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Secrets from Tyler Oakley to Increase Your Subscribers and Followers

With almost 200,000 YouTube subscribers and over 100,000 followers on Twitter, Tyler Oakley must be doing something right with social media.
Tyler Oakley Headshot

Recent alumni of Michigan State University, Oakley now lives in San Fransico, California fully supporting himself on the money he brings in from being a YouTube star.

So how does he do it? I skyped him to gain some insight about his path to social media fame.

The Start

Oakley started his YouTube channel his freshmen year of college to stay connected with his friends who went to other colleges. “I wanted a way to keep in touch with friends and show them things and stories,” Oakley said. His very first video was showing his friends around his dorm room.

The Switch

“The first time I noticed that maybe people were watching that I didn’t know, I noticed one of my videos had 100 views and I was like, okay I don’t have 100 friends so someone else must be watching.” Oakley discovered that there were communities of people out there on YouTube and started communicating with them and doing collaborations with other YouTubers.

The Rise

It was a slow progression to gain the amount of subscribers that he has now. Several of his videos went viral which did cause rapid rises in his numbers, but they were never the videos he expected to be most popular. There is no master plan to making a viral video, but knowing how to build a stable following on those videos is important.

Oakley started building relationships with people who kept coming back to his videos and commenting. He says that it is very important to have all social networks intertwined. “Go to my YouTube channel, first thing you see are all my links to other channels. I never want there to be a question that I’m not everywhere. If they want to find me on twitter, it needs to be so simple and obvious.”

Oakley's YouTube Channel

His Advice

Remind people about subscribing and sharing.

“As much as I hate saying, ‘Hey can you retweet or reblog this?’, I feel so tacky saying it, but people just need the reminder. A lot of people aren’t internet people, so as stupid as it sounds when you spell it out, you have to be like, if you click this subscribe button you will get a reminder.”

Use Tumblr.

“It is my fastest growing network and fan base. The best thing about it is the whole thing of Tumblr is to share, so as a content creator, no matter what you are making, it has to be where you put your stuff. If I ever have something go viral, that’s where it goes viral.”


“Try not to take any days off.”


“Every week I ask I question. Before I ask them to comment, I usually tweet and tumble the questions. So I have good examples, and show that these are some of my favorite responses. I ask them to comment below with your response. It’s a shameless plug and gets them to interact with Twitter, Tumblr, and Facebook.”

The Takeaway

So what have we learned from Tyler? It is important to persevere in your social media networking and intertwine all of the major sites. Keep in tune with new sites that pop us as well, since the social media environment is constantly shifting. It can start out a slow process, but if you put in the work, post with consistency, and interact with your followers, it will pay off.

What are some ways in which you work to gain followers? Comment below!

Oh, and subscribe to this blog! (See, I’m using his advice already!)