Ellen De Generes has topped the list for the most followers on Instagram, with a whopping 3.04 million followers worldwide. Similarly, celebrities on Twitter like Justin Bieber, Lady Gaga and Katy Perry boast tens of millions of followers. Not only are these celebs connecting with fans, sharing news and entertaining the masses, they are developing their personal brands, and nurturing a loyal fan base to support them for the years ahead.
The most valuable asset you have, as someone with fame, influence or popularity, is yourself and your fans. Your celebrity status is your brand, you mould it around what type of work you do, your hobbies, charity or community work, as well as your attitude, values, and behaviour. As you want to maintain a reputable brand, one people can trust, relate to and consume for years to come, you need to start building a strong brand now. What’s the quickest and cheapest way to build your brand? Social Media.
Why is social media essential to celebs, influences and personalities?
Celebrities and personalities big and small should be embracing social media to grow a loyal fan base of people who will be your online word of mouth referral system when they need them most. Say you are a celebrity weather presenter, like Channel 9’s Steve Jacobs. Right now your job is great and you enjoy company-supplied publicity, but what happens when you want to move on and get another gig? Maybe you want to run your own business or write a book – what better way to spread the word about your new venture than by contacting your loyal online fan base? What happens if you lose your job? The person with a large social media following and well-established personal brand is going to be much more valuable to potential employers. If you can bring a strong following with you to your next job, your employer will be very happy, and you will benefit in the long run.
Creating a community of loyal fans will allow you to leverage your social currency, where your fans can have exclusive access to content and news. Social currency is the driver of advocacy and social sharing, as fans feel like they have access to something that others don’t, so they want to share what they know.
Endless supply of content, endless opportunities.
Celebrities and personalities have a bevy of potential content which is interesting to their fans, and could attract new fans who were previously unaware of your skills or charity work, for example. Given that the work you do is interesting to large groups of people, you could show off your interests, behind the scenes footage, host giveaways and run competitions. These types of content allow you to market your personality and create a personal connection with fans so that they feel they know you, can relate to you and support what you do. Social media is all about engaging in conversation and adding a human element to everything you do (this is what some brands do very well, and what some are yet to understand).
When a celebrity posts about their new album coming out or a new perfume release, they are still marketing their products, as any business would. The benefit for individuals is that they are a) not seen as a business in the way that, for example, Coca Cola is; and b) often have a more human element to their products that people can relate to more quickly and easily.
Frequent social media activity, such as live tweeting during events or shows is one way celebrities can connect with fans and keep their work top of mind. Keeping a regular schedule of updates and interaction will also ensure you maintain your relevance to your fans as your industry and or job changes. By keeping fans up to date with various aspects of your life and work, you will carry those fans from job to job.
Keep calm and call your consultant
A big selling point of social media for personalities and celebrities would have to be the capacity for reputation management. Whether responding to a negative situation or publicity, or simply maintaining everyday activities, you have the ability to quickly address any issues that arise. It allows you to be in control of your response, and a heartfelt “I’m sorry” is much better than total silence in negative situations.
Ultimately, a social media manager would be beneficial in monitoring social media activity and coaching you in getting the most out of each platform and opportunity. A manager would also be able to prevent any heat of the moment angry tweets you might exchange with a disgruntled fan.
At the end of the day, you as a celebrity or personality are a brand and need marketing. Social media provides an easy to use promotional platform for a variety of content. If part of your success is due to your loyal fans, what better way to maintain and build an active following than with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and more?
Stay tuned for my next post on what an ex-Neighbours actor can teach you about being a social media pro.