Celeb Twitter Affairs: The Good, The Bad and The Embarrassing

With 1.9 million unique visitors per month, you can bet that celebrities all over are jumping on the Twitter trail too.  On an average day, users can expect to find tweets from Britney Spears, Lance Armstrong, Barack Obama, Ashton Kutcher, Stephen Colbert, Shaquille O’Neal and even, MC Hammer.  But the wide array of celebrities on Twitter really extends beyond this.  Some celebs ahead of the curve have already logged on to Twitter, managed their accounts for a while and subsequently deactivated.

So what would drive a celebrity to run away from the free publicity and fame?  Isn’t there always more time to be in the spotlight?  Well, not according to famous teen star, Miley Cyrus.  She claimed that her Twitter account began invading her privacy and putting her personal affairs in public view too frequently—probably right around the time she boasted a following of 2 million.  So she decided to conclude her Twitter affair and kissed it goodbye with a YouTube rap video about how she “stopped livin’ for moments and started livin’ for people.”  You should really check it out if you haven’t seen it— it’s highly entertaining, not to mention perplexing as she is trying to run from the public eye by creating a new viral video.  How ironic.  She should probably stick to acting, but that’s beside the point…

Regardless of Miley, many other celebrities have managed to run successful campaigns on Twitter.  They’ve used them to promote themselves, their songs and shows, grow a fan base, relate to their audience and humanize themselves.  Twitter can actually be a really successful tool for celebrities in increasing their personal brand awareness, just like how companies and businesses use the microblog for viral marketing.

Ashton Kutcher is a great example of this phenomenon.  I’m sure everyone remembers his victory over CNN?  Earlier this year, they we racing to see who could reach 1 million followers first.  He tweeted incessantly and offered a free Guitar Hero to his millionth follower.  Somehow he single-handedly conquered the news super station.  He currently claims the most followers out of any other celebrity on Twitter with 3.9 million fans reading his microblog on a regular basis.  He tweets about 10 times a day and usually adds in a link, either to a website or other profile.  He often interacts with his followers—recently, he replied to a fan’s tweet about his last chemo session with “live strong, Drew.”  Must be why he has so many followers!

However, Ashton Kutcher is not the only celeb using Twitter to show his sensitive side—Tila Tequila has been consistently blasting out posts on her profile page to aid her favorite charity, The Keep a Breast Foundation.  She recently collaborated with artist Randy Janson to create a shiny, red, sculpted version of her breasts to be auctioned off on Ebay.  Tila is a heavy Tweeter, with an average of 143 posts per day.  She’s been publicizing and promotion the auction from her Twitter account, which has apparently created a lot of hype.  There’s only 8 days and 10 hours left and the bidding has already hit $45,000, so if you’re interested, I’d bid now!

So as you can see, celebrities are not shy when it comes to Twitter.  The most successful celebs are the ones with the highest tweet frequency and most user engagement.  But, keep in mind, just because we’re talking about celebrities here doesn’t mean they are all tweeting with the same intentions.  Several news sources in 2009 have conjectured that many stars employ their Twitter profiles as a way of disseminating personal information before the paparazzi can expose it.  Some people may see this as lessening their personal privacy but celebs like Britney Spears, Lance Armstrong and Shaquille O’Neal believe that this is actually a form of privacy control because they can control the accuracy of the information they release.  Although it may deplete the dollar signs of the paparazzi machine, it seems like a pretty good plan to me.

For more information on celebrity profiles, check out Celebrity Tweet.

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