Five years ago, Malcolm McCormick wasn't much more than your average high school student with a dream.  However, the now 20-year-old hip hop sensation known as Mac Miller would use social media to turn his dream into a reality, removing him about as far away from average as possible.   In just a few months, the Pittsburgh native will share the stage at Bonnaroo with some of music's biggest names, including Radiohead, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Phish, and more.  But more interesting than his new found stardom is how he got there.

Currently, 2,189,125 people like Mac Miller's Facebook page.  1,983,063 people follow him on Twitter.  51,490,073 people have viewed the YouTube video for his hit single Donald Trump.  For anyone who has ever dabbled in social media, you know these numbers aren't easy to come by.  So what did this young emcee do to make him so popular?

Simply put, he knew how to use social media.  He gave people something they wanted to see, something they wanted to share. Whether you're trying to sell music or car tires, you have to give your audience something they want to share.  You have to give them something to come back for.  This is where Mac Miller started.  He provided content that people enjoyed and they shared it with their friends.  Furthermore, though, he actively responded to comments and tweets on his social media pages.  So, in addition to supplying rich content, he made his followers feel important.  He made them feel as if they were a part of something.

The key to social media is treating it how it's intended to be used.  You have to actually be social.  You can't simply set up a page and casually put up a few posts and tweets.  You have to attract people and engage.

For most of us, we use social media to keep up with friends and share information that we find interesting.  For others like Mac Miller, social media is the ultimate marketing platform.  In what other way can you make a more genuine connection with your costumers--in his case his fans? Perhaps we can all take a page out of Mac Miller's marketing book.