Celebrity Twitter Etiquette/Power

Lucinda Creighton

@LCreighton “well done for standing by your principles – we need more of that and not less in govt. You will be back” 

I don’t know Lucinda Creighton, I don’t have full knowledge of her arguments but I do admire that she stood by her principles on an important, high profile piece of legislation. She didn’t fall in with her political party on a crucial vote and as a result she had to resign.

I sent the above tweet (you can do this once you have her twitter ID, which is easily found by doing a simple search on twitter) just to acknowledge the stand she took – I gave her a public compliment.

A tweet goes a long way ….. or in some cases just an acknowledgement goes an even longer way.

With twitter, when it comes to individual users I guess there are two broadly different types of users:

  • Celebrities and personalties (I would include some politicians in this category) who naturally attract a larger following than they would follow themselves
  • You and me!

You and me are the mere mortals who pick away, follow people and organisations we are interested in and if we want to build a following we need to publish interesting content, we need to be polite, engage in twitter conversations and generally apply a degree of etiquette with our activity.

This might include acknowledging people who have followed you, following people back, thanking people for positive posts and replying to people who have mentioned you in a post.

As part of your “nice guy/gal” routine you might retweet worthy posts and when someone retweets something for you then you thank them.

The actions here tend to be quite reciprocal – if you are good to someone then you tend to get the favour returned (there are always exceptions!)

Celebrity Factor

Stephen FryWhen there is some “celebrity” factor with a twitter user these normal rules do not apply.

This kicks in when this person is popular because of the role they hold (singer, actor, sportsperson, media person or even a politician) – more people will naturally follow them by nature of their “celebrity” factor and as a result popularity (size of following) does not depend on them behaving in the reciprocal way that applies to the rest of us.

A celebrity (using our broad definition) can effectively build a large follower base on twitter without following, interacting or acknowledging anyone.

However there are clever celebrities online (I’m suspecting this reflects their personality) who really get it.

They understand the huge power that they have at their disposal and they know how to utilise it – the good ones will do this naturally with no agenda and as a result they will excel and achieve something most of  the other “celebrities” will waste and over the long run actually do themselves possible reputational damage.

If a celebrity has a huge number of followers who are posting incessantly it is very difficult for them to engage but with smaller numbers of followers they can accelerate their popularity and like-ability by doing a few simple things:

  • Reply to positive posts – “thank you for the kind words” or even “thank you for all the kind words of support I received tonight” . The acknowledgment can be done directly to the individual (this is the best) or a general one – “Guess who came back to me on my post?” you can imagine the person saying to pals when their favourite celebrity replied to them
  • Favourite positive posts – simply click that “favourite” button to acknowledge that the post meant a lot
  • Retweet the positive post – hit that RT button and in a sweep highlight the positive post and deliver a huge acknowledgement to the person who posted it
  • Follow the person –  this is the ultimate compliment to the person who posted positive things

By doing a few simple things the “celebrity” could accelerate their popularity and positive reputation and very easily win a loyal fan for life (most will not do this, which presents an even bigger opportunity for those who do)

Rachel AllenI have noticed online that a few celebrities in particular are quite good.

Rachel Allen @rachelallen1 has been good to come back on a compliment. Brian Kennedy @kennedysinger came back on a positive post after a gig as well as Mundy @mundyirl, Mark Geary @MG212 (better on Facebook) and Richie Egan (Jape)  @richiejape.

All of these by being respectful and clever are high in my estimation.

I have noticed a few that have been quite poor including the fabulous musician Gemma Hayes @gemma_hayes and the Newstalk breakfast team Chris Donoghue @chrisdonoghue and Norah Casey @norahcasey (this is strange as they always make a big deal of their twitter presence).

I listen to their show every morning and instead of giving themselves the opportunity of building their brand loyalty they are undermining it by ignoring listeners who tweet them. I’m sure if they realised the negative effect and the opportunity missed by not being more proactive they would be more responsive.

Lucinda Creighton had a busy day today and we can excuse her but she does have the power to considerably enhance her reputation by replying to the many people who said positive things about her and those who wished her well.

Celebrities …it’s up to you!

You and me….we have no excuse – we have to do the hard work.

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion

Fuzion are a Marketing, PR and Design firm in Ireland with offices in Cork and Dublin – We provide Social Media Consultancy and Training services.

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