In the past, the traditional approach celebrities took to build an image with the public was to surround themselves with a team of publicists and splash their message in all the trade papers, newspapers, magazines, and television spots they could find. And, while celebs largely still take this approach, it is no longer the only way to skin the proverbial cat. Now, before you dash off to grab the family feline, hoist it by its hind legs, and brandish your blade in an attempt to garner celebrity notoriety and attend next year’s red carpet event, take a minute to check out three celebrities that know exactly how to wield their social swords:
Shakira has dazzled audiences for decades, and shows no signs of slowing down any time soon. What has she done to maintain her celebrity status and keep fans biting at the bit? Well, for starters, she engages her fans through Facebook and Twitter. Sounds simple, right? Wrong. Shakira has not only opened space for her fans to communicate and interact, but has also created a YouTube channel wherein she builds more intimate relationships with her fans through video uploads and personal thank you messages. These tactics alone would be a great way to build and maintain a fan base, but, let’s face it, Shakira doesn’t stop there. She also engages multicultural audiences and transcends cultural boundaries by posting to her Facebook page in both Spanish and English.
“Shakira sends message to Facebook fans”
video courtesy of Youtube.com
Selena Gomez, a singer and actress, also knows how to slice-and-dice celebrity status with a social sword. Just last year, Gomez surpassed the number of Facebook friends held by our beloved president, Barack Obama. If that’s not an accomplishment, I don’t know what is. This little milestone is no doubt the result of Gomez’s constant video blog updates and her finesse in the Twitter-verse. By constantly keeping her fans in the loop and appealing to her target demographic, Gomez is definitely in control of her star meter.
Last on the list is a celebrity whose undoubtedly “Livin’ la Vida Social.” If we’re keeping with the sword-wielding metaphor, actor/singer Ricky Martin is armed with an arsenal of blades. He uses a Facebook page, a Twitter account, a YouTube channel, and a personal website to keep fans, as they say, in-the-know. So what does he do that makes him so special? He doesn’t peddle his wares. Sounds a little counter-productive, right? Well, actually, Ricky Martin seems to have found the keys to the kingdom with this approach. Not only do his fans appreciate the intimate connection he’s built with them, but they are actually more engaged in his posts, tweets, and videos because he’s not beating them over the head with sales strategies. Martin has captured the essence of social networking: do not inundate audiences with your latest release, but instead connect with them on a personal level. And, because of this intelligent approach, Martin is reaping endless rewards.
So, with this new social approach to image building, are celebrities finished using big agency marketing, promotion, and PR strategies? Probably not quite yet. All this means is that with the advent of Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, and the social shift to at-a-glance info consumption, it’s safe to say that celebrities have got a few new ways to find and engage their audiences.
And, now that you’re all jazzed and amped about ways to engage and connect with the masses, go ahead and employ some of these strategies to boost your own star meter. But, just in case things don’t work out and you come up short, remember the key ingredient to fame and fortune is talent…most of the time.