iiSuperwomanii: How one woman amassed 11 million subscribers

iiSuperwomanii’s most watched video

Lilly Singh, better known as iiSuperwomanii to the internet, is one of the most well-known and followed personalities on the web. 11 million subscribers, 1.8 billion views, her own lipstick brand, a feature film of her world tour and now a book. These endeavours have led to her Singh being the highest paid woman on the internet. But how does one attract and sustain such a large audience?

William Arruda, writing for Forbes, highlights three main factors of successful social media strategy: be real, target your content and be consistent. Lauren Teague (a social media expert) echoes the latter in the article below.

Other social media influencers featured in the article are also in consensus that visuals are important. And Singh is definitely riding the wave of the growing trend of visual and video content. There is no doubt this has been influential in obtaining the 11 million ‘unicorns’ (what her fans call themselves) to date.

In line with what the experts say, an important factor of the vast support for Singh is her genuine and honest portrayal of herself, but also the world. In her most watched video (at the top of this post) she is not disseminating any eureka-moment information, and that is what makes her tangible. You are able to relate to her material and the breaking down of that barrier of the screen is important. 
 This brings to mind a Psychological study by Canary and colleagues exploring the mechanisms we use to maintain relationships. It could be applied to how personalities online maintain the relationship with their fan base. It takes the idea of personal connection in a sea of millions even further from merely being relatable. People like people who disclose (share sensitive personal information), it’s one of the many factors that build trust. And Singh has always been open about her depression and its motivating force in her career.

This sense of connection is solidified and furthered through live videos (#AskSuperwomanLIVE). It’s a double edged sword; it gives fans the opportunity to interact ‘directly’ with Singh, as well as provide opportunity for the all-important disclosure.

Another key element that the social media experts mentioned above highlight is consistency. This also goes back to traditional branding theory. And this is also evident in Singh’s various platforms:

Singh’s current pinned tweet promoting her latest video
Her latest Instagram promoting the same video

She maintains the humorous, bright, emoji-laden unicorn persona that she is known for. And importantly, she does so whilst adapting to the different ‘languages’ of the different platforms. The posts above promote the same video but the accompanying post is different. In the latter, she appeals to the ‘tagging’ culture of Instagram as a way of furthering exposure.
 Above all this however, it is this happy personality and humour that attracts new followers and subscribers. I personally keep watching because her videos make me laugh and smile. She’s a positive force on the internet that can all too often be full of critics and negativity.