With over 15 years of experience in the social media industry, I’ve come to think of optimizing your online presence as solving a Rubik’s Cube. When I first started out in 2010, working with mentors like internet marketing guru Neil Patel, the platforms were far less developed.
Back then, most people utilized sites like Facebook and Instagram simply to share photos of food or weekend happenings with friends and family. The idea of strategically using social media to build a brand or business was in its infancy.
But over the years, the platforms matured rapidly, and consumption habits changed dramatically. We’ve seen an explosion of niche interests and creators on YouTube. Facebook groups now connect people around specialized hobbies and passions. Most recently, TikTok has revolutionized short-form mobile video, addicting billions of monthly active users to its algorithmically fueled “For You” page with every other social media platform following suit.
I realized that there was this incredible correlation between the Rubik’s Cube and social media because when a Rubik’s Cube isn’t correct, you can see it. It’s the same way when you’re with your social media — when you know you’re not managing it correctly, you can feel it. Using the right strategy for each platform is crucial — the right content for Instagram, Facebook, TikTok. When the puzzle pieces click into place, everything aligns. That’s when the power of social media truly becomes tangible.
Creating your niche in the interest space world
Social media has utterly transformed how we interact and share information. Platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, TikTok and more have created a digital world of interest-based communities and endless conversations. This emergence of niche interest spaces has opened up new opportunities for forming connections, relationships and personal branding.
These interest spaces essentially function as virtual rooms where users who share common passions and interests congregate. You now have spaces catering to every interest imaginable — fitness, food, sports, investing, arts —you name it. The algorithms powering social media do the work of grouping relevant content and profiles together within these spaces. So, if you’re interested in tennis, you’ll be recommended pages, accounts and content about tennis. Interact with that content, and the algorithm feeds you more of it, further pulling you into that interest space.
To understand how this works, think of sports like tennis, badminton and ping pong. Now imagine a new sport emerges combining elements of all three — that’s how we got pickleball. By blending these interests, pickleball attracts fans of all three sports, as well as appealing to a broader audience, creating an entirely new niche community. This is exactly what happens within social media interest spaces as novel mixtures emerge from blending interests.
Unique personal brands attract attention
As an individual, you can leverage these interest-based spaces to establish yourself as an authority in your field. Consistently create and share content centered around your core niche — whether that’s fitness, food, technology, arts or anything else. For example, as a fitness professional, you’d share training tips, healthy recipes, lifestyle advice and so on.
But don’t just stick narrowly to your primary interest. Branch out and highlight your other passions, too. This shows your audience that you are multidimensional. For a fitness influencer, this could mean also sharing content on nutrition, mental health, productivity or parenting.
This is where the analogy of a Rubik’s Cube comes in. You are turning and twisting your brand by experimenting with content across diverse interest spaces. See what works well and what your audience responds to. Gradually, you will gain traction as you find the sweet spot that genuinely engages your followers.
Adopting this cross-disciplinary approach positions you in a novel way. You harness multiple interest spaces to project a well-rounded personal brand. This builds authority and trust with your audience. For instance, an aspiring chef could share cooking videos, restaurant reviews, fitness advice, budgeting tips and lifestyle content. By covering complementary topics beyond just cooking, you showcase the full spectrum of your interests.
Everything everywhere all at once
Consistency and ubiquity are the keys when establishing your personal brand. Humanize yourself by giving followers a behind-the-scenes look into different aspects of your life. Share your passions, hobbies and vulnerabilities. The more active you are within these spaces, engaging and contributing, the more familiar your presence becomes.
Be everywhere your audience is — Youtube, Instagram, Facebook, TikTok. The goal is saturation. Post consistently, and provide value through your content. This is possible because we live in a chronically online world. People are glued to their devices, immersed in these virtual communities. There are endless opportunities to connect and engage.
Once your content starts gaining traction, recognition accelerates rapidly. Your brand scales new heights as you become ubiquitous. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, while primarily known for his wrestling and acting careers, his social media spans fitness tips, tequila ventures and heartfelt family moments. His brand isn’t just about entertainment; it’s a blend of professionalism, personal passions, and authentic glimpses into his life. This ubiquitous presence established him as one of the most successful entrepreneurial entertainers in the world.
This overall approach requires multi-dimensional thinking and flexibility. You need to deeply understand the intricacies of each platform, interest space, and how they blend together. Much like solving a Rubik’s Cube, you must experiment and put in work. Gradually, each piece will fall into place as you build authority and establish your unique personal brand.
Here are some tips to help build your brand across interest spaces:
Identify your core interests and the platforms your audience uses. Establish your presence there first.
Consistently create content centered around your niche/expertise. Provide value and build trust.
Branch out and highlight your other passions, too. Blend interests to give a well-rounded image.
Engage actively with your audience and others in your space. Join the conversation.
Post frequently to become a familiar face. Establish omnipresence in your niche’s interest spaces.
Monitor what resonates with your audience. Adapt and optimize your content mix.
Collaborate with complementary creators to expand your reach.
Don’t spread yourself too thin. Focus on a few key interest spaces. Quality over quantity.
The possibilities are endless, thanks to the multifaceted nature of social media. You can present different facets of your brand by strategically blending interest spaces. Let your audience get to know the complete you. Whether your goal is professional growth, connections or sharing your passion, embracing this approach is key. Start turning the cubes, experimenting and executing consistently. Your hard work will result in a strong personal brand that captivates audiences.