Successful celebrities don’t have customers. They have fans. Instead of trying to make a sell, they instead try to inspire and build lasting relationships. That right there is the most relevant difference between the brands’ approach and an artists’ approach to building communities online and encouraging conversations. Brands look for new customers where artists look to make current fans happy.
There is a truth to this – If you make your current community happy, they become advocates, they will keep coming back to you and bringing new people with them to join your following.
Let’s call it as it is: Corporate social could use a celebrity makeover.
While companies try to produce content that inspires, entertains, and informs, they often fall short and end up producing content that puts their audience to sleep. While brands can’t looking 100% to celebrity accounts for inspiration, they can take some concepts and apply it to them. Let’s take a step back and look at how celebrities have used social media to build – and maintain – their online brands with a few concepts:
Every platform is different and content should be exclusive. No two platforms are the same. Look at Snapchat and Instagram. While they are different but have similar features (re: Instagram Stories), they are inherently different and should be treated as such.
More than half of all Americans use two or more social media sites. Knowing this – why would you replicate the same message across Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram (you catch my drift)? This is a slippery slope and doing this can cause you to loose some serious traction.
Let’s look at the Kardashians (I know, I know – bare with me…). The entire clan is basically the dynasty of social media. They managed to take one oops and turn it the publicity into an empire that hasn’t lost it’s speed. One of the (K)ardinal ways they have done this is by offering exclusive content on specific networks.
For example, when Kim Kardashian decided to share the recorded conversation between Kayne West and Taylor Swift, she did it on Snapchat. Prior to “going live” with it, she posted on her other accounts that she would be sharing something exclusive on Snapchat. Doing this boosted her Snapchat following and gave those followers something exclusive.
You can also look at pop artist Rihanna. On Instagram, she posts a lot about fashion and videos and still shots from her concerts. But on Snapchat, she posts and shares her day-to-day life and you almost wouldn’t even know she is a celebrity… Pretty interesting huh? This exclusive content gives both audiences a different view.
Apply this to you: If you are a hotel company, perhaps on Facebook you are sharing about local events to tell your followers what is in the area while on Instagram, you are sharing a variety of candid, professional, and guest photos.
Craft your story. Your brand story is a way to connect with your customers. We have seen brands like Disney and Charmin craft and realize the power of their brand story to help them build a connection with their audience. Social media is an essential way to do this.
Brand stories are not marketing materials but they plan an important role. A brand story should be told with the brand persona at the core. Boring stories aren’t going to hold attention.
Actor and Comedian Azizi Ansari has created a story with is Instagram by perfectly edited photos of food while he is traveling. It is so well planned and executed so well, it is delightful to scroll through!
Taylor Swift is another excellent example of this. In 2014, she launched the “Swiftmas” where she sent 32 of her Tumblr followers an early Christmas gift. While the fans received their packages, they flooded Twitter, Facebook, and Tumblr with pictures and videos of themselves unwrapping the packages. While this altruistic act put her in the spotlight, she deflected it back to how grateful she is for their support. Using social media, she showed the world who she is while letting her personality drive it.
Apply this to you: If you are a cosmetics company, share stories of your customers starting to wear makeup and how your brand has impacted them.
Embrace change (when it makes sense). Social media changes daily! Holding onto traditional channels and methods will cause you to go obsolete. The hottest celebrities are staying on top of new social media trends (such as crafting Instagram Grids) and new channels and even changes to existing platforms.
When Instagram Stories launched, a lot of marketers weren’t all about it but a lot of celebrities embraced it as a part of their online presence. Fitness expert and choreographer Chalene Johnson jumped on Instagram Stories day one. She uses it to show workouts, how she stays motivated, recipes, workout routines, and more. While I can’t provide analytics for how this has increased her following or engagement, I can say she must be seeing results because she is keeping up with it! The future of your brand marketing relies on understanding your customers and turning them into advocates. Reaching out and building those connections with your biggest fans and advocates will only benefit you in a more authentic and long term relationship.