Celebrity Branding Through Social Media

Nowadays, there is a wide variety of ways to advertise and promote one’s image as well as many products through personal branding. Celebrities are among the first to take advantage of the new social media phenomenon to further promote themselves and products they have endorsed.  Social media outlets such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, Tumblr, Pinterest, etc. have been in a state of constant growth, as they cater to both the average consumer as well as celebrities. Interconnectivity has played a crucial role in keeping celebrities globally connected to a wider public in order to further promote themselves and gain a higher level of exposure.

When it comes to many things such as self-branding and the use of social media, one must elaborate a thought-out, cohesive strategy in order to achieve optimum results. First of all, it is important to keep in mind that not all celebrities wish to accomplish the same thing through their social media outlets.  There are many reasons for a celebrity to join a social media site, from simply connecting with fans to promoting a product or event.  Also, each social media medium serves a different purpose and targets a more specific audience. In a recent trend, celebrities have been representing themselves by “opening up” and increasing their level of self-disclosure through many forms of social media. This could be due to the fact that it is believed that social media can be used to build trust with fans as well as build and develop a more personal connection with them by allowing them to see the “real” superstar.  For example, it is difficult to feel a personal connection to President Obama.  By following Obama on Twitter or Facebook, one might feel that this personal relationship has greatly improved.  Not only is this beneficial for the average American, but it could indirectly help Obama.  For example, someone that does not currently have a stance on politics could follow Obama on Twitter, like what they see, and vote for him in the next election.  This is just one example that portrays that social media outlets are a powerful, mass communication tool.  That being said, it is important for one to remain very conscience about what they say.  It does not take much for a tweet by a celebrity or political figure to create a huge controversy, whether or not they intended it to.  We sometimes forget that celebrities are human beings that make mistakes, and one of these mistakes could be by putting too much personal information on the internet.  Voicing an opinion can easily offend many other people.  The celebrity could in theory remove the tweet, but that does not mean it will be deleted from the Internet.  With the millions of followers many celebrities have and the fact that celebrities tend to keep social media outlets as public as possible, almost anyone could snap a screenshot of the tweet immediately and continue to circulate it through the web.

While there are disadvantages for celebrities putting their lives on the World Wide Web, outlets such as social media can also be used as a free type of advertising or promotion.  Almost all main-stream celebrities have utilized multiple forms of social media from blogs to Twitter.  Britney Spears, Kim Kardashian and Justin Bieber are all examples of celebrities that have endorsed various products and used social media (more specifically, Twitter) to promote them. This has shown to be an effective marketing technique at little or no cost to them.

Not every celebrity endorses a certain product, but they do essentially brand themselves when they decide post on social media sites.  Whether they mean to or not, the content they post reflects their personality and in turn, allows followers to characterize them.  Mastering how to effectively brand one’s self on these sites has in essence became a modern day art.  In today’s day and age, a social media suicide could destruct the celebrity’s image as a whole.

Sasha De Vecchi, Lindsay Gallagher, Jay Reilly, Cary Welborn

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