Twitter and Facebook have proven to be yet another way for celebrities to get in touch with their fans but they can also prove to be a double edged sword. While publicists might take advantage of a Tweet to promote a new album or late night talk show appearance, they’ll soon find themselves in damage control when their client Tweets a controversial remark about foreign policy or the inconsistencies between nature and nurture with superheroes that are born with their power. Almost every celebrity in this day and age has a Twitter account with millions of followers and even the President of the United States Barack Obama gives his 140 character thoughts on the day. Thus is the new form of celebrity interaction, you could bet even the Duke John Wayne would be Tweeting if he were around today.
Why Do Celebrities Use Social Networking Sites
Simply put, Facebook and Twitter is the easiest and quickest way to market to millions of fans and tap into their millions of dollars. Whether a celebrity is reminding their followers to go see their last box office bomb, pick up their already leaked CD, or text vote for them in that night’s a reality show castoff, a Tweet or Facebook message is free and instant advertising. Not only that, celebrities have a medium to have their voice heard on the important current events, and there is nothing famous people like more than hearing (or seeing) their own voice.
Tweeting Gone Wrong
Unfortunately where a publicist can somewhat dictate or at least audit a radio interview with prescreened questions, many celebrities have no filter when it comes to their Tweets. Many celebrities have been known to get into online spats with fans and other celebrities and Courtney Love was even sued over her Tweeting. While celebrities can Tweet anything they want after any amount of liquid encouragement, controversial Tweets are often followed by a public apology, charges of a hacked account or the deleting of the account.
At 80 years old, I think need a guide dog. My vision is fine, I just need someone to blame my farts on.
— Joan Rivers (@Joan_Rivers) June 13, 2013
Everyday Joe’s like us can follow any Twitter celebrity we want, unless they choose privacy settings where they must approve your request. Many times the amount of followers a celebrity has is an ego booster and they’ll allow anybody to follow them. What differs though is that most celebrities won’t follow you back so it’s hard to have direct interaction. The only way you can talk to a celebrity directly on Twitter is through a direct message and you can only direct message those who follow you. Even if a celebrity does follow you back, it doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll entertain your thoughts of eloping or listen to your band’s cover song as they may have millions of direct messages a day. That being said, Twitter users can use the mention feature to Tweet to a celebrity that hasn’t followed them in the hopes of catching the attention of their favorite stars.
Is It Really The Celebrity?
New celebrity Twitter users will have their account verified by Twitter so that you know it truly is the star and not an imposter. A verified Twitter account is labeled by a blue checkmark next to the celebrity’s name. Still, just because an account is verified doesn’t mean you’re actually hearing thoughts directly from the celeb. Many times a publicist or PR team will handle the Twitter account of a celebrity, either to protect them from their own thoughts or because the star is just too busy to be bothered by Twitter. Britney Spears’ account is openly handled by her public relations staff and many other famous people use the same method. You’ll see that there are some Tweets sent out by celebrities that no PR team would ever approve, therefore confirming that it’s coming directly from the singer, actor, politician, etc.
Following your favorite celebrities on Twitter is a great way to stay up to date on their latest projects and thoughts. Short of having their cell phone number, this also proves to be one of the best ways of contacting your favorite stars. If you are entertaining thoughts of contacting your heroes, make sure to do so in the least creepy way as possible. Remember that even though Twitter can open up avenues for a potential duet between you and Taylor Swift…it can also lead you to federal stalking charges.