They say social media is for narcissists, the lifeblood of Generation Me. So who better to embrace a digital presence than celebrities? And like haircuts, skirt lengths and catchphrases, the public has been heavily influenced by the online behaviour of their favourite star – when Oprah joined Twitter it was claimed approx 1.2 million users followed.
Much like blockbuster movies there have been huge successes and spectacular bombs. Here are three examples of fame and social media.
The tweet that launched a thousand voices of criticism
Hugh Jackman’s Twitter account was created the same week as his Wolverine movie launched. Not long after the popular Aussie actor came under fire for tweeting about lunch on the harbor across from the Opera Center. Jackman had to admit he was not behind the tweet, claiming to have phoned it in to an American assistant. This contradicted his publicist’s claim that the American spell checker on his Blackberry is to blame. Strike 3 wolf-boy! (NB: the first strike was for Someone Like You)
What’s the point? Hugh Jackman could have learned a lesson from Britney Spears (hopefully the last time anyone will write that sentence). The official Britney Spears account was created in October 2008, comparatively early in Twitter popularity and the bio clarifies who is behind the tweets: We’ve got updates from her team, her website and yes, even Britney herself!
The Streisand Effect
An example that infiltrated popular lexicon, the Streisand Effect refers to Barbara’s attempts to censor a photographer who wanted to publish an aerial photo of her property. The ensuing publicity led to over 420,000 views of the otherwise unknown photograph in the next month.
What’s the point? An attempt to remove negative or unwanted content will only draw more attention (are you paying attention Mr Conroy?). Address the issue appropriately and you have the opportunity to turn naysayers into advocates instead of earning scorn for sweeping something under the carpet.
Online, offline and, uh, inline?
Professional skateboarder Tony Hawk executed a Twitter Treasure Hunt in early 2009, hiding skateboards in different cities across the globe and tweeting their location. It was so successful that he repeated the stunt in October with more prizes and more hype.
What’s the point? Just because you’re relying on a digital medium, don’t miss opportunities to take your relationship with prospects and customers offline. Of course all strategies achieve greater success when integrated across multiple channels and social media is no different.
This article was written for Think 02, Daemon Group’s bi-annual publication. For a copy please email enquiries (at) daemongroup (dot) com or leave a comment below.