RT @FamousActor It’s really me!

19 03 2009

A couple months ago, I wrote about the idea of celebrities using Twitter as a marketing tool. Well, I just stumbled across a blog that’s got me thinking about it yet again. I think it’s a cool concept, but I generally question the legitimacy of these celebrities’ identities on the site. Like I said in my previous post, it just doesn’t seem overly plausible that the star of a huge Hollywood blockbuster or primetime drama is going to use Twitter solely for the purpose of promoting that project – it seems a lot more likely that someone in some communications office somewhere would take on that responsibility, just using the celebrity’s name.

BUT – yes, there is a but – what about celebrities who want to tweet about things in their personal lives? This is where that mysterious blog I Confessions of a Twitterholicmentioned a whole paragraph ago comes into play. On theTVaddict.com, the writer of the post “Confessions of a Twitterholic: Your Ultimate Guide to TV on Twitter” brings together his love for TV with his love for Twitter by offering readers a list of TV actors who have Twitter accounts. He also provides a link to another page with a list of some TV writers and producers.

Now, my first thought was a sceptical one. I figured that most, if not all of these tweets would actually be written by someone else just representing the celebrity. But then I clicked on some of the links and was pleasantly surprised. It seemed pretty obvious that some of the accounts weren’t maintained personally by the celebrity, but a lot of them seemed legitimate. Some had tweets about doing things with family and friends, their plans for the day, or what they had for dinner, and a lot had the classic self-shot profile picture taken in their living room or wherever. The accounts that really convinced me, however, were the ones that didn’t allow me to see the tweets – I could see their self-shot pictures, but I was blocked from seeing anything they had written unless I started following them. This made me feel like there was a lot less possibility that the Twitter account was just a marketing tool, because a marketing tool that doesn’t allow people to freely access it immediately doesn’t seem too effective.

While knowing every little thing that my favourite actor or producer is up to isn’t particularly interesting to me, the fact that these celebrities have thousands of followers means that it is pretty interesting to some people. And I may not feel the need to follow them, but I do like the idea that so many TV celebrities are opening up little bits of their lives to their fans – you know, those people they owe their careers to…


Famous Tweets?

23 01 2009

Recently, I came across a blog post entitled “Movie & Television Social Media Marketing Using Twitter” that immediately piqued my interest. I said to myself, “TV and Twitter? I must know more!” Well, much to my dismay, it turns out that this blog entry was a little bit dated, as it was written in September 2007. However, as I read on, I felt like it was something that could have been written yesterday. The basic premise of the blog is that many Internet marketers are looking to new forms of social media like Twitter to promote the release of new TV shows and movies. It goes on to discuss a variety of innovative ways that Twitter could be used in the future (i.e. right now!) to reach target audiences and create buzz about new productions:

  • providing insight and commentary in real time (i.e. on location during shooting)
  • promoting special contests, sneak previews
  • facilitating collaborative video production experience
  • building conversation about the movie or television season or individual episodes
  • opening dialogue between promoter and promotion participants
  • movie and television website traffic generation
  • promoting events such as movie premieres
  • posting press releases

The reason I say that it sounds like this blog could have been written yesterday is because I personally still don’t see Twitter being utilized a great deal to do this in January 2009. Twitter seems to be growing in popularity, but not yet to the point that this blog proposes it would in this context. I think the only thing from this list of marketing initiatives that I’ve really seen at all is some Tweeting between my friends about certain TV shows – the season premiere of LOST on Wednesday night, to be exact – and while that helps to promote the show, it wasn’t initiated by the marketing team at ABC.

I think the aspect of proposed Twitter marketing for TV and movies that I find particularly outlandish is the idea that if

“during the making of a film, a well known actor, actress or director posted regular Tweets via Twitter via their mobile phone, it’s conceivable that hundreds if not thousands would follow and engage these immediate, seemingly intimate, “insider” posts.”

To me, this just seems completely unrealistic . How are Tweeters supposed to know that the person they’re following is actually the actor or director they claim to be? There are people all over Twitter claiming to be celebrities! I could believe that Tweets from a particular TV network or production company are valid, but individual actors? I’m not so sure about that.

I think that Twitter definitely has potential that has yet to be explored, but the future discussed in this particular blog is certainly not here yet. Though, with a little more time and popularity, Twitter could one day become yet another way for me to obsess over TV.