Why Celebrity and Twitter sometimes shouldn’t mix

We all know that some ‘celebrities’ will do whatever is necessary for a prolonged bite of the fame cherry.  Fame, for some, is an addiction.

Whether they get it through a publicity stunt, a semi-nude photo shoot, or a scandalous relationship, doesn’t matter – as long as they get their next fix.  And there is something about a lot of these situations that comes across as just plain desperate…

Apparently the majority of us crave our 15 minutes of fame, and I certainly have no issue with that – but with the increasing popularity of social networking sites like Twitter, it makes it even easier for wannabe celebrities to keep being regurgitated unceremoniously into the public domain.

Last week Radio 4’s PM programme described the likes of Stephen Fry as the Dukes of their very own Twitter kingdoms and, if that’s the case, that makes Z-list celebrities such as Big Brother contestant Kenneth Tong, the bed bugs of the kingdom – completely unthought-of until they bite you.

I’m all for freedom of speech and ease of communication, but like oil and water Tong and Twitter should never have been allowed to mix.

In a stream of recent twitter updates Tong successfully caused online chaos by apparently promoting the benefits of anorexia.   Unsurprisingly after the flurry of hate-tweets he received, and the threat of legal action Tong retracted his Tweets, labelling the whole saga as a hoax and an experiment to test the power of the internet.

Idiot.

Personally, I don’t believe that for one minute.  I think this is an example of a hideously tasteless and inappropriate PR stunt.  Unfortunately for this fame-addict he chose to abuse one of the most powerful communication tools currently available in an attempt to get his high.

Getting yourself labelled the “Most Hated Man In Britain” and getting a few interviews with broadsheet journalists is certainly not worth toying with people’s lives.

 

 
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Social Media: A Pantomime – Oh yes it is!


Pantomimes are a crucial part of the festive season – for me, nothing rounds the year quite like sitting in a darkened room for 2 hours heckling at minor celebrities.

A few years ago Twitter hosted it’s first pantomime – but this blog isn’t about how well pantos translate on to the internet (Oh no it isn’t!). Instead I look at just some basic rules that Social Media campaigners can learn from the success of festive theatre.

Don’t forget the audience

Whether this is taking the mickey out of the town mayor or referencing popular television, the most successful pantomimes are the ones that draw on the audience’s shared experiences.  It is this sense of community that a social media campaign needs to embrace.  Don’t forget who you are targeting, make sure your campaign is going to reach the right people and is going to keep them engaged.

Ad-libbing

One of the real gems of social media is the ability to develop conversations – so even in a constructed campaign be prepared to go “off-script.”  Keep a cool head, remember who you’re targeting and what you’re trying to achieve and go with the flow.  As long as you keep in-character and on-brand you shouldn’t have too many problems.

“He’s behind you!”

Engage with your audience.  If you want them to respond to your message in a certain way whether this is a Re-Tweet on Twitter, or to pick up the phone and make a donation to charity, make sure they know what is expected of them.  A successful pantomime encourages interaction and the audience are queued as to when they are expected to get involved.

The Show Must Go On

The internet isn’t nine to five and so neither is your social media presence.  You should be prepared to deal with your audience outside of office hours.

Making it all match

Whatever your vision make sure you stay onbrand otherwise your audience will notice.  Whether you consider your social media to simply be the props and stage dressing for your marketing stategy, or whether it’s the main show, if it doesn’t fit with the rest of your image it’ll stick out like a sore thumb.

Give something back

Whether you run competitons for your followers and fans, or simply aim to give them extra knowledge and insight, you should always aim to give your audience something extra – and hopefully soon they’ll be jumping out of their seats to catch these tasty tit-bits.

Who’s Who

Going to the theatre is all about suspending your sense of reality, but as adults we know that Daisy the Cow probably doesn’t spend the other 11 months of the year grazing on buttercups.  We like to know just that bit more about what goes on behind the veil of theatre, and so we buy a programme to find out more about the people we’re really watching.  With social media it’s the same – you should always ensure that you’re transparent, – never pretend to be someone or something you’re not.

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