“Celebrities really benefit from showing their true selves on social media, but they need to be aware of the risks, and be prepared to deal with consequences.” – Todd Beck, President, Beck Media and Marketing
This quote gets right to the point of this article, posted on http://www.hollywoodreporter.com this past Friday. After the news broke regarding the firing of Penn State coach Joe Paterno last week, Ashton Kutcher tweeted “a misguided protest” that was soon bombarded with upset responses from fans. Then Kutcher deleted the tweet, apologized, and then wrote that he would be holding off on tweeting for a while.
Original Tweet: How do you fire Jo Pa? #insult #noclass as a hawkeye fan I find it in poor taste.”
Follow up Tweet: Heard Joe was fired, fully recant previous tweet! Didn’t have full story. #admitwhenYoumakemistakes.
Kutcher, who has 8 million followers, also announced he would be relinquishing control of his personal Twitter account to his reps.
This brings up an important point regarding celebs and social media. Social media, especially Twitter, allows direct interaction between celebs, who used to be considered untouchable and unavailable, and their fans. Celebs benefit from social media because they can present their true personality and offer engaging, personalized content to their fans. What some celebs might not realize, however, is that like any brand attempting to communicate with consumers via social media platforms, there are tremendous risks involved.
Smart brands embarking in the social media space loop in their PR, legal and crisis communication teams, which (typically) understand the ramifications of risky actions as well as the fact that there are ever-changing rules to the social media game.
A few thoughts:
– What do you think about The Hollywood Reporter commenting on Kutcher saying Twitter “used to be about personal communication, but now it’s a publishing platform”? Do you agree?
– Also noted in the article, do you think that when it comes to celebs, “social feeds populated by management [or] media teams are transparent and often abandoned, rendering them much less effective”?
– If you were a celeb, would you embark on social media communication solo or employ a professional team to help minimize your risks?
– Do you interact with any celebs on Twitter? If so, do you believe their tweets are genuine or fabricated by a team? Either way, how does this affect your impression of that particular celeb?