How social media helped launch Abigail Ratchford's modeling career

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Having accumulated over 6 million followers on Instagram alone, Abigail Ratchford is a social media force to be reckoned with.

The model got her start on social media with Facebook, but eventually branched out to Twitter, Instagram, and more. Now, Ratchford uses the accounts as kind of a 'portfolio' of images and work she's done, while also maintaining a relationship with her fans.

But her favorite platform might surprise you -- Twitter. "Twitter really gives me a chance to talk one-on-one to a lot of people," she said. "It's really personal, so that's probably my favorite."

We had the chance to sit down and chat with Ratchford about everything from her modeling career to social media and more, check out part two of the interview below!

#YouShouldKnow is a feature that showcases rising talents. To see more past interviews, including more features on Abigail Ratchford, click here.

You have millions and millions of fans on Instagram -- how did you first get your start on the platform?

I was one of the last people on my group of friends to really get Instagram. My Facebook fan page is kind of what my initial platform was for sharing photos and connecting with fans. When I joined Instagram I was still living in Pennsylvania, and I was thinking about people I wanted to be like, like Kate Upton, and I was thinking about how she really became well-known. She had some viral videos, and so I thought I need viral videos and content that will just be re-shared so I can reach a bunch of people. I needed to be on nationwide platforms, so I didn't want to waste time, I wanted to do everything at once. So, I just signed up and went with it.

What is your favorite social media platform right now and what do you like most about it?

I like Twitter a lot because I can engage the most on there. Instagram is definitely what I need, it's great for models and anyone who relies on sharing images -- that's definitely great. But on Instagram, I feel like I can't engage with my following as much. Twitter really gives me a chance to talk one-on-one to a lot of people. It's really personal, so that's probably my favorite.

How has social media helped you build your brand and your career?

It's helped tremendously. I probably wouldn't have anything going right now if it wasn't for all of these social media platforms. I think that it's kind of the way the world is moving right now. Years ago, celebrities would maybe have their official website where people could check in on them, and use it as their portfolio. But now, I feel like Instagram has taken the place of that. The Kardashians are probably posting more on their Instagram than they are on their official websites. It's definitely my portfolio that I can put out there for the world.

Can you talk about your support for the NOH8 campaign and how you've been involved?

Years ago, I remember seeing those images from celebrities who posted NOH8, and I loved the message behind it, and I loved the way the photographs looked. I have a lot of friends in hair and makeup who identify as LGBT, and one of my best friends has been in a relationship with his partner for like ten years. Equal rights is important to me. I knew that when I moved to LA one of the first things I wanted to do was take a stand and let everybody know that is one of the things that's really important to me.

What advice would you give to aspiring models and social media users who want to become successful?

There's so many girls and people in general who are trying to become Insta-famous, so I think to make yourself stand out, you have to have something more. It's not enough to just be pretty, but viral videos with really good videographers can help. I recommend doing fun and quirky videos and blogging. When you start making money, definitely hire a good PR team to guide you and put you in the right direction, those things definitely help out in LA. It's important to invest in yourself.

Where do you see your career going in the future? What do you hope to do moving forward?

I would love to get more involved with beauty. I'm such a glamour girl, I love makeup and hair and skin treatments. I feel like there's a big female audience I have that I want to get in touch with by sharing my hair tips and diet advice. I also definitely hope to launch my own line of hair extensions or skin products down the line.

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