out my author page to see more of my work there.
There seem to be two kinds of people: those who loathe the Kardashians and wouldn’t be caught dead watching an episode of their show and those who follow their exploits like an addictive real-life soap opera. Whichever side you fall on, one thing is undeniable: nobody knows how to keep people talking like the Kardashians.
The doyenne of the Kardashian/Jenner clan is no doubt their most famous member, Kim. Through weddings and divorces, celebrity and scandal she continues to be an object of admiration for some and scorn for others. One thing she’s not? Anonymous. With 60+ million Twitter followers and 132 million Instagram followers, every move she makes is captured, catalogued, and commented on by her fans.
What can you learn from this social media queen to improve your own feed?
1. Different platforms have different purposes.
One of the reasons Kim is popular across a variety of platforms is because her various platforms serve different purposes. Twitter is for checking out trends, listening for feedback, and engaging with followers. Snapchat is for sharing casual glimpses of everyday life. Instagram is for carefully curated, artistic photos of herself, her family, and the products she’s promoting.
Rather than sharing the same content across all of your platforms, consider differentiating content. Perhaps your Facebook is for your sphere and is a little more personal. LinkedIn is for professional accomplishments and industry-related content. Your Instagram feed might be a place for gorgeous photos of your latest listings, while your IG stories could have more personal photos and videos of your day-to-day interactions with colleagues, clients, and friends.
2. Mix personal and professional in your feed.
Take a look at Kim’s Instagram. One post might be a promo shot for her makeup line, the next a staged photo of her with her family, while the next is a candid shot taken at a wardrobe fitting. While they are often tied together by a similar color palette, filter, or photographic style, her photos are an eclectic mix representing the glamour of her role as a celebrity, the aesthetic of her makeup company, and charming scenes of domestic bliss.
If your feed is entirely composed of residential exteriors or carefully posed professional shots, it can look cold and clinical. If it is entirely composed of random photos from your everyday life, it can look overly personal and haphazard. Planning your posts and creating a mix of personal and professional can show your business acumen while also keeping things fun.
3. Timing is everything.
One of the great gifts all of the Kardashians share is an incredible sense of timing. Major stories break just in time for the premiere of a new season of Keeping Up With the Kardashians. Babies are born right before a major product launch. Big-time drama coincides with opportunities for optimal press coverage.
Think through your next announcement or the distribution of a new blog post or video. Study your analytics to know when your fans and followers are the most active and engaged, and time your social media marketing and communication to coincide with those times. Is there a big local event happening that generates a lot of attention on social media? Be sure to post during the same time frame with the appropriate hashtags, so that you can take advantage of the boost in your local audience.
4. Don't be afraid to get real.
As we all know, the Kardashians have been through their share of shocking and embarrassing incidents, and Kim is no exception. What keeps people interested is the way that she acknowledges these, discussing them in her Instagram captions and on her Twitter feed, admitting missteps with humility and a sense of humor. Though she’s known for her glamour, Kim is never afraid to talk about difficulties including her psoriasis, problematic pregnancies, and family struggles.
While you certainly want to show your best face to your social media following, there’s nothing wrong with allowing yourself to be vulnerable. Had a bad hair day? Dealing with an illness? Changing your business’s focus? Whether large or small, personal or professional, giving people a sense of the real you makes them feel closer to you, increasing engagement and connection.