When it comes to the most successful entrepreneurs and their presence on social media, Richard Branson always makes the list. It’s no wonder: he’s the founder of Virgin Group which made him one of the richest and most famous Brits on the planet. This is further magnified by his masterful self-presentation on social media.
Richard Branson is active on Twitter. Here he has 12.7 million readers and his tweets routinely gather hundreds of likes, tens of thousands of retweets and thousands of comments.
Link to his account https://twitter.com/richardbranson
Richard Branson’s Instagram is followed by only 4.3 million followers who are, nonetheless, very active. It is rare for his posts to get less than 200 comments, and even when he posts pictures of himself, his audience responds with thousands of likes and comments.
Link to his account: https://www.instagram.com/richardbranson/
His Facebook page has gathered over 3 million likes which is an outstanding result for this social media platform.
Link to the account: https://www.facebook.com/RichardBranson/
On Linkedin, Richard Branson has 17.1 million followers — which makes him one of the most popular entrepreneurs on the platform.
Link to the account: https://www.linkedin.com/in/rbranson/
So what is the secret to Branson’s success? Why do his social media accounts keep getting likes and new followers?
Virgin Group founder masterfully utilizes social media to market and promote his personal brand. It’s important to note that his audience is not just a bunch of bystanders — these are people who are interested in what is going on in his life and are looking for ways to connect with the prominent entrepreneur. Mr. Branson gets the credit for this: in each reply he tries to establish a personal connection with his followers. Thanks to his sincere emotions it doesn’t come off as forced or phony when he is sharing his personal stories and new experiences.
Now, when users have become more picky than ever, direct marketing is hardly effective, but when people choose to engage with Branson, they get what they want. Despite his tremendous number of followers, Branson regularly replies to tweets, shares photos and stories from his life.
For example, in this post he shared a screencap of a video call with his mom.
It’s important that he doesn’t delegate this to a manager and instead chooses to uphold the authenticity of his accounts, they’re personal, after all. It’s hard to build a genuine and tightly-knit community when the page is managed by someone other than the page’s named after. People can sense this, because posts that come from the marketing team lack genuine emotion and carry a completely different message.
The fact that Branson manages his own accounts comes straight from the source — the man himself has said that while it depends on where he is and what he’s doing, he tries to check in on his social media at least a couple of times a day.
In his book Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook, a social media expert and a best-selling author Gary Vaynerchuk recommends posting fun and valuable content for your followers’ entertainment before you ask for something in return. It doesn’t matter if it’s a funny picture, a meme or a personal story, what Branson shares is things he is personally interested in, first and foremost. He encourages his followers to respond to his messages by replying often.
Activity on social media benefits Mr. Branson, and he skillfully motivates his users to participate in his life with statements like these: “I enjoy reading through my social media feeds. It’s a great way to get feedback about our goods and services, and a wonderful way to find inspiration for new ideas.”