If someone tells you having 500 fans of your Facebook page or 2,000 Twitter followers is just an exercise in vanity, they obviously are oblivious to modern marketing. Just ask Chiara Ferragni, the fashion-blogger-turned-millionaire-businesswoman profiled this week on CBS This Morning. Working with little more than her keen fashion sense and a “passion for posting” fashion photos while she was a law student, the woman turned her name and The Blonde Salad into a multinational brand with 3.4 million followers in Instagram alone – even more than Calvin Klein – and the first blogger ever to become a Harvard Business School case study.

Her secret? She focused on being relatable, aspirational and popular. She’s also become a testament to how a commitment to social media in a popular category can transform a name – even your name – into a brand.

As one expert said, “Your followers are your currency.”

It’s not vanity. It can be big business. In today’s social media driven environment, the more people who like, follow, are fans or otherwise have developed an affinity for you or your brand, the stronger and more valuable your brand is.

Ferragni’s advice is sage wisdom for any blogger or aspiring social media brand: be relevant and inspirational. What should your blog, Facebook page or Twitter feed be telling your fans, followers, clients or customers?

Attorneys from South Florida law firms should post commentary about significant events in the news or the firm’s recent wins or settlements. This can establish the attorneys as authorities on the topic.

It’s tax time. Accountants with local area CPA firms can comment on little-known IRS tax rules or deductions business owners or individuals can take advantage of to shave dollars off their tax bills.

Area doctors can blog about – then share those blogs to their Facebook or Twitter feeds – about trends in healthcare, or the recent debate over immunizations, for example.

No matter your industry, there’s enough content to be blogging several times a week and sharing those comments on other blogs, complementary Facebooks or local news media.

Posting to social media isn’t about vanity. It’s an exercise in brand building. Ferragni has turned a passion for fashion – arguably one of the most cluttered and competitive fields in the media landscape – into an $8 million-a-year enterprise.

You might not earn millions, but every new follower can be a potential client or customer. And there’s nothing vain about that.

by: Julie Talenfeld

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