How to Look Rich on Social Media

A few weeks ago my esteemed Wise Bread editors asked me to write How to Look Rich Without Having Much Money, the title of which is self-explanatory and one that I knew would ruffle more than a few feathers. I'm a glutton for punishment.

That's also why I've chosen to take on this new piece. Because while social media is as much about sharing content and staying in touch with friends and loved ones, it's also about smoke and mirrors — that perceived self that we put out into the world to make our real lives seem a little more exciting. But why stop there? If you want to make it seem a lot more exciting, read on. Fake it till ya make it, as they say — and this is how you do it.

1. Document Your Attendance at the Swankiest Parties

To give the impression on social media that you're rubbing elbows with the upper crust, get yourself on the guest list to the hottest parties in town, and then document them with check-ins, tags, and photos. This may seem like an insurmountable feat, but it can be accomplished a few different ways:

  • Make friends with rich people. When they're attending fancy parties, they might invite you along to be their guest.
  • Make friends with the people behind the scenes at said rich person events. These are the folks producing the event, and they have ultimate control of the guest list.
  • Purchase tickets to charity balls and galas. You'll have to front some money for access, but many events are relatively affordable. Plus, there's money to be made in networking, and you should always be looking for ways to advance your own cause; this is one of them.
  • Crash it. Think you can sneak past security? Godspeed.

2. Check in at the Poshest Spots in Town

Those swanky parties can be few and far between, but you can check in more often at trendy public places well known to cater to rich people. Perhaps that's a well-to-do hotel, top restaurant, spa, or a fancy pool? Even better is if you check in between the hours of 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. while most of the world is working. You'll look like you're living a life of leisure just like a rich person, and that's damn near mission accomplished.

3. Hashtag Rich Kids (#RKOI) of Instagram

There's actually thing called Rich Kids of Instragram (#RKOI) wherein luxury-loving social media users post photos of themselves riding around town in the sweetest whips, kicking back on tricked-out airplanes, swimming in a sea of designer handbags, lounging on private beaches, and otherwise making the rest of us curse the day we weren't born a Trump or a Schwarzenegger. The great thing about this meme, however, is that you don't actually have to be rich to perpetuate the illusion that you are. To join this club, all you have to do is take photos like the ones I've just described and hashtag RKOI. You run a very high risk of looking like a D-bag by doing this — don't say I didn't warn you — but I have a feeling you don't care too much about that since your goal is pretending to be rich for no particular reason anyway.

4. Tweet Celebs and Other Notables

Sometimes you can seem rich by association, and Twitter is a good way to connect with celebrities and other notable people who are up to their ears in cash. They won't always tweet you back, but you won't know unless you reach out first.

For example, one time I included @EmbryEthan (AKA Ethan Embry, the cute dude from "Empire Records" and "Can't Hard Wait" who is kind of a five-alarm hottie these days) in a tweet and he responded. Totally one of my social-media highlights. My personal anecdote aside, the more you align yourself with the elite on social media, the better chance you'll be perceived as someone important to those who follow you. Being important generally means you've got money to burn, so as a residual result people will start to think that you're probably fairly well off too.

5. Instagram Yourself in the Hottest Threads

A major component to creating the impression that you're rich is your physical appearance, much of which relies on the type of clothing you're wearing. There are brands out there that are typically associated with having money — Ralph Lauren, Lacoste, Prada, Gucci, etc. — but on social media it's more about what's hot right this minute and how you look in it. If you can't afford to actually dress the part, Instagram can help. Try on those fresh-to-def kicks, duds, and accessories in store and snap a shot before putting the stuff back on the rack. By capturing these digital blips in time when you look like a baller, you'll start to establish yourself as somewhat of a style guru who's seemingly rolling in the dough.

6. Publish Photos of Haute Cuisine

Rich people tend not to post pics of the three-piece and a biscuit from Popeye's that they're about to scarf down on a hangover Sunday. But deliver a plate of caviar and a bottle of bubbly to the table of Chez Whatever, and they're all over it with hashtags galore. You can emulate this style of selective social media posting too, even if you're not on a fish egg and champagne budget. Just make sure the food looks incredibly appetizing (easy to do if you're into cooking and entertaining like me), the dish is something a bit out of the ordinary, and you stage the shot to make it look like you're about to stuff your face someplace awesome — which can totally be your own dining table if you have a great design sensibility.

7. Leave Yelp Reviews for Fancy Restaurants

By publishing reviews at of-the-moment restaurants on Yelp, your followers will start to think that you're a man (or woman) about town who appreciates the finer things in life, like premium cuisine that's often attached to premium prices. You can pull this off while still minding your budget, so long as you stick to affordable apps and lower-priced drinks and meals. Visiting at non-peak times also is a good idea because there might be happy hour discounts or other specials.

Just make sure you're being honest in your review — which means actually having visited the establishment. It's not a nice to leave reviews for places you've never been — especially if it's an unwarranted negative review — as that can adversely influence others' decisions and the restaurant's business. Don't be that guy, dude.

8. Edit, Edit, Edit

Social media is all about editing. Most of us only put the good parts of our lives out there while omitting the not-so-attractive aspects. The concept applies to looking rich all the same. Remove the remnants of your old social media life that make you look like a commoner and start replacing it with calculated posts, tweets, and pictures that plant the perception of being rich. Over time, your followers will start to see you in a different light — even if it is carefully crafted.

9. Get Rich — and the Rest Will Come Naturally

While I stand by my tips in this post, this is, of course, mostly tongue-in-cheek. I don't recommend being anybody but your own true self, but if it's important to you to look rich on social media, who am I to judge? Instead of looking rich though, your time is much better spent trying to actually get rich, which can absolutely happen if you spend more time working and less time trying to be something you're not.

When you've eventually attained your idea of rich (it's different for everybody — and sometimes, it doesn't have to do with money), the rest will fall into place — including how your social media followers see you. Hopefully that's as a generous and genuine person — ironically, two coveted characteristics that will never cost you a dime.

Now for the hate mail; don't disappoint me. Sound off on what you think about this post, or add your own tips on how to look rich on social media in the comments below.

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How to Look Rich on Social Media

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Guest's picture

What a waste of an article. Not everyone is such a narcissist who feels the need to post every moment of their lives.

Guest's picture

It's another learning method about on How to Look Rich on Social Media. This is very helpful and useful for us. I learned and many great ideas here. Thanks for sharing the article. Great post!

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Bethany M

This article doesn't really fit with the Wisebread model.