Taking Personality Personally: To Win Instagram You Must Embrace Your Kirby Jenner
What the latest viral sensation can teach us about our Instagram tactics.
PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images
There's no rhyme or reason why some things go viral. Whether it's been "the dress," "damn Daniel," or even "the dab," there's no commonality to their structure. As hard as we've tried, we just can't seem to figure out why these social phenomenons take off...with the latest example being Kirby Jenner.
Kirby is known for photoshopping himself into photos with the Kardashian clan's Kendall Jenner, and the results are absolutely both hilarious and stunning. Whenever something like this comes about, people in the marketing world pull their hair out thinking: "Why does this work? It's simple. It's dumb. I don't get it." Look, I know a lot of us try their hardest to manage our social well (and, it's a tough gig), but things like Kirby are actually much easier to model after than you think.
No, Kirby isn't a viral sensation, Kirby is a case study in how to manage and run a personal brand. And while that term can make some of us roll our eyes, it's actually a great way to think of your social.
A (Thousand) Pictures Is Worth A (Couple of) Words
Go ahead and take a look at Kirby's Instagram and tell me the first thing you notice. From a bird's eye view, the consistency is incredible, as well as makes you want to dive in deeper.
In every photo, Kirby's aesthetic matches Kendall's to a T, with each photo genuinely looking like it was taken with her. Every detail is accounted for, from the way his outfits match up with the setting to adding minute characteristics that give a sense of personality.
The idea here is that in order for people to want to dig deeper, you've got to be consistent with your photo's looks. No one likes visiting a page where one picture looks like it was really well shot while the others are grainy and out of place. That's not to say that just because a photo has amateur qualities to it that it can't be great content (in fact, when done right, it can be some of the most authentic), but take some time to learn what the aesthetic you're going for is.
Find Your Voice (and Stick With It)
Perhaps one of the greatest touches Kirby puts on the photos is the voice for the captions. Every single time it reads as this character of a 16-year-old Valley Girl that watched too much Adult Swim, trapped in a millennial mustached guy's body. The approach is perfect, as he never breaks from it. Just check out this quote from his interview with Teen Vogue:
""I guess our fav thing is singing karaoke to songs in different languages (so so funny not knowing how to pronounce the words) or building pillow forts with Kanye or doing spin-art together. Just lots of regular twin stuff, you know?"
The man comes off as going full-force with playing the role of Kendall Jenner's twin. Granted, there are very few folks out there that are going to be able to match this on a day-to-day, but the message is important: keep your voice consistent, but more, don't let it be stale.
Don't be Afraid to Be You
Honestly, I've never met or spoke with Kirby, so I can't speak for what he's like outside of the interwebs, but I can say that commitments like this isn't easy. Going after something similar to what he's done requires gusto, but even more, not being afraid to let yourself go online.
I know in this day and age we're all scared to lose followers or even be the next big social media mistake, but taking the timid approach never got anyone famous. If it did, then we'd all be the next viral sensation next week (which, would lose the value of what we consider 'viral'.)
Instead, take a bold stance and be a little vulnerable. This is a game of show, so make your story worth one people want to listen into regularly. The goal here is not to be next Kirby Jenner, but to just be authentic with who you are.
Look, we all have things that make us funny, or odd, or awkward or even a little strange. But then again, that's what makes us human. Once you embrace that, you've broken the barrier on how to make your social something worth talking about.