Kerry Washington spills her secrets to social media success at SXSW

Inside The South By Southwest (SXSW) Interactive Festival
Inside The South By Southwest (SXSW) Interactive Festival

Credit: Getty

Is there anything Kerry Washington can't do?

The actress, mom and fashion icon has also become known as somewhat of a social media goddess in recent years. With 3.8 million Twitter followers, 4 million likes on her Facebook page and 2.4 million followers on Instagram, Washington knows a thing or two about social media.

Calling it a "double edged sword," the actress spilled the secrets to her social media strategy during a conversation with InStyle's Ariel Foxman at SXSW. During the session, the actress opened up about connecting with fans, why she avoids posting about her personal life and how social media helped her career.

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2016 Vanity Fair Oscar Party Hosted By Graydon Carter - Arrivals
2016 Vanity Fair Oscar Party Hosted By Graydon Carter - Arrivals

On being herself through social media:

"The key to everything for me in order to make my social media experience feel rewarding is authenticity. I've committed to making sure that my engagement is a reflection of what I'm thinking and doing as much as possible."

2015 Film Independent Spirit Awards - Arrivals
2015 Film Independent Spirit Awards - Arrivals

On reading comments on social media:

"I don't read comments on other platforms. Not only comments about myself...if someone is commenting on a picture of Jennifer Lopez, I won't read those either. People are just so mean. Quite frankly sometimes I decide whether to read comments based on how close I am to a therapy appointment. Like, 'Can I handle it today?' If you don't like something I say or do, your reaction is really you sharing who you are with me. I ask myself, 'How able am I to give people space to be who they are without letting it affect me?'"

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"Some days, I'm really vulnerable -- 'I'm not going to read comments today.' Other days I'm feeling a little more like I can wrap my head around it, and I engage because the truth about comments that I've learned is that comments are not about me. When somebody comments on something on social media, they are revealing something to me about themselves. If you don't like something that I say or do, that's really you sharing with me who you are, and if you are nasty about it, that's really you sharing with me who you are."

Met Gala 2015 Departures From The Mark Hotel - NYC
Met Gala 2015 Departures From The Mark Hotel - NYC

On separating her personal and social media life:

"For a lot of celebrities, social media has been great in terms of their relationship with the tabloids because if something incorrect is written, they can just say, 'that's not true.' But because I don't post about my personal life, I won't engage with that at all. I didn't tell you when I was getting married, so if there are rumors about my marriage, I'm not going to refute them because I don't talk about my personal life."

"It's like I have these itchy fingers where I want to just show [photos of] my daughter [on social media] because she's so cute and instead I send it to my shrink or send it to my mother. I'm like, 'Look at this picture! Look how cute, look at this picture!' Get it out of my phone into the world but not on social. So I get the desire to do that, but I want her to make her own decisions in her time."

WWD And Variety Inaugural Stylemakers' Event
WWD And Variety Inaugural Stylemakers' Event

On the power of social media:

"Social media has the power to give a voice to the previously voiceless. There are more voices at the table than ever before, and those voices have a place to be heard."

See more photos from SXSW Festival below:

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