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Why Celebrities Need Social Media
Why Celebrities Need Social Media
And there lies the essence of why the effective and strategic use of social media is absolutely essential to every single person in the public eye. If you want to be a celebrity via traditional methods, then you have to learn to court social media and embrace new digital methods. Because the YouTube and Instagram stars of today are the film stars of tomorrow. Make no mistake, those kids are coming for your jobs, digital and traditional will merge and if you aren’t a social media superstar then post-Millennials won’t know who you are. Today’s Socially Famous stars attract huge audiences online and are loved by millions who hang on their every tweet. Brands equally love them mainly because they can attract more eyeballs than traditional advertising methods. More eyeballs mean more brand awareness and ultimately more sales, more money.
I’m not just saying this to scare you into hiring me (that bit comes later) but the cold hard facts are that at the rate the digital world is moving within the next 5 years if you aren’t ‘Socially Famous’ then you are going to struggle to get hired. You need a profile. You need to be active and you need to be engaging your fans like you are preparing your troops for battle. When they get your call to action they will turn up on mass and support you.
Cold Hard Social Media Facts
- In the UK 63% of all adults use social media on a regular basis with two-thirds using it daily
- 91% of all 16-24-year-olds and 89% of 25-34-year-olds use social media
- 89% of UK households have internet access compared to just 57% in 2006 with 82% of UK adults using the internet daily
- In Sept 2016 Facebook confirmed it currently had 1.79 billion monthly active users of which 1.18 billion are active daily
- Facebook is just 12 years old
Do you see now why this whole social media thing is kind of a big deal?
Source: Office For National Statistics
You’re Going To Have To Work To Be Socially Famous
Many times when I sit down with agents to discuss social media, it’s either because the celebrity doesn’t want to do or hasn’t time to do it themselves and the agent hasn’t got a clue how to do it and they just want to hand me the reigns. Or it’s because a sponsor or casting director has told them they need to promote what they are working on but they don’t understand why or sometimes even how. They just go through the motions of what they are told and that’s it. It all becomes a short-term hit to bridge the gap rather than what it should be; a long-term plan to aid you and all your employers (the past, present and future).
And that my darling is why you need a plan with some added time and effort. Yes, there are people like me, well if you’re reading this then there’s actually only me (honestly, shameless plug) that can help you with it all. But you are still going to have to put in some work to get socially devoted to your audience.
Increase Your (Social Media) Audience
It is no secret anymore that many casting directors hire via social media. Obviously, they don’t directly audition, but they do look people up, view their social media and make various judgments. There have been actors that have come out and openly said they can’t even get auditions for some parts without having at least a million followers on Twitter (sometimes more given a million is quite low now the higher you go up the pecking order). The more (real) followers you have (don’t go buying fake ones as that can all be checked), the more engaged your audience is, the more likes, retweets, comments, shares, views you get the better.
In marketing terms, it’s less work for the production company if you come ready packaged as a fully functioning marketing machine. Gone are the days when you could just show up, film and go home. The folks that hire you now expect you to bring an audience and that audience to be telling their audience. It’s the snowball effect. But you need to work on building that audience. This isn’t Field Of Dreams and if you build the Twitter page they will come. Well, yes they might but they might not stick around to see what you’ve got to offer. In the competition for digital eyeballs, it’s no good to just show up. You’ve got to step it up and engage.
Let’s Get Engaged
Obviously not engaged to each other. That would be weird. And I have professional standards! Ok, I’ve digressed.
If you have a million followers and you are regularly chatting away to them, sharing a bit of your life and what you are doing with them, acknowledging them, they become far more invested in you than if you randomly tweet something once a week and never reply to anyone. The more invested in you followers are the more likely they are to follow your instructions when you issue a call to action. In marketing terms, that’s basically when you say buy my book or watch my film or vote for me in this tv programme.
All those people who have spent months, years even liking and sharing everything you’ve ever posted and hung on your every word. Literally. You’ve on occasion replied to them to thank them for their kind words or answered their question; they will be the ones first in line to buy/watch/vote for you. The more of these types of followers you have, the tastier new hire you look when the PR’s and casting directors come checking you out.
Authentically Does It
In a digital world that demands authenticity and transparency from its influencers, regular engagement with your followers is by far the best way to demonstrate that you are actually a nice, authentic person. Just a normal person. Like them. Because you are. You could even be their friend as you are relatable to your followers. In business marketing on social media, we call it the know, like and trust factor. When you put yourself out there on social media people get to know you. Being authentic and relatable makes them like you. When you engage they come to trust you. Combine all those factors and when you ask them to buy or buy into what you are working on, they are more than happy to show you that support. But you’ve got to give a little bit of yourself first. That’s how it works. Jab, jab, jab, right hook.
Business marketers talk a lot about how people buy from people. People don’t engage with businesses or brands, they engage with people. As a public figure, you become a brand. Brand you. Which means that in some ways you undertake some of the same marketing practices as businesses do. Which means engaging with your potential buyers. Or fans in this case as they will ultimately be buying into whatever it is you ‘sell’.
Don’t Be That Girl
I had a conversation a few weeks back with a celebrity that had a decent enough following but I asked them why they never replied to their fans. They posted and ran. They said they felt like they were already giving a lot to their fans by posting regular selfies. I pointed out that every post was followed by a lot of fans really nice comments interjected with remarks that they never replied or answered questions. They failed to see that they were just collecting followers instead of building an engaged audience.
A few weeks later and this person was working on something which required public support. They didn’t get the support. Actually, when I looked at the comments on their Instagram feed it was all a bit average with no strong call to actions or rallying of the troops. Their audience didn’t feel part of the process so didn’t buy into it. Or in this case vote for them. What could have presented itself as quite a good career marketing opportunity all just turned a bit damp squid in the end.
Be Clear About Who You Are
Your social media is a great place to let your fans know who you really are. What your values are. Who you admire or inspires you. Are you a vegan that supports animal welfare? Or a passionate campaigner of climate change? A lifelong Preston North End fan (I can’t be the only one) or a cyclist eager to promote road safety? What you do away from the day job makes you the person you are. The real you. So share your passions with your audience. People often only see the public face of celebrities so your social media is a great place to show off who you really are.
On the flipside, it’s also a way to very quickly communicate a message or clarify something to your audience. The false story in the press? Within minutes you can have rectified that in your own words (obviously in association with your management team). Want to make an exclusive announcement? You’ve no longer a need to do it via a press release. You can say exactly what you want or what is required leaving no room for misinterpretation or misrepresentation. It really is all about you.
It’s Not What You Know
We all know that age old saying about it being all about who you know. This is all too true in the celebrity world and taking everything into account that I’ve already told you, you also need to be a networking ninja. Is there are writer or director you would love to work with? Tweet them! Or at least start paying attention to them, socially that is. Not in a stalker-like way.
You can pretty much find out an awful lot about a person by looking at their social media. Just like I said you should be posting about what you like and what makes you tick, the chances are the person you’re showing an interest in is doing exactly the same thing. You can get to know them, virtually. Show some interest in them and they will most likely show an interest back. You may even have stuff in common. That’s how we are as humans so don’t think online we are any different. It’s just a lot easier online to strike up a conversation with someone.
I have lost count of the number of people I have met through social media. When I get to meet them in real life it’s like I’ve known them forever and I’m just meeting up with an old friend. I’ve landed some great clients by through getting to know them via social media. Take my lead. If I can land celebrity clients from tweeting them and showing an interest then I’m pretty sure you can start landing work from showing an interest in the director. Be social!
Just Get Social
I know it can be tough to stay on top of every single social media update and trend. Luckily that is where we can help you out. But it is key to your future endeavours that you start to incorporate social media into your brand presence and overall PR. With a little bit of guidance and a solid strategy plan if you’ve got your eye on a prize, you can continue to remain in the public eye but also in control of it. And that is vital to you. With traditional media, celebrities have at times had very little control of what is put out there about them, despite a PR’s best efforts. With social media, you and your team can control everything.
Yes, I won’t try and gloss over the downsides of being active on social media. Yes, there are trolls. And yes, some people say bad stuff. And some celebrities do prefer to keep a more low-key public profile. But again, all that stuff can be managed. You control what is put out. You can have someone (like me) take care of the bad stuff and do the blocking and reporting for you.
Don’t make social media the enemy because it isn’t going away and don’t leave it until you are being beaten to jobs by the new wave of online stars before you decide to start tweeting like a pro. It might just be too late by then.
Now you realise just how important social media is to you why not give us a call and let us help you out. We can put a plan in place and help you execute it. We can even help you out with your selfies.
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