Make sure your content is educational, aspirational, entertaining, or valuable in some way to your ideal audience.
We often use the term “Influencers” to describe people with significant social media followings on platforms like Instagram, Twitter TikTok, Youtube, Linkedin and Facebook. Influencers have become today’s media titans, sought after for everything from product placements to timely trends. What’s the difference between influence and impact? Fans and followers? Sizzle versus staying power?
In this interview series, called, “How To Cultivate Community In A Click to Connect World” we are talking to influencers about how they define success and what we all need to discover about the true nature of influence. As a part of this series, I had the pleasure of interviewing Influencer and Owner of Homemade Social, Becca Booker.
Northern-California made, Becca received a double-major in Marketing and Journalism from Barrett, The Honors College at ASU and now lives under the sun in Phoenix, Arizona. Shortly after graduating, Becca created her business, Homemade Social, and quickly became a respected entrepreneur in the valley. Dubbed the “modern social media queen” by AZ Foothills, Becca is revolutionizing the social media game and inspiring brands to use innovative tactics to grow their social media.
Thank you for making time to visit with us! Our readers would love to get to know you a bit better. How did you discover your career path and what got you to where you are today?
Of course, thank you for having me! I’ve been interested in social media for as long as I can remember. When I was in middle school, I used to custom-code my MySpace profile and use click-bait tactics to get more opens on my bulletin board posts. To this day, strategy remains one of my favorite parts of the job!
I officially tapped into the industry in 2012 when I had my first of several social media internships and started my personal blog. After college, I worked as the Marketing Director at local start-up. After a few years in that role, I started freelancing as a side hustle and eventually knew I was ready to take it full time in 2017. It was through sharing my journey to self-employment that I really saw my personal blog and following as an Instagram influencer take off.
Fast forward two years later, I knew if I wanted to continue to scale I couldn’t do it alone, so in 2019 I rebranded from a freelancer operating under my personal blog to my now almost three-year-old social media agency, Homemade Social. Today, our agency consists of myself, three full-time employees, one part-time employee, three interns, nearly 19k Instagram followers, and our largest clientele yet!
What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned along the way that influences how you operate now?
My word for this year has been “boundaries” and it’s been game changing. As a type-A enneagram 3, it can be easy to spread myself too thin, but once I learned that I can’t be everything to everyone, the entire way I think and operate changed for the better!
We’re all searching for some good news. How are you using your platform to make a positive social impact?
Since 2020, I’ve really held off trying to make everything I post on social media be perfect, planned, or aesthetically pleasing. Today’s society is so consumed with vanity metrics and everything looking “picture perfect” that I think a lot of people forget that people crave relatability. That’s why we’re seeing platforms like TikTok take off — it’s not overly curated or produced, and users resonate with that!
I’ve made it my mission to advocate for a healthy relationship with social media, which is why Homemade Social routinely produces new blog posts, freebies, and downloads so that our followers are well-equipped to take a better approach towards social media with their business or personal brand.
Many of our readers are influencers as well. Others have tried and have yet to succeed. What words of advice would you offer to aspiring influencers, knowing what you know now?
As both an influencer and social media agency owner, I’d say I have a unique perspective as I know first-hand the power a solid social media strategy holds. Consistency is key, of course, but even more important, is quality over quantity. If you’re looking to grow your Instagram, look back at your analytics to see what type of content performs the best for you. Use this information to narrow down your niche and make more content related to those best-performing posts.
Success is often a matter of perspective. I’ve always resonated with Henry David Thoreau’s quote, “It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.” How do you see success — or define success — for yourself now?
I view success as having the freedom to do what I want and when I want, while still feeling financially secure. One of the best parts of being an influencer and CEO is having the opportunity to make this a reality for myself!
What are your strategies to make room for who and what matters most?
I think one of the most important things is being intentional with your time. I try to do more of what makes me feel like my truest self, like setting aside time to be with loved ones, working out, renovating my condo, and treating myself to a facial. Being conscious of your energy is key!
How do you reduce or mitigate stress?
As an influencer and agency owner, I spend so much of my time immersed in technology and social media that, at the end of the day, the best way to unwind is by unplugging from my screens and taking some time for myself. Lately, I’ve been loving taking my pup (@jojothecattlecollie on Instagram) for a walk and ending the night with a bath and tea.
I’m going to try a few of your tips, and I’m hopeful our readers will, too. Now it’s time for the big reveal — the moment our readers have been anticipating. What are your “five strategies to cultivate a large & engaged social media community?’ Please share a story or example for each.
- Strategy #1: Try posting a Reel for 30 days in a row.
Homemade Social’s Instagram following saw a 91.7% growth rate in 2020’s Q4 largely due to the exposure we received from posting Reels consistently! We have a free download with 30 days of Reels ideas for anyone interested in incorporating this feature into their social media strategy.
- Strategy #2: Repost questions you get in your DMs to stories to show social proof (and that you reply!).
Sharing the questions or feedback you receive in your DMs acts as a social proof that can influence the behavior of others. When users notice that others are engaging with or showing interest in your content, they’ll feel more inclined to jump on the bandwagon and do so too!
- Strategy #3: Tag brands you love and use in feed posts and stories.
Going along with social proof, many brands are always looking for user-generated content to showcase that users are using and loving their products or services. If you share high quality content, most would love to repost, which grants you exposure to their audience!
- Strategy #4: Make sure your content is educational, aspirational, entertaining, or valuable in some way to your ideal audience.
The key to growing on social media and fostering a community is creating content that is shareable, engaging, and entices users to come back for more. Think about your target audience and what they find valuable and relatable, and create more content that supports those needs!
- Strategy #5: Use polls, question stickers, and quiz stickers on stories.
When users engage with your content, this signals to the Instagram algorithm that the content is valuable and should be pushed to more followers to see. The best way to encourage engagement with your followers is to give them the opportunity to vote, tap, or share your content in some way.
What do you do to create a greater sense of connection and community among your fans?
I engage in conversation with them & open up about real life. Don’t be afraid to be human — people value relatability!
As an influencer, you are, by definition, a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger.
I honestly think the world would be a better place if everyone turned their Instagram likes off LOL. I think it would do a lot for mental health and it would help users to stop comparing themselves to others.
We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world with whom you’d like to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He, she or they might just see this. 🙂
Emma Grede! She’s started a PR agency and is now the Co-Founder & CEO behind Good American and is a Founding Partner of Skims. I’ve always admired her ambition and hustle!
What is the best way for our readers to further follow your work online?
They can follow my personal Instagram at @bbooks, my social media agency’s Instagram at @homemadesocial_, and subscribe to our newsletter on www.homemadesocial.com/subscribe!
Thank you for these thought provoking insights. Here’s to your continued success!