How celebrities like Khloe Kardashian and Justin Bieber can handle their social media in the days of easy offense
Social media is often the best and worst tool celebrities can use. It has immense power in building a brand — and by extension — there are a lot of risks associated with it. Just ask Justin Bieber about his recent April Fool’s joke that went sour.
In the “cancel culture” we live in, there are new questions surfacing surrounding how high-profile individuals can manage and protect their reputations online. One of them being, is it worth the risk for them to control their own social media at all?
Here’s how a celebrity’s presence on social media can be strategic and properly safeguarded to avoid costly missteps, according to Ronn Torossian, CEO of 5WPR, a leading PR agency.
Keep your social team close
While a handful of celebrities choose to manage their own social media accounts, most celebrities outsource to agencies and managers to assist them in what can be a full-time job. A digital team of experts work alongside the celebrity to help navigate ever-changing online trends, vet their posts and maximize their engagement.
Outsourcing social media management turns out to be the most convenient way for celebrities to stay connected with their fans and maintain their visibility, while also ensuring that their posts aren’t crossing any lines. It’s important that the team is on the same page about what can and cannot be shared, how they should represent the celebrity’s personal brand, and how they should engage with fans and critics on all social platforms.
For better or for worse, all public figures are on edge about their digital personas these days, understanding that one misstep could be the cause of their downfall. A social team can help celebrities think through their posts and point out any red flags that might get them in trouble. Another set of eyes is never a bad thing.
Keep it real
That said, it’s important that celebrities maintain their online persona and authenticity. In a digital world that demands transparency from its influencers, regular engagement with followers is by far the best way to demonstrate a personal brand. As a public figure, they’ve already created a name for themselves based on their profession, interests and personality.
Beyond the curated and planned posts, social media is an outlet for celebrities to show a more relatable side to their fans. People want a closer look at their day-to-day lives, their humor, their family, and more. However, authenticity can also be the cause of their demise if they’re not careful.
While every celebrity should maintain their authority on social media, they must also remember that they’re public figures who will be scrutinized every day—that’s what they signed up for when they rose to fame. They ultimately will need to find a balance between staying true to themselves while also being overly cautious.
What every celebrity can and should always remember is to be more responsible with what they share online. We’re always reminded to think before doing and it’s especially important to remember that in the age of the internet because once something is posted online, it can never truly disappear.
Recently, Khloe Kardashian shared a post promoting a meal replacement shake by Flat Tummy Co. Her followers and other celebrities called her out for irresponsibly posting an advertisement that is not FDA approved and is possibly dangerous. She received so much backlash that she ended up deleting the post. While the post may be deleted, screenshots and the memory of this will live on, tarnishing her legitimacy.
This goes to show how even with sponsored posts, celebrities have to think twice about their content and how it will reflect on them. Most of the time, especially for someone as famous as Khloe, the money from a controversial ad isn’t worth it.
Celebrities are deemed “influencers” for a reason—their reach is far and wide. What they say and/or post online will affect people, so they need to stay mindful.
Be resigned to some fallout
At the end of the day, be resigned to some fallout. Celebrities are never going to please everyone, and there is a risk of offending people with anything that they share. Of course, not all will be forgiven, but they can minimize the damage. Regardless of how famous they are, it’s important they go the extra mile, hire a social team, and above all else, be smart.