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Celebrities and social media

Where Tick Yes leads, the superstars follow…

Russell Brand uses a similar social media strategy to that pioneered by Tick Yes to sell out his comedy tours without needing any traditional advertising

What do Russell Brand, Mark Wahlberg, Charlize Theron, Jack Black, Eddie Murphy, Hugh Jackman, Usher, Pitbull, LMFAO and many, many other celebrities have in common? They have all realised the need to jump on to the social media bandwagon and use an agency to create a coordinated social media strategy on their behalf.

It is a strategy Tick Yes has been employing for its clients for over a decade and now Hollywood is catching on.

By allowing a third-party to tweet or post on their behalf (at times calculated to have the biggest impact), some of the entertainment business’ biggest names – and the studios or record companies or agencies who stand to make a pretty penny from marketing them correctly – are reaping the rewards.

Take Russell Brand, for example. As he told the New York Times, he has turned to social media (or, more specifically, to a carefully tailored social media strategy) to promote his comedy tours and enabling them to sell out ‘without any paid advertising’.

‘It’s a smart way to talk to my fans directly and in a bespoke manner,’ he says.

In social media, followers = customers

Brand is far from alone in (finally) realising the potential of social media and coming to understand that far from simply being an amorphous number, all those tens of thousands (or hundreds of thousands or millions) of Twitter followers or Facebook fans may actually want to buy what you’ve got to sell, be it an album, a comedy tour or a movie.

Was singer Rihanna cast in ‘Battleship’ for her acting ability or her 26 million Twitter followers?

In fact, social media is now directly influencing the product being produced. For example, when Disney decided to use a social media agency to manage its cartoon characters online, it was apparently shocked to discover that the most ‘liked’ character was not Mickey Mouse or Buzz Lightyear, but Dory the forgetful fish from Finding Nemo. The result? Disney is hard at work on a Finding Nemo sequel.

In many ways, this change in attitude has been borne of necessity, with movie attendances in the US at a 20-year low. The Internet has been made the scapegoat, but now the studios and stars alike a realising that the Internet, and particularly social media, could be the saviour.

As the New York Times puts it: ‘If you were wondering how Rihanna was cast in Battleship, it was lost on no one at Universal that she came with 26 million Twitter followers.’

Celebrities (and those who employ them) have always been well aware of their brand value, so it really comes as no surprise that they are adopting the Tick Yes social media marketing strategy of engaging directly (or at least, seeming to engage directly) with their audience and disseminating ‘their’ brand voice across a variety of channels.

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