Celebrities on Social Media: 10 Takeaways for Your Brand

celebrities on social media

It’s no surprise that celebrities dominate social media.

As of April 2021, soccer superstar Cristiano Ronaldo was the most-followed celebrity on social media with over 500 million followers.

But it’s the musicians, not the sports stars, who have the most social media followers, making up half of the top 50 celebrity accounts. And their preferred platform is Instagram, ahead of Twitter, Facebook, TikTok, and YouTube.

On the one hand, celebrities use social media like everyone else – to connect with other people, including fellow celebs and the general public.

But on the other hand, they also use social media like brands. They promote their latest songs, concerts, or movies. They interact with fans. And they take us behind the scenes to share some of their personal thoughts and feelings.

Although they have a head start over most brands because of their celebrity status, their social media strategy isn’t so different from regular brands.

With that in mind, here are ten celebrity takeaways your brand can implement on social media.


Determine and Stick To Your Brand Voice

What celebrities do:

Celebrities are good at using humor to entertain or seriousness to draw attention to causes on social media. Sometimes they intersperse humor with regular promotional content, just to break things up.

How your brand can implement it:

You can start with your brand values and identify your tone of voice – i.e. what you say and how you say it.

For example, UK-based drinks company Innocent has a friendly and informal brand voice that feels conversational. They use humor to get across important health issues.

Starting with their bio:

“We make healthy drinks. Please buy them so we don’t get fired.”

And continuing with their content:

“When it comes to fruit, we know our onions. In fact, we know that an onion isn’t a fruit, it’s a vegetable. Which is basically the same thing as a fruit but not quite as sweet and 86% more likely to make you cry.

Getting your fruit & veg is pretty important. Which is why we’re partnering with @thefelixproject to provide 1 million meals to people who need them. And don’t worry, it won’t just be onions. Although there will be a lot of them.

Click the link in our bio to find out more about our mission to spread fruit & veg far and wide.”

 

 

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A post shared by innocent (@innocent)

It’s also essential to determine who should “sign” your social media posts. For example, it could be your brand, your company, your CEO, an ambassador, or a mix of the above.

Example of celebrity who does it well:

American DJ, songwriter, and record producer Diplo sticks to his brand voice. Alongside messages about his latest releases and promotions, he interjects humor with posts like this:

 

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A post shared by diplo (@diplo)

And this:

 

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A post shared by diplo (@diplo)


Publish Authentic Content

What celebrities do:

Rather than publishing third-party content, celebrities use social media to talk about their life, their projects, their struggles, and their successes.

How your brand can implement it:

You can produce your own branded content, unique to your company, products, or services, that creates brand trust:

  • Keep your content conversational so that your messages reflect the real people behind your brand.
  • Create in-depth, engaging, and valuable content to nurture trust in your brand.
  • Host live video events so people can experience your team first-hand and ask questions.

Example of celebrity who does it well:

Rihanna uses Twitter and her other social media accounts to share her thoughts and feelings and promote her Fenty Beauty makeup and lingerie brand. Recently, she spoke out about the incidents in Atlanta:

Take Your Audience Backstage

What celebrities do:

Taking your audience backstage creates a closer connection with your followers. Celebrities make the most of this idea by sharing photos behind the scenes of concerts, on filming locations, or in the locker room.

How your brand can implement it:

You can use social media to show what it’s like in your office, factory, or team retreat. Or you could create content to explain how you make your products or introduce your audience to the people in your team who make it possible.

For example, Carwow’s “A behind-the-scenes guided tour of the location where all of our car reviews are filmed”:

Why not host a behind-the-scenes series showing what it’s like to work in your organization. You could feature employees from each department, sharing their perspectives on what goes into making and marketing your product or service.

Example of celebrity who does it well:

Jennifer Aniston keeps her fans sweet by sharing behind-the-scenes photos at home and on filming locations.

Here’s Jen (as she likes to be called) making a smoothie:

 

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A post shared by Jennifer Aniston (@jenniferaniston)

And here’s another selfie, taken behind the scenes of the #FriendsReunion:

 

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A post shared by Jennifer Aniston (@jenniferaniston)


Maintain a Consistent Publishing Cadence

What celebrities do:

Celebrities publish on social media multiple times a week (sometimes at a regular interval or set days), if not multiple times a day.

How your brand can implement it:

You need to set a publishing cadence you can realistically maintain. If you start off with a bang publishing several times a day and then disappear for weeks, you’ll confuse your audience.

The best way to maintain a consistent publishing schedule is to develop an editorial calendar and schedule content ahead of time.

Example of celebrity who does it well:

Ariana Grande regularly publishes on Instagram (pretty much daily) and Twitter (several times a day).


Be Careful With Self Promotion

What celebrities do:

Celebrities who are successful on social media get the right mix of content. They aim to entertain, educate, or draw attention to causes first and then sporadically promote their products, services, or latest release.

How your brand can implement it:

You can follow in their footsteps and avoid only pushing your products and services. Aim to provide helpful, engaging, entertaining, and actionable content.

For example, Go Pro shares a mix of content on their Twitter account that features Pro Tips on using cameras, user-generated content that entertains and educates, as well as promotional content for its latest gear.

Example of celebrity who does it well:

Former NBA Los Angeles Lakers center and DJ Shaquille O’Neal strikes the right balance on Twitter by using his formula:


Be the First to Experiment With New Platforms and Content Formats

What celebrities do:

Celebrities quickly join new platforms, such as TikTok, or play with new features, such as Stories, AR filters, and Livestreams.

How your brand can implement it:

You can keep an eye out for new opportunities and try adopting them early to take advantage of the new “wow” factor and position your brand as an innovator.

Example of celebrity who does it well:

Will Smith launched his own YouTube channel several years ago. Today, it contains loads of content divided into playlists such as Storytime, Will’s Wildest Moments, Will Smith Music Videos, The Best of Will Smith, and Shorts (YouTube’s new short video format).


Collaborate and Cross-Promote

What celebrities do:

When it comes to collaboration and cross-promotion, celebrities lead the way. They give shout-outs to each other (for instance for birthdays), take pictures together, and promote brands they partner with or even their own brands.

How your brand can implement it:

You can take advantage of collaborative marketing.

celebrities on social media collaborative marketing overlapping audiences venn diagram

Collaborative marketing is when multiple brands join forces to create something unique that appeals to overlapping sections of their respective audiences, such as limited edition products, service integrations, or events.

For example, in 2019, Netflix collaborated with Baskin Robbins to create a series of limited-edition flavors for the Stranger Things franchise:

celebrities on social media collaborative marketing netflix baskin robbins

Each brand had a clear (and complementary) marketing goal for this campaign:

  • Netflix wanted to create awareness and interest in Stranger Things
  • Baskin Robbins wanted to increase visits to their local stores

Example of celebrity who does it well:

John Legend and his wife, model Chrissy Teigen, have performed songs and broadcast some of their daily activities at home, like cooking.

Miley Cyrus has hosted live streams with co-celebrities like singer Demi Lovato, where they asked each other questions and chatted during their shared Livestream.


Harness the Power of Hashtags

What celebrities do:

Celebrities use hashtags as private jokes to federate their audience.

How your brand can implement it:

You can form your own branded hashtags and play on repetition to create a sense of community. Take the classic example of Nike’s #JustDoIt slogan, which they and their running community use:

 

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A post shared by Tsuyoshi Komoriya (@komtsuyoshi)

Example of celebrity who does it well:

Christiano Ronaldo uses branded hashtags for promoting partnerships.

Like #ClearHeaded, #BeTheFirstYou, and #ClearMen for Clear Haircare:

 

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A post shared by Cristiano Ronaldo (@cristiano)

And #CR7GAMEON and #CR7EYEWEAR for CR7 Cristiano Ronaldo:

 

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A post shared by Cristiano Ronaldo (@cristiano)

Plus, he uses them to reference his football club #mufc and the competitions they’re involved in, like the #championsleague:

 

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A post shared by Cristiano Ronaldo (@cristiano)


Go Live

What celebrities do:

Most celebrities are comfortable in front of the camera, so it’s no surprise that they entertain fans with live streams.

How your brand can implement it:

You could host webinars, participate in interview panels, or speak at conferences, to get your brand in front of your audience in a live setting.

For example, Facebook’s live video broadcast format Facebook Live lets you stream a conversation, performance, Q&A, or virtual event. It’s an excellent way for you to show behind-the-scenes action or showcase your product.

Did you know? People spend 3x longer watching Facebook Live videos compared to standard pre-recorded videos.

Alternatively, you could use live audio.

Social audio, like Clubhouse, is a new component of social media, following on from text, images, and videos. It’s an audio live stream where you can choose moderators, speakers, and attendees.

In many ways, it’s similar to a podcast, except you can have real-time conversations with your audience or anyone present in a “room”.

Example of celebrity who does it well:

Niall Horan uses Instagram Live to entertain his fans.

During the lockdown, he was happy to accept requests and reply to fans:

 

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A post shared by Niall Horan (@niallhoran)

He gives tutorials, like this one of “Black and White” for @bbcradio1:

 

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A post shared by Niall Horan (@niallhoran)

You’ll also find him doing direct-to-camera chats, impromptu performances, and chatting over a beer with other musicians he’s collaborated with, like @ashemusic on “Moral of the Story”:

 

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A post shared by Niall Horan (@niallhoran)

Niall also uses Instagram Stories to do AMAs (using the Stories question sticker).


Interact With Your Audience

What celebrities do:

Celebrities respond to some comments and @mentions on their own accounts and post comments on other accounts.

How your brand can implement it:

Social media is a two-way channel, so as well as publishing content, you need to be there for your audience by responding to their @mentions, DMs, and comments.

Example of celebrity who does it well:

Ashton Kutcher keeps his private life private, but he does interact with his audience on social media.

For example, he’ll tweet back if he likes certain jokes. And he’s not afraid to weigh in on a debate and answer questions about it:


Takeaways From Celebrities on Social Media, in a Nutshell

Celebrities aren’t so different from regular brands. Their main asset is that they’re already well-known and have loads of fans who want to follow them.

But their social media strategy isn’t rocket science. So if you want to emulate the celebrities on social media, follow these ten actions:

  • Determine and stick to your brand voice
  • Publish authentic content
  • Take your audience backstage
  • Maintain a consistent publishing cadence
  • Be careful with safe promotion
  • Be the first to experiment with new platforms and formats
  • Collaborate and cross-promote
  • Harness the power of hashtags
  • Go live
  • Interact with your audience
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