Celebrities and Social Media in 2013: The Changing Landscape - latest tech tips

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Celebrities and Social Media in 2013: The Changing Landscape

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Kim Kardashian got a haircut, Amanda Bynes thinks Michelle Obama is ugly and Miley Cyrus smoked marijuana on at least one occasion. These and similar stories dominate gossip headlines in 2013. Now, the average American Child is six times more likely to know who won American Idol than the name of the Speaker of the House. The landscape of celebrity culture has evolved so that branding, accessibility and open forum content pervades over their actual body of work.

Flickr image by Accidental Paparazzi

Becoming One With Their Brand

The Hollywood publicist used to be the guy that hid the mess you left in the hotel room and advised against wearing a dirty t-shirt on the red carpet. Now, publicists manage their clients on a 24/7 basis. Every tweet, post and comment must be carefully monitored and managed by their publicist. Michael Fertik, the CEO of Reputation.com calls personal information online the “new oil” of the digital world, as internet users run through it like fuel. Celebrity brands have become so powerful that they continue to live online after death. Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr have all penned deals with major celebrities to flood their accounts with engaging marketing behaviors, writes Thomas Clayton, CEO of a major mobile media company in “The Huffington Post.” Celebrity brands transcend the human they represent to the point of churning out "personal" content postmortem. Michael Jackson and Whitney Houston’s brand management teams continue to post and profit from their late clients' personal accounts.

Flickr image by Asterix611

Connecting With Their Fan Base

In 2013, celebrities connect with their fans on a much more personal level. Mila Kunis, Kristin Cavallari, Taylor Swift and Justin Timberlake all joined fans as their date after a social media invite, and NBA star Jeremy Lin live chatted with his fans from his hospital bed. Ten years ago this type of interaction didn’t exist. Now, these interactions help celebrities turn from icons into accessible, human icons, whether or not they are. Fan outreach also shows that a publicist and a marketing team can only be relied on for so much. Sites like Reddit also act as a one-way delivery system that lets fans learn their idol’s personal opinions and feel a connection with them. Woody Haraldson, Barack Obama, Bill Nye “The Science Guy” and K-Pop sensation Psy have all responded to “Ask Me Anything” questions on the popular site, reports The Huffington Post. Although celebrity opinions and participation reflect little on the world at large, they allow for fans to feel a perceived connection that further strengthens their brand.

Flickr image by Eva Rinaldi Celebrity and Live Music Photographer

Cutting Out the Middleman In Content Distribution

The rise of social media has paved the way for celebrities to forgo traditional media distribution channels and take the reigns of their own content. While this hasn’t worked out so well for celebrities like Amanda Bynes, who has publicly insulted celebrities like Chrissy Teigen, Rhianna and even Barack Obama, effictively blacklisting herself from her former profession, others have used it to their advantage. Comedians Louis CK, Aziz Ansari and Jim Gaffigan have all leveraged social media and cut out the middleman to grow their fanbase. Although they enjoy the help of their publicists and marketing teams, the illusion of un-regulated content gives their fans access to their personal life, and it works.

Flickr image by WarmSleepy

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