In this day and age, your social media presence is the biggest indicator of your social influence and audience. People with hundreds of thousands of followers receive unique marketing opportunities and engagements, and a tech-savvy person can easily figure out how to profit financially off of an active social media presence.

But boosting your internet presence is no easy task. It can often feel futile, like shouting into a void, to try to grow your audience. However, research and experience have led to multiple tips on improving your chances. Here are five ways to skyrocket your own social media presence.

1. Find your individual edge

To reel in followers, you have to show them that you are worth following, and more importantly, that you’re offering them something they don’t already have. The best way to do this is to develop your individual edge. What reason would someone have for following you? Cultivate it. Allow your individual facet to direct what you put out, who you engage with and how you present yourself.
Advertising Professor Brooke Duffy of Templeton University said people want to see themselves reflected in celebrities. Part of (online success) is being the first one into whatever the niche is and trying to draw attention to it, she said.
Niches can be anything from streaming video games, like YouTuber PewDiePie, or blogging about sex like sex educator Laci Greene. Whatever your niche is, allow it to be readily identifiable to a potential follower looking over your social media presence.

2. Engage with hot topics

The best way to get people to listen to you is to talk about things people want to hear about. Trending topics, top news, and recent events all offer the chance to bring in a new influx of followers. Talk about what others are talking about. Engage with them, make your opinion known.
More importantly, give people a reason to want to respond. Promoting discussion helps your name spread (now someone else who follows the person you’re talking to can be introduced to you), and gives you a personality that helps identify you as an individual.
Engaging doesn’t mean antagonizing. Hot topics are frequently matters of conflict. Be sure you know what you’re talking about before you try to engage with an audience on a particular matter.

3. Remain responsive and active

Nothing will kill an internet following faster than inactivity and inaccessibility. If you appear to have disappeared, even if only for a short time, your hard-earned following will lose interest, and many will unsubscribe and forget. You’ll notice from this year’s Twitter trends, the most talked about are the most active. Post regularly across your social media accounts, too. Don’t neglect one in favor of another, which would limit your potential audience.
Further, engage with followers on a personal level. Generic messages addressed to no one in particular are not as engaging as a direct conversation, and anyone who engages with you can feel as though you both recognized each other as people through your social media interaction. This keeps people interested and following.

4. Cross-promote yourself

The fastest way to limit your audience is to fail to build a social media presence on multiple platforms. Even if you’re building a niche that is geared towards a particular website, like Vine stars frequently are, you will want to fill out and engage with other platforms that you use to promote your content across all your accounts.
A dedicated follower may follow you on multiple accounts, but people frequently only check one or two sites regularly and may forget about you if you don’t actively try to remind them of your presence across multiple platforms to reach them as frequently as possible. Other social media accounts can be used to promote content stemming from one account, but remain critical for engaging with your followers.

5. Curate your content carefully

When people follow you online, they often have a set of expectations for what they’re signing up for. It is important to keep this image in mind when curating your content, whether original or shared from someone else. Make sure what you’re sharing is interesting to other people, doesn’t seem like clutter, isn’t unwelcome or adversarial and doesn’t contradict what they expect from you.
Once you curate it, make it findable as well. Tag people in your posts and use hashtags to make sure as many people who might be interested in your voice can find your content as possible.
By thoughtfully curating your content and engaging with your audience, your online presence can grow quickly and efficiently, finding you success and fame in the competitive world of social media.