Meet the true face of @klout.
While marketing guys like me struggle to attract followers and leap with every retweet and mention, Freddie Wong (@fwong) dominates more than the arcades. Since this video of his “YYZ” Guitar Hero cover went viral six years ago, Wong has not only created multiple viral videos. He’s created a following. As of the writing of this post, Wong’s main YouTube channel has over 3,152,867 subscriptions and 605,286,972 total video views.
Needless to say, he knows a few things about social influence and creating quality content:
- Wong’s effective self-branding. Wong’s videos are diverse because his interests are diverse. Though many perceive him to be the “guns guy,” Wong has filmed everything from special-effects tutorials to parodies such as “Pimp My Horse.” In effect, he has made a living selling himself.
- Sweet SFX. Freddiew’s bread and butter is not its story lines or plausibility; it’s the effects. See his “about” on YouTube: “Just some cool dudes making sweet vids with rad FX!” The special effects unite all his content, so while you can get anything from a guitar army to a battle on a golf course, they all highlight behind-the-scenes effects work.
- Teamwork. @fwong has 198,467 followers on Twitter. His cameraman and sidekick @BrandonJLaatch has 20,755. The rest of the team might not get all the glory, but they play no less a role in building Wong into a brand.
- Random Rock Giveaways.
Anyone who thinks that giveaways are a waste of money forgets they have an advertising budget. Because the freddiew channel promotes itself through social media and word of mouth, Wong can spend the money to giveaway random prizes like Guitar Hero controllers. Giveaways promote interaction with fans, and they also compel fans to tell their friends about Wong’s videos.
- Guest stars. If you don’t already know, YouTube has its own red carpet. Wong’s videos feature many YouTube celebrities, from Harley Morentein of Epic Meal Time to the comedy duo Smosh. By cross-pollinating his audience with others, Wong attracted more impressions and more subscribers.
- Humor. I think this video speaks for itself.
- Appeal to the “super niche.” Wong doesn’t go for the broad reach like broadcasters do; he appeals to gamers: 18-35-year-old men who play first-person shooters, enjoy rock, have nerdy tastes and watch violent movies. He has diversified his videos, and his freddiew2 channel speaks to videographers. However, Wong knows his main audience, and he rewards their loyalty with content for them.
It’s unlikely that you will achieve Freddie Wong’s level of success. But take a note out of his book, and work smart. Your social influence will increase as people get to know you and your brand.