Part 1: An Overview
Signing up for a social media account is easy. In fact, it’s probably the easiest thing about running a social media account, especially if you’re running it from a “fandom” point-of-view.
When I first signed up for Twitter, I never once thought that I would be using it for the greater fangirl good. In fact, right when Twitter first came out, I was taking an independent study class my senior year of college where I wrote a new age internet guide for college newspapers.
See, I wrote this guide so that it was extremely specific for college newspapers. YouTube and Twitter were both new, and Facebook was just becoming something that was for more than just college students.
No matter what platform of social media you use, fan pages take a huge chunk of them. And the best news is – anyone can create one!
BSBFangirls.com has accounts on each of the main platforms including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram (two actually if you count @nickcartermemes), YouTube, and TikTok. That’s not counting my personal pages, which I also share a lot of fandom content on.
Gaining a huge following is not easy and it will not happen overnight. There are some things to think about before you can even think about gaining a huge following.
Plus, if you’re not looking to start a fan account, but want to up your own social media game, this can still be for you, especially if you’re wanting to “brand” your internet personality.
Step 1: We can have lots of fun
Before you even create a social media account on any platform, you need to figure out what you are actually wanting to make an account about. Why are you wanting to create this account?
There many types of fan accounts you create.
- Group fan account – Where you focus on more than one person in a fandom. Example: Music group (Backstreet Boys), TV Show (“Riverdale),” fandom (Marvel, DC Comics).
- Individual fan account – Where you focus on one individual person. Example: Group singer (Nick Jonas), Singer (Billie Ellish), Actor (Chris Evans), or even a Reality TV Star (Khloe Kardashian)
- Blog fan account – Is your fan account part of your blog? If it is, that makes the next section even easier.
Our job is not to create content. Our job is to change the world of the people who consume it.
Step 2: There’s so much we can do
One of the biggest things when creating a fan account is trying to decide what it is you want to do with it.
There are so many things you can do depending on each platform and we will get more into that in the individual platform “classes.” For now, we are just going to do an overview of what you can add to your fan account.
The first is photos because everyone loves to look at images. Some people only buy books in order to look at photos. Remember that. “Eye Candy” is always good. It is always a safe bet. Videos are also very good and now it seems like every platform has “stories” to share, too.
However, if you’re making an account just to share photos of Nick Jonas or Chris Hemsworth, you probably have a bunch of competitors already ahead of you with thousands of followers. You need to find something that sets you apart from the bunch.
For instance, with BSBFangirls, I try to do my own thing. We post a lot of photos on our Instagram, but we also post quotes, Today in History-type things, quotes, questions to get engagement, and even tease some of our blog’s post. We also sometimes post personal things, such as my Video Blog. For our Facebook page, things are a little different. We mostly link our blogs when they are posted. Twitter is the same. We keep a continuous stream of our blog posts along with sometimes tweeting news, resharing tweets from other accounts, or just being silly.
So see, you have to do something that sets you apart. Maybe your niche can be your fangirl brand that we’ve talked about previously. Maybe it can be video edits, exclusive photos, or photo edits.
Find your niche and you’re as good as gold.
What not to do
One thing you shouldn’t do is continuously post everything that your topic posts. So, if you, for instance, have a Backstreet Boys-related Instagram account, the last thing you want to do is fill your timeline with the same exact content that the original, official accounts post.
If that’s all you are going to do on your account, then people will not follow or they will unfollow you. Be creative. Be original. Once in a while is fine, but not every five minutes. This is going to be a bigger topic for the Instagram class coming later this month.
“Boy band fangirls are a species that are more focused, determined and powerful in large numbers than just about any other group of people I can think of”
― Goldy Moldavsky, Kill the Boy Band
Step Three – It’s Just You And Me
Once you decide on what your fan page topic will be, there’s two things you need to do – research your competitors and come up with an amazing handle.
Coming up with your name is a very big deal – it’s going to be who you are known as. For example, BSBFangirls was our Instagram and Twitter handle for a long time before we even changed the website name to match it because it’s kind of become known by the name.
Basically, it’s like coming up with a baby name. Sure you can change it, but it won’t cost anything like it would to change a baby’s name, but think of this as your baby. This is something you are putting your passion behind.
You want to stand out. You want something that isn’t cliché and that is easy to remember. The best advice is be original. Being original goes a long, long way.
Yes, before you build your brand in a fan site, look at who would be the competition. For instance, if you were creating a Backstreet Boys Twitter fan account, you would look at BSBFangirls, The Darkside, Kaos Online, What Happens on the Backstreet, and a few others. It all depends on what platform you are wanting to build your fan account on.
Look to see what your competitors are doing and again, as I said before, find your niche to make you stand out in that already developed crowd. Hey, I’m sitting here typing out a guide for my future competition, but all that matters is that there are more accounts Keeping the Backstreet Pride Alive (if that’s what kind of account you are wanting to do).
Just don’t copy. It’s not cool.
Step 4: I Can Give You More
This kind of goes back to what kind of content you want on your fan account and then triple that. I’m not talking about in the number of posts, but in the kind of content you post. You want to give your followers different things to peak their interest. It can be hard, but there is always a way to do different things.
Some things that you can do on social media besides just posting videos and photos are:
- Post original content (scans or concert photos, maybe?)
- Ask your followers or other users (potential followers) questions in the caption.
- Post consistently. (More details on this in the individual platform posts because each platform is different).
- If you post photos and like filters, consider using one filter for a clean aesthetic.
- Follow other fan accounts (maybe not same fandom) for inspiration.
- Use hashtags correctly (this will be covered in platform posts).
- If you’re financially able to, hold contest!
More examples will be given in each individual platform’s class.
Step 5 – Don’t You Know That The Time Has Arrived?
Before you come out to the world, you need to make sure a few more things are ready.
First, you need to make sure that you have filled out your bio on your platform/platforms. Tell people what your account is all about. This can always be changed later once you get more comfortable with your account.
Secondly, make sure you have a profile photo that you want people to recognize you by. Just posting a simple photo of what your site is account (Taylor Swift, Harry Styles, Nick Carter, Captain America) is easily done, but you want to stand out more. This is where your fangirl “brand” comes in. You want something that people will see and instantly think of you.
If your account is hooked onto a blog, maybe use your blog’s logo. Or come up with a logo using something such as canva.com where you can create graphics for free. Or edit a photo of who you are creating a fan site for. Make it your own. Most users identify accounts by their logo or photo than their name, so your user photo is a big deal.
Think of it as your album cover if you were Ariana Grande or a movie poster for the latest Marvel movie.
Depending on what platform you are using, there are apps that you must download in order to be good at this.
I’m not talking about your usual Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc., or even other apps that deal with those platforms such as Facebook Analytics.
Download various video or photo editors. Play around with free versions of apps before you dedicate any money to buy full versions. Sometimes it’s worth it, trust me.
Here are a few apps that you can use for any platform:
- Canva – This will be discussed more in other classes, but besides being a website, there is also an app you can use on your tablet or phone. It’s also pretty good for branding.
- Notes – This is good to keep your hashtags so that you can easily copy and paste. This is probably already on your phone.
- Splice – A very good video editor that is easy to use.
- Video Collage – This is a good collage tool where you can mix photos with vieos.
- Giant Square – Ever seen Instagram accounts post photos of a piece of photo and when you go to their profile, you see the full photo? This is what does it.
- Giphy – Same as the website, but an app.
- OneDrive, Google Drive – If you create your content on your computer, you can easily upload here and then download to your phone if you want to post things that way.
Running a fan account, or even an account where you showcase yourself as a fangirl, can be a lot of fun. But don’t think that it’s not a lot of hard work. It’s more than just posting photos or videos. Sometimes you have to think about more than the content and if what you’re posting is working.
That’s where we will take off on the next few classes where we will focus on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and all of the others. I’ll tell you how to find out when the best time to post is, how to find out if what you’re doing is liked by your audience, and how to work those hashtags. ?
Next Class: Getting Social: The Ins and Outs of Facebook Fan Pages
<< Go back to the main “A Fangirl’s Guide to the Internet: How to Become a Professional Fangirl in the Digital Age” page.