The majority of our lives revolve around social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram as we take an ever-increasing percentage of our identity to the digital realm.
According to Forbes, social media platforms help entrepreneurs increase their visibility, as well as connect them to new and existing customers. As for us, these platforms enable us to interact with public personalities while allowing us to develop our online identities.
We have all come across those individuals with followers numbering in the thousands while we scrap by with hundred, tops. And we bet that at some point you would have been envious of them, but how exactly do we leverage on these platforms to build our own powerful brands?
In this article, we share some tips on building a strong online presence based on the success of these 6 entrepreneurs.
1. Bill Gates
With over 32 million Twitter followers and more than 18 million on Facebook, Bill Gates is the prime example of someone with a powerful online presence.
On his LinkedIn profile, Gates’s summary simply reads, “Co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Microsoft Co-founder. Voracious reader. Avid traveler. Active blogger.”
We often think that the more we expand on ourselves, the more effective it will be. As such, we tend to overlook the fact that sometimes, it pays to be concise.
As for Twitter, Gates uses his platform to share about what he learns from his foundation work and other interests. You might be surprised to see less tweets on leadership as Gates focuses more on technology, science and developing countries such as Africa.
And as you can see, they bring in the re-tweets and likes.
Aside from the fact that Gates is a powerful leader in tech, his tweets show that people connect on passion.
Staying updated and sharing what you’re passionate about will provide like-minded individuals a channel to connect with you and, who knows? With a well-designed, properly-timed tweet or two, you could even become a thought leader yourself.
2. Mark Zuckerberg
Mark Zuckerberg, the man behind the ubiquitous Facebook. With a following of more than 80 million on his account, he still continues to attract followers every day.
In the Elite, he noted that everyone has a different way of thinking and “people will not, generally, understand the depth and complexity of your ideas“. Instead of being discouraged by what netizens think of you, try new ways to convince them of the advantages of your novel ideas.
Another important aspect of his social media behaviour is how he connects to followers in a way that make them feel they matter.
Leaders cannot stand strong by themselves; it is the people willing to support them that make them strong.
While it is good to revel in online attention, don’t get overly complacent and forget about thanking the people who made it happen in the first place.
3. Elon Musk
Elon Musk is definitely one of the most inspiring and influential entrepreneurs today, despite only using Twitter and Instagram.
On using social media platforms, Musk advises against simply jumping onto the bandwagon “without first understanding the parlance, culture and norms of that world“.
Twitter’s character limits make it important to know exactly how to maximise the effectiveness of a tweet. And Musk certainly knows how.
Leveraging on images and videos, he also brings together the Reddit community to draw out a communal interest on tech, and with a witty edge to his tweets.
In addition, Musk emphasises the importance of having human interactions with followers, and he does this with tweets of snuggling dogs and self-effacing jokes about his procrastination.
People always appreciate a sincere and personal touch in a space where anyone can lie about being anything, and that makes it important for people to see you for you.
4. Richard Branson
The famous founder of the Virgin Group – Richard Branson. He introduces himself on Twitter as a “tie-loathing adventurer, philanthropist & troublemaker, who believes in turning ideas into reality. Otherwise known as Dr Yes“.
In other words, a short yet eye-catching intro.
He revealed that in order to be a successful entrepreneur, or just a successful social media user, there are a number of ways you can make use of social media platforms.
His social media interaction shows that he has the ability to have a good time online with his family and welcomes feedback from customers and interaction with followers.
Branson also shares tweets about refugee crises, which reflects his passion for a cause, allowing individuals with the same motivations to connect with him on a more personal level.
Having an open mind to not only compliments, but also criticism, shows that you’re receptive to others and this encourages people to connect with you.
And when it comes to a cause you care deeply about, a communal engagement will make people feel like, alongside you, they too are a part of something bigger.
5. Gary Vaynerchuk
Gary Vaynerchuk runs VaynerMedia and is active on numerous social networking sites such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Snapchat.
Compared to other entrepreneurs, Gary has a good deal of things to share about himself but starts his summary on LinkedIn with “I’ve built businesses all my life“.
It engages the audience by inciting curiosity about all the businesses he’s built, which encourages people to continue reading.
He also uses social media platforms to coach aspiring entrepreneurs on how they can achieve their dreams. He is known to be very blunt and upright, which can be appealing for those who are tired of marketing spiels.
One other thing to take away from Gary’s online presence is to “share ALL of your content and ideas“, because you never know if your unique way of thinking might just be the next online sensation.
However, willingness to execute your ideas rather than brood upon them is key.
Vaynerchuk’s usage of multiple platforms allows him to engage with more than one audience type. It will boost your chances of building an active and strong online presence.
6. Shama Hyder
Shama Hayder might not be as popular as Bill Gates or Mark Zuckerberg, but she is one of the most established female entrepreneurs. As CEO of The Marketing Zen Group and international keynote speaker, she was also inducted into Forbes’ 2015 30 under 30 list.
In terms of social media, she is most active on her website and Twitter.
Despite her smaller follower group, she is an inspiration to many young, career-oriented females. In addition, she also has a video series titled 10 lessons to learn from a young CEO to share lessons on leadership.
She also uses Twitter to engage followers in her daily routine by updating them on what she has been up to.
When you do this, you form a basic human bond with followers that familiarises them with you as a person.
It also helps to build your online identity as people will know the things that you are interested in or are passionate about.
The Effectiveness Of Social Media
It is important to have a simple but powerful ‘about me’ section as that is the first thing attracting social media users.
Another takeaway from all 6 entrepreneurs is their ability to form a connection with followers and make full use of available social media platforms. Social media channels will build your online presence but only if you are willing to invest time and energy in them.
These platforms provide us with a diverse target audience and when used wisely, they can be very effective tools for us to build our online presence. The tips that we have highlighted here are not difficult ones, so why not put them to use today?
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