During New York Fashion Week this year, Canadian supermodel Coco Rocha will be the one to follow--but not on the runway. The Queen of Pose also happens to be the queen of social media. Rocha has 862,000 followers on Twitter, 878,000 on Instagram, and in 2012, she became the first high fashion model to hit one million followers on Google Plus. (Today, she has more than three million.)
Rocha, whose modeling career began back in 2002 when an agent spotted her at an Irish dance festival, is now a major force in the fashion industry: She's been featured on the cover of Italian Vogue, and has served as the face of advertising campaigns for Tommy Hilfiger, Calvin Klein, Versace, and Yves Saint Laurent. Most recently, in October 2014, she published a book entitled Study of Pose, working with the photographer Steven Sebring to showcase "the potential of the human form."
With a distinct, persuasive voice that lends itself to clicks, tweets, and shares, Rocha's social media presence has been instrumental in the development of her brand and business.
Inc. spoke with a social media strategist from the digital marketing agency Room 214 to parse exactly what makes Rocha so successful online. In honor of Fashion Week, here are a few tips for expanding your Web footprint today:
1. Develop your brand on multiple platforms.
Coco Rocha is clearly fluent in multiple social media platforms. She posts content to Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, and Google Plus on a regular basis. "That's pretty unusual," says Libby Turner, a senior director at Room 214, especially in the world of fashion. "She takes the time to understand the nuances of different channels."
Different platforms, naturally, can allow users to promote the same content in different ways. While Twitter is geared toward quick news, for instance, Instagram is highly visual, with emphasis placed on pictures as opposed to text. Check out the difference between how Rocha promoted her new blonde look in As If magazine on Wednesday across the two platforms: Her Twitter post involves a series of smaller photos--with a short statement and link to the editorial--while her Instagram post features the cover in its entirety, with an accompanying, more detailed write-up.
2. Think of yourself as a storyteller.
Although many view the modeling world as exclusive, Rocha "lifts the veil," says Turner, by offering relatable content that can appeal to industry and nonindustry followers alike. Her #SundayStories, for instance--a blog series in which she shares funny or embarrassing anecdotes from her early days on the job--give users a humorous window into her personal and professional lives. The same goes for her #StyleTheBump posts, in which Rocha uses her pregnancy as a point of contact with designers as well as fans. After all, says Turner, "What it really comes down to is the connection." She lauds Rocha's ability to "hit on a bunch of different interests," thus attracting a diverse pool of readers.
3. Have a plan of attack.
Rocha's accounts are well sculpted, continues Turner: "You can tell she knows what she's doing." At least from the perspective of the follower, content is never posted at random.
Part of Rocha's plan is sharing a mix of personal and professional items, from varied sources such as news sites, fashion blogs, and more. This gives her a well-rounded appearance, and communicates more to the average viewer than her thoughts alone would.
4. Be just as "reactive" as you are active.
There's nothing worse than following someone on Twitter or Instagram who's flat out self-absorbed. You know the type: the one who tweets solely about herself, who litters her account with selfies, and always posts self-promotional content. Social media is a community (albeit a virtual one), not a mirror.
Rocha really gets the "sharing atmosphere," Turner says. She shows gratitude to some of her own icons (Diane von Furstenberg included) at the same time as she reflects on her professional journey. Importantly, she doesn't take herself too seriously, and knows when to infuse her posts with a dash of humor.
Turner adds that this ability to "react" online is especially important for small businesses, which may not have as much of their own content to "put out there" as an established supermodel (or corporate giant) would. Even still, following in Rocha's footsteps and "curating outside sources" will help you build your brand in a meaningful and lasting way.