Whether it’s Kendall perfecting her brows and makeup on Instagram, getting likes from teens all across the world, or Kim posting her most recent Halloween pictures and getting them shared across every online publication, we’ve all got to admit it: the Kardashians know a thing or two about social media. Any social media marketing specialist envies the social influence this family has on potential consumers.
After all, Kim Kardashian has 19.5 million followers on Twitter—more than McDonalds, Starbucks, Walmart, and Coca Cola combined. And that’s only one sister accounted for.
Whether or not you’re someone who keeps up with the Kardashians and watches the show of the same name, there’s a lot they can teach any company leader about social media. They’re one of our time’s greatest most popular social media, after all.
1 They’ve created a large target market
Once upon a time, we didn’t even think of Kylie or Kendall as part of the Kardashian family—back then, they were just the stepdaughters, overshadowed by Kim, Khloe, and Kourtney. But as Generation Zers—soon to make up 40 percent of consumers in the US—grow up, Kyle and Kendall are part of their demographic instead. This means that the Kardashian market spans ages 18 to 34, at least, and it’s continuing to grow. Primarily women, but men, too, who want to learn about the Kardashian’s lavish lifestyles and secret beauty regimens.
2 They know how to interact with their audience
With such a large, established target market, it can be easy to lose track of them. But the Kardashians do indeed keep up. They use social media to their advantage, tweeting to fans while at the same time promoting their products. But they don’t get too over-promotional, either: at the end of the day, it’s their personalities and lifestyle they’re selling, and the products are an additional mention alongside the content that consumers are following. Khloe Kardashian, for example, confirmed her pregnancy on Snapchat, dressed up as Mother of Dragons from Game of Thrones. It’s a personal, funny story that brings fan attention—not an excuse to advertise a product.
3 They use the right social media outlets
The Kardashians are everywhere: Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat. And considering that Kim makes up to $50,000 for any endorsement Instagram post, it’s easy to see why she uses these platforms as part of her social media strategy.
But it’s not only social media that the Kardashians take advantage of—it’s the entire Internet, and its potential to tell a story and make it viral. In her publicity stunt in which she posed nude for Paper magazine, for example, she posted about it on Instagram and Twitter, with little teasers, before the actual shoot came out. And she created a hashtag, too—#BreakTheInternet—that was both tongue-in-cheek and powerful. Completely in the voice that her target audience likes to experience.
4 They partner up
There’s power in numbers, whether you’re the Kardashian sisters or two startup companies working together to raise capital. And the Kardashians are constantly self-promoting each other, retweeting each other, liking each other’s Instagrams, even taking pictures together. This last strategy makes them seem approachable, which is important for their audience, but also reminds their followers that if you’re a Kylie fan, you should also be a Kourtney fan. They promote each other’s products, too, so that they can cover even larger target audience bases.
If you’ve got a company ethos that matches that of another company, it’s worth considering partnering up in this way via social media.
5 They keep it klassy
Whether or not anyone wants to admit it, the Kardashians can be quite classy when it comes to their social media strategy. (For anyone who doesn’t like that term applied to that family, they can always change it to ‘klassy.’) But it’s true: after all, with a family like this one, that capitalizes on values considered shallow by many, there are going to be many non-fans. In other words, haters.
But as noted in an article by the small business blog Scott’s Marketplace, what gives the Kardashians such strong social media power is the fact that they don’t allow these haters to take the limelight away from them. Which is something to learn from for any social media manager or business leader: don’t focus on the negative, because inevitably it will always arrive. Instead, focus on what you have to offer your customers.
So the next time you’re struggling to think of that perfect Instagram post, or you’re not sure how you want to brand your company once you’ve partnered with another one, look to the Kardashians. They’re the experts, and there’s so much to learn from them, even if you’ve already perfected the art of the selfie.
What have you learned from the Kardashians? Have you learned about social media or any other business lessons from them?