It’s the social media influencers’ and creators’ world and we are living in it. These are people who have built a loyal and engaged following on various platforms by creating and sharing valuable content. They are not just celebrities or entertainers, but also experts, educators, activists, entrepreneurs, and storytellers. And as such, they represent the biggest social capital brands year to acquire or partner with for reach, awareness and conversions.
But what makes a social media influencer successful? How do they grow their reach and impact? What can we learn from them to improve our own online presence?
We will analyze the leading social media creators in the industry but take a deep dive into their strategies, tips, and examples of how they repurpose content across different platforms, take advantage of discoverability on TikTok and YouTube, and craft original and engaging content that showcases their personality and value proposition.
Whether you want to become a social media influencer yourself, identify some big players you can potentially partner with as a brand, or just get inspired by some of the best in the industry, this blog post is for you. Read on to discover who these influencers are and what you can learn from them.
Jimmy Donaldson, also known as MrBeast, is changing the game of social media with his ever-evolving approach to making videos that go viral. With over 138 million subscribers on YouTube, and over 78 million followers on TikTok, MrBeast has “cracked the code” for what makes a video tick.
Jimmy has also joined many creators on a mission to start their own projects, including his own virtual restaurant chain called MrBeast Burger and even a nonprofit organization called Beast Philanthropy.
Creators can learn a lot from MrBeast through podcasts, interviews, and analyzing his YouTube content. He keeps viewers’ attention through quick cuts, dynamic text, and a high-stakes atmosphere. Check him out on YouTube, TikTok, and Instagram!
2. The Washington Post
It would be shy to say that the Washington Post TikTok time is not killing it today on social media. Dave Jorgenson created the Washington Post TikTok page in 2019, aiming to capture the attention of Gen-Z and younger audiences through the platform through entertaining, sketch-based content and relying on trends when it’s appropriate. Joined by Jorgenson is Carmella Boykin and Chris Vasquez as associate producers for the page as well.
This team of creators pivot The Washington Post as a real game changer on TikTok through entertaining sketches, high-quality script writing, and expanding the team as characters in their own right, giving viewers clear expectations as to the type of content to expect from them.
Check out their TikTok here!
3. The Savannah Bananas
The Savannah Bananas are a Georgia-based baseball team known for their dances and performances to popular songs on TikTok, Instagram Reels, and YouTube Shorts. They are also well known for dancing to TikTok trends on the field during games to distract the opposing team. The Savannah Bananas have over 5.2 million followers on TikTok, 1M followers on Instagram, and 244K on YouTube.
As one of many baseball teams in the United States, they have differentiated themselves as entertaining and unique forces to be reckoned with on social media. Their approach to videos has brought them more coverage and attention, likely garnering more fans buying tickets, if not just to see their favorite players dance on the field. Viral dances, fun characters, and unique point-of-view in their niche make them truly successful this year.
4. Kai Cenat
Kai Cenat is an American Twitch Streamer and YouTuber best known for his subathon that he held on Twitch, streaming for 30-days without stopping, making him the most-subscribed Twitch streamer with over 283K concurrent viewers at its peak. He invited guests like Bobby Shmurda, Lil Baby, and 21 Savage, luring more people to view his stream. He recently uploaded a 1-hour documentary on his YouTube channel detailing this subathon and how it was created.
Kai Cenat is an up-and-coming streaming personality setting the new standard for how to manage a successful stream on Twitch through retention and high-stakes appearances, while also building his personal brand through Twitch and YouTube, and distributing the content from his streams on TikTok and YouTube Shorts.
5. Rhett and Link
Rhett and Link are two best friends from North Carolina making their stand on YouTube in 2006, best known for their talk show Good Mythical Morning, podcast Ear Biscuits, and comedic songs and sketches, among other ventures. They make this list because of their new return to uploading to their own personal channel Rhett and Link, a task that has been retired consistently since 2021, with priorities being set on their brand and company Mythical.
Rhett and Link’s newest video details their newest adventure and task: building a medium-sized hole. The video is over 26 minutes long about a concept that they loved and felt confident was going to work. When owning a large brand identity like Mythical, personal projects can often get lost, so returning to the basics and creating a video and embarking on a project that they feel passionate about is a good exercise and a healthy way of taking care of that creative muscle and nurturing a love for it.
Rachel Hofstetter, also known as Valkyrae, is an American YouTube streamer and influencer best known for her live streams of popular video games, live reactions of popular clips and videos, and vlog-style approach to her content. She is the co-owner of 100 Thieves, an eSports organization founded by former professional Call of Duty player Nadeshot.
Hofstetter sees success in mixing lifestyle content with her gaming persona and streaming career. She has collaborated with popular creators like Bella Poarch, HasanAbi, and Ludwig to name a few. She repurposes popular moments and clips from her streams and YouTube videos for Shorts and Tiktok. Valkyrae is a staple in the gaming and social media space with her brilliant personality, gaming skills, and social media presence.
7. Kara and Nate
Kara and Nate are a husband and wife duo from Nashville, Tennessee. They started their YouTube journey in 2016, traveling to different countries and making videos about them. Fast Forward to 2019, and they managed to travel to over 100 countries. This duo also owns the Daily Drop newsletter, which specializes in sending travel hacks and advice to subscribers wanting to save money.
Daily Drop is their baby, and they are growing that business with the YouTube channel they recently created for it, simply titled: Daily Drop. Kara and Nate will now create videos about travel hacks and advice, tying it into their newsletter. This strategy opens up another content stream for them, so that regardless of how fans want to consume their content, whether it be their personal experiences on the Kara and Nate channel, travel hacks on the Daily Drop channel, or maneuvering their way into your inbox with the Daily Drop newsletter. This strategy is smart, gaining more email subscribers in the long term and increasing their brand awareness.
Hasan Piker is a Turkish-American Twitch streamer, YouTuber, and content creator specializing on reacting and commentating on political news and events, as well as playing video games. Hasan currently streams on Twitch, and has multiple YouTube channels focusing on moments from his streams, casual vlog-style videos, and hosts multiple podcasts like Fear& and Leftovers.
Hasan is a creator to continue to watch, as he has accumulated a large following base for his approach to political commentary and humor on social media, and make it approachable and digestible. He greatly utilizes these multiple channels to broadcast his voice and dip his toes in multiple channels, so that he is more likely to show up to viewers and have recognition. At over 2.4 million followers on Twitch, and 1 million subscribers on YouTube, Hasan is one to keep your eyes on.
9. Ned’s Declassified Podcast Survival Guide
Devon Werkheiser, Lindsey Shaw and Daniel Curtis Lee have created a podcast based off of their hit television series: Ned’s Declassified School Survival Guide, which aired from 2004–2007. The triple threat were best friends on the show, and only saw it fitting to revive the property and fans with a grown-up, alternate view on the series. They talk about real moments that happened on the show between them and other cast members, each other’s personal lives, and jokes among them.
In a world of reviving shows, movies, and independent properties, Ned’s Declassified Podcast Survival Guide manages to make a stand in its own right, showcasing the amazing personalities of these three co-stars, and even providing some entertainment along the way. They take advantage of the mass discoverability of TikTok, Instagram Reels, and YouTube Shorts to broadcast and advertise this podcast to those that might have watched them when they were younger, or might want an insight as to what these stars are into next. This television series, turned podcast is definitely one to keep an eye out for!
10. Jedcal (RateMyDorm)
Jed Caluag is the 25-year-old founder of an up-and-coming startup RateMyDorm, which he created in 2020. He bought the domain names for RateMyDorm from the same owner of RateMyProfessor, and instantly saw this as an opportunity. Caluag is in full production mode for this new project currently, focusing on marketing the website through college subreddits, his own circle, as well as social media platforms like TikTok and YouTube to help spread the word and grow the company.
Starting from a small idea, in his twenties, to now an evolving website, Jed has created an empire in the academic space for prospective students looking to know more about potential school matches for their college experience. RateMyDorm features institutions like UC Berkeley, NYU, Cornell, Purdue, and more. As the list grows, RateMyDorm and Jed Caluag should only see more success in the future.
The social media influencers and creators we have mentioned are not only successful in their respective niches but also in their strategies to grow and engage their audiences across multiple platforms and revenue streams. They have mastered the art of repurposing content across different platforms, taking advantage of discoverability on TikTok and YouTube Shorts, and crafting original and engaging content that showcases their personality and value proposition. Whether they are making viral videos, entertaining podcasts, or innovative projects, these influencers are always finding new ways to stand out and connect with their fans. By learning from their strategies, you can implement these into your own social or influencer strategy.