“You must crawl before you walk,” a phrase that could be used for just about anything may best describe the newest wave of fame:  Social Media celebrities.  These social rock stars could literally be anyone from coworkers to friends to family members. However, contrary to popular belief these celebrities didn’t just wake up famous.  There is a ground zero for everything, and if you know how to win over the masses, you also can build your name and rise to social fame.

Choose the Right Persona

While it’s common knowledge that celebrities don’t go by their actual names, not many know that social stars choose personas as well. (For example, Jenna Marbles’ real name is Jenna Mourey.) In most cases a persona is created to keep actual identities private, but sometimes they are created simply because it’s catchy. No matter what the reason, if you are looking to create a persona make sure that it fits you and the direction you are going.  In most cases, using your middle name as opposed to your first name or even last name is enough.  Sometimes you may want to completely change it and fully create an alter ego.  As long as it’s comfortable to you and fits your direction, it will work for your new fans.

Hype Yourself Up

If you plan on being in the spotlight, you have to show that you belong there.  Confidence is going to be key to gaining a fan base and growing on it.  Think about watching a tutorial video on YouTube.  Would you listen to the person who sounds nervous, or the one who sounds like her invented sliced bread? It may come off as overconfident, but nobody follows a follower.  Own every word you say as if you know that it is right.  As a starter, you may encounter people who aren’t fans.  Don’t worry, it happens to everyone and there are ways to deal with it.

Engage Your Fans

It’s hard to make friends if you never talk to new people.  The same goes for your new-found followers.  Both people and brands would do well to respond to comments and mentions from fans. Talk to them and answer their questions.  Show that you do care about them, because without them it will be hard to get anywhere.  Look at them as friends, as your support system.  We all have support lines, but a large group of friends is a support line that will help you reach your goals.

Track Trends

By now everyone should know what a hashtag is. A very effective way to stay current and “in” is to capitalize on hashtags. The Walking Dead keeps #walkingdead in the corner of the TV screen throughout their show to bring the conversation to one place. Heck, even Facebook got into hashtags last month.  Adding the popular hashtag to your posts will not only show that you pay attention to what’s going on at the time, but will also attract more people to your brand if they like what you’re saying.

Be Yourself

It’s fun to have an alter ego, but never forget to be yourself.  You’ll be affecting others lives, and while that is an amazing feeling, it also comes with responsibility.  Never be afraid of who you are, because everyone is unique and getting the chance to see other personalities is something that we all need.  Your new fans and friends will like you for who you are, even if the persona is tweaked slightly. The trust that you build by engaging your friends could all go to waste if you aren’t true to yourself and it shows.

Becoming an online celebrity is a lot of work placed into a handful of steps.  Have fun, be yourself and welcome your new friends on your journey.  It will be a ride that none of you will ever forget!