How to be likable online: A Shameless Maya Case Study

Have you heard of Vlogger Shameless Maya and her “Do you boo” philosophy?

shamless maya

If not, you should check out her Youtube channel where she shares videos with her almost 500,000 subscribers. Or maybe mosey on over to her Instagram, where her selfies rack up over 8,000 likes.

In a world full of Instagram models and Youtube gurus, what’s unique about Maya is her rapid rise in popularity. Her first video was posted only two years ago. Yup, you read that right. In just two years she has amassed hundreds of thousands of fans, subscribers and followers, myself included.

So how did she do it?

Besides the quality and content of her videos? By being extremely likable.

Ok, what makes a person likable?

I’m glad you asked. Author Robert Cialdini breaks it down for us in his book Influence: Science and Practice (which you can read in it’s entirety here). According to him there are 5 principles that make a person likable, and each principle can be applied to Shameless Maya. Business owners and bloggers, be prepared to take some notes:

1. Attractiveness:

Maya’s undeniable beauty is not the sole reason she is likable, but it definitely helps!

According to Cialdini “research has shown that we automatically assign to good-looking individuals such favorable traits as talent, kindness, honesty, and intelligence”*. So from her good looks alone we automatically like and trust her.

Social media marketing takeaway: Are you good looking? Post that pretty mug on social media! Not so much into that? Make sure your brand images and website are visually appealing.

2. Similarity:

We like people who are similar to us. Maya’s initial video, her introduction to her “shameless” journey, was very relatable.

Who hasn’t felt shame when trying to self promote? Be it a creative project, or just part of regular job hunting, unless you’re extremely confident it’s quite painful to sell yourself. Viewers could relate to this feeling, and were rooting for Maya. Eventually her channel grew and she shared a wider variety of her interests, allowing fans more opportunities to discover similarities between themselves and Maya.

Social media marketing takeaway: Align your brand or product to your fans/customer’s interest. Show them that you understand them….because you’re just like them!

3. Compliments:

Cialdini explains that “we tend, as a rule, to believe praise and to like those who provide it…” So it makes sense that Maya’s followers like her. She regularly thanks and compliments them, giving fans shout outs in videos and across social media.

Social media marketing takeaway: Use social media to compliment and flatter your fans.

4. Contact and Cooperation

We like what we are constantly exposed to, and thanks to Maya’s social media presence her fans (and potential fans) see her pretty often. I don’t follow her on Tumblr but I’ve seen her images on my dashboard many times, increasing my affinity towards her without me realizing it. She’s also on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and she makes appearances and collaborates with other popular bloggers. This ups your chances of coming into contact with her, and eventually, liking her.

Social media marketing takeaway: Be everywhere your fans are! Guest blog, tweet, post to Facebook, make a Tumblr, Pinterest, etc…

5. Conditioning and Association

Cialdini gives an example of a weather man who is unpopular, not because he’s a bad guy, but because he reports on bad weather. Basically, he became associated with rainy days and was disliked because of it. Once he moved and reported weather from a sunnier location, viewers loved him.

As you can see Maya’s channel is a place of positivity, humor and fun, which is what we associate her with. She inspires us, while poking fun at herself here and there.

Social media marketing takeaway: Want people to like you? Associate your brand with positive traits and experiences.

When it comes to social media content is key! Anyone can use these points to be liked in real life, but to be popular online it must be paired with great content. Whether it’s makeup/hair tutorials, fashion advice, or day to day blogging, the quality of Maya’s content is top notch.

*all images used in this post belong to Shameless Maya

*Citation:

Cialdini, R. B. (2001). Influence: Science and practice. Boston: Allyn & Bacon.

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