They Mad They Ain’t Famous: Social Media Tips From Willie Holmes, @superwillie

Want more Instagram followers? What about more likes? Frankly, who doesn’t?

For better or for worse, social media has changed the way that we think about living our lives. Every party/dinner date/good hair day becomes an occasion to filter and crop our way to quantifiable envy from both peers and perfect strangers.

With almost 12,000 followers and counting, Willie Holmes (otherwise known as @superwillie)  has mastered the art of curating content for mass consumption and appeal.


[American idol, Willie Holmes, courtesy of Wilhelmina Models]

Of course, it doesn’t hurt that Holmes is a model and actor, currently signed to Wilhelmina NYC and Elite Models Miami. But in cities like New York and Miami, there are countless contoured faces and beautiful bodies. So, how does Holmes stand out on social, and what are his tips for success, even for those who weren’t #blessed with a face that launched a thousand Ralph Lauren in-store advertisements?


[Willie at Macy’s]

3) Show Support for Like-Minded People, Sourced Through Hashtags

Some people ration their Insta-likes as if they are the last Birkin in the flagship Hermès store. Not Willie Holmes.

“I am always looking at hashtags which are meaningful to me, to find images which connect to me and my interests. For example, I am a SoulCycle instructor in both South Beach and Coral Gables, so I look at what’s posted under #soulcycle or #sobe or #fitlife or #coralgables. This way, I like people’s pictures which tie back to me and my brand, and those people, who likely are interested in the same things, become aware of my presence too, and often start to follow me.”


[Willie made his birthday into a lifestyle #collinsave #abgoals #305]

If you’re an aspiring travel blogger, go ahead and double tap a bunch of pictures of chic spots in Montmartre or Palermo Viejo. If you’re a fashionista sex bomb, why not leave a comment on the WGACA account, or like a picture of someone’s new Valentino clutch?

“The key here is to connect with real people who share your same interests. A celebrity won’t notice you, but that girl who posted a Boomerang of her doing squats on the sand at South Beach might be your next, best follower.”

2) Go Out Into The World And Do Cool Things

Other than a Kardashian or VS Angel, most people won’t get hundreds of thousands of likes on a selfie of them sitting at home in the living room. If you’re exploring your surroundings and utilizing the geo-tag feature, you’re also exposing yourself to an exciting new audience, while also keeping your feed fresh for current followers.

“I just got back from a trip to Ibiza and Barcelona. One of the first things I did after landing at the airport was take a picture of me with the Ibiza sign. I love to see when the people I follow are mixing it up… Trying out some crazy new food trend or wearing something bold or flying across the world. So, I knew my followers would feel the same”, explained Holmes.


[From Miami 2 Ibiza, literally]

Being out and about for sure boosts your social media profile, but you don’t necessarily need to take a transatlantic flight to triple your follower base.

Interesting public art and stunning architecture can be found for free in any major city, while some food trucks and novelty snacks are as coveted as a reservation at a  Michelin-starred restaurant (shout-out to the time we failed to get Black Tap!). Almost all large public libraries have free passes to museums, botanical gardens, historic homes, or similar aesthetic sanctuaries, providing you with Conde Nast Traveler-worthy backgrounds for all of your summer selfies.

1) Know Your Best Assets And Work Them!

Unsurprisingly, most of Willie’s most liked photos showcase his hard-earned six-pack.

“As a SoulCycle instructor, actor, and model, I know that my body is my resume. Even though I sometimes get called out on it by haters, I am not afraid to be a little sexy, and it seems to be working well as an Instagram strategy.”


[The Tao of Willie: “You Eat What You Want When Your Abs Be Poppin'” #mondrian #wafflefries #foodstagram]

While we may not all have the same professional obligations or pectoral muscles, everyone does have an asset or angle which makes them interesting. Maybe it’s an Anna Dello Russo-esque flair for dramatic sartorial moments, or the potential to be the next R.M. Drake. Perhaps you’re the best geode collector in all of western Montana, and other enthusiasts around the world want to see your finds. Whatever your niche is, exploit it and work it!


[Leading a class which was filmed for The TODAY Show]





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