April 20, 2009

Stars don’t need to follow-back on Twitter

NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 13: Television journalist ...
Image by Getty Images via Daylife

Chris AbrahamSo many folks are scolding stars like @oprah and @barbarajwalters because they’re not following-back the thousands of fans who are following them.

Here is a case in point from Lena Claxton and Alison Woo, Don’t Make Oprah’s Twitter Mistakes:

Right now by only following 10 people, she’s using Twitter as a broadcast medium. The power in Twitter is in speaking AND listening. And for someone who already has a huge platform to speak to her audience with her TV show, she might consider using Twitter to LISTEN and engage in conversation.

Stars don’t need to follow-back. They’re stars.  Their brand is secure and we don’t even need to engage in a conversation with us, necessarily.  And, if Barbara Walters and Oprah Winfrey do a good enough job at nodding, winking, and sharing insights into their lives, their process, and their experience, that’s good enough, because they’re stars, they’re not like us, and they don’t really need our approval.

Additionally, if an A-list celeb is following everyone back and responding to all convos and carefully-reading their Twitter stream to the tune of 300,000+ follow-backs, it will probably end up not being the star or celebrity herself, but a small flock of ghost-twitterers, which is something we the fans don’t want at all.

Case in point on why Oprah is doing it right is that tonight on Entertainment Tonight, they reported that Oprah had announced that she was canceling a show today about Columbine — and she did it on Twitter:

Oprah Tweeted Pulling Columbine Show

Oprah Tweeted Pulling Columbine Show

@oprah I pulled the Columbine show today-After reviewing, thought it focused too much on killers-hold a thought for the families, hard day for them (via Twitter)

This kind of open and generous “broadcasting” with her viewers, fans, and the media — ET and TMZ included — is what this is all about — if, and only if, you’re not only a star but also one of the most powerful women on the planet.

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Chris Abraham is a partner in Socialmedia.biz. Contact Chris via email, follow him on Twitter and Google Plus or leave a comment below.

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  • I Think following back is essential!
    It's extremely polite and you'll loose a lot of followers if you don't!

    Twitter is about communication and being social and not a one way thing!

    So Follow me and I'll follow you back in just a few hours:

    http://twitter.com/PrayMaddyMcCann

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