Social media has become a huge part of our everyday lives these past few years, especially with celebrities. For pop stars like Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber, Twitter and Facebook are great ways to interact with fans and update them with their latest news, concert tour dates, and general thoughts. But it can also be used as a very effective marketing tool for self-promotion and charity!
How celebrities use social media for self-promotion:
Most celebrities rapidly gain followers and fans on Facebook and Twitter because their fans want to stay updated on their lives, which means those celebs have plenty of opportunities to market to a captive audience. Sometimes this is done so well that fans don’t even realize it’s part of an advertising campaign! For example, as part of Katy Perry’s 2011 California Dreams tour, fans’ tweets were displayed over the Jumbo-tron during her live concert performance to get the crowd interacting with the show. This is a great way for her to get feedback on the show and gain followers she might not have had before, but it’s also ideal for strengthening fan loyalty!
Another social media favorite (and pop star), Rihanna, used her Facebook page to engage fans in her 2011 album release; she leaked behind-the-scenes footage, song lyrics, and other Facebook-only fan information. During the release, she was performing on tour and was unable to promote the album traditionally (doing radio and TV appearances). Both of these strategies engaged fans to get them tons of publicity, followers, and album sales.
How celebrities use social media to promote a cause or charity:
On the same note, celebrities also use their social media accounts to spread the word about charities and causes they support. For example, in 2011, celebrities like Ellen Degeneres, Britney Spears, and Kim Kardashian tweeted to spread the word for the Berry family (this was the story of a tragic car accident involving a family of five — both parents were killed and two of the children became paralyzed). The celebrities’ tweets reached millions of fans who could re-tweet a picture of themselves making a heart with their hands and/or donate money to help support the kids.
Also, in December 2010, celebrities participated in a “digital death” until they raised one million dollars for the Keep a Child Alive Foundation. The celebs (Lady Gaga, Justin Timberlake, Usher, and Alicia Keys) pledged to not use Facebook or Twitter until they reached their goal. After the first six days, the celebrities raised more than $500,000 for the foundation! A few days later they made their million-dollar goal and got back to tweeting their millions of fans, thanking them for their donations and support.
It pays to have a balanced social media plan! Self-promotion and generosity should work together if you’re going to maintain a successful social presence.
How you can mimic celebrity success on social media:
- Provide exclusive value to your fans/followers. Give your fans a reason to pay attention to you and they will! Whether you offer exclusive content on social media or you rock at answering customer requests at blazing speeds, you’ve got to offer something that other people don’t (or can’t).
- Do good with the influence you have. Not everyone can be powerful influencer like the celebrities I’ve mentioned in this post, but there’s no reason why we can’t all draw loyal followings (no matter the size). Rally your followers by uniting them under a common cause!
- Involve and reward your biggest supporters. The most successful celebs regularly interact with fans and reward them with something special, like a free download, a presale code, or better yet — a mention on Facebook or Twitter. To copy this technique, recognize your most loyal supporters and make them a part of your campaign. They’ll probably be thrilled and spread the news via word of mouth, which could net you some new followers.
Social media is mostly thought of as a tool for personal gain, but it’s far from a waste of time — especially when you can help others in a time of need. Celebrities reach out to their fans for support, notify them of new projects, and leak new information to get them involved. Having millions of fans certainly speeds up the process of spreading news about a cause or a product, but anyone can use these techniques!
Have you ever donated to a charity because a celeb you like tweeted about it? Or, do you check Facebook for new celebrity updates? Let us know in the comments below!