Social Media and Celebrities: What Can We Learn?

We often talk about the ways in which businesses use social media to market their products. However, it might be just as interesting to look at the ways that celebrities use social media to market themselves. I decided to examine some of the more prominent cases and see what lessons can be taken away from them.

Lady Gaga

She is one of the biggest social media success stories. From the very beginning, Gaga fearlessly embraced social media to propel her career forward. Even as a relative unknown, she did interviews with many popular music bloggers, which helped promote her professionally and establish a loyal fan base. 

As her career exploded, Gaga never lost touch with her fans, communicating with them over MySpace, Facebook, and Twitter. And, unlike many celebrities, she actually manages her Twitter account herself. According to the ThinkTank Digital team, who have worked with Gaga for several years to help manage her presence online, this authenticity is what makes the biggest difference.

Now, even at the beginning of her career, Lady Gaga already has over a billion views on YouTube, over 32 million likes on Facebook, and almost 10 million followers on Twitter.

Justin Bieber

Love him or hate him, Justin Bieber has gained incredible success by using social media to market his talent. Bieber’s career began on YouTube, where he reached millions of views and gained a loyal following even before he released his first album. He then signed up for Twitter in order to better communicate with his fans.

Bieber’s success is largely due to the connection he has with his fan base. His YouTube presence created a sense of ownership for his fans and made him feel accessible. Meanwhile, the constant communication via Twitter always kept the fan base engaged.

Bieber is now rivaling Gaga as one of the most successful artists on YouTube.

Charlie Sheen

Yes, Charlie Sheen. Say what you want about the guy, but his use of social media has definitely gotten him a lot of attention, good or bad.

When Sheen hit Twitter this March, he set a record for reaching 1 million followers in the shortest period of time (just one day!). The exposure, both on Twitter and his YouTube channel, was great publicity for the “Torpedo of Truth” tour launched in April. Sheen is still performing to packed stadiums and, no doubt, making quite a bit of money. He is also looking for an intern to manage his social media presence. 

What can we learn from celebrities?

Listen and respond. Much like in business, the artists’ success relies largely on the relationship they have with their clients – their fans. It is, therefore, important to not only talk about themselves, but also to listen to what their fans have to say and respond. Celebrities gain a much more loyal following when they show that they care about their fan base. 

Similarly, it is not enough for companies to just be present on social media platforms. They need to engage with their clients by listening and responding to comments and questions. 

Be authentic. Authenticity is an important aspect of a star’s presence online. All of the celebrities mentioned above manage their own Twitter accounts. By showing that they care enough about their fans to take time out of their day to communicate with them, these artists once again reinforce the relationship with their fan base. 

Businesses, on the other hand, can stay authentic by keeping true to the voice of their brand. Whatever values a company represents, they need to be evident in their communication via social media.



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