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How celebrities communicate with the public through the uses of social media.
With most of the younger generations broadcasting their lives on social media, it has never been easier for celebrities to sell or promote certain items. This means that people who use social media can see the products that are being advertised and bourgeoisie companies as well as celebrities themselves can make more profit. This has been confirmed by (Cohen, 2014). Instagram and Twitter are the main bodies which allow us to have ‘conversations’ with them as we can interact by messaging them/commenting on their social media posts
Celebrities, such as Kim Kardashian, made a total of $14.5 million in five minutes by selling with her make-up brand ‘KKW beauty’, she also made a profit of “$10 million in the first day of launching her fragrance in November 2017.” This was a result due to her advertising the launch dates and products on her snapchat and Instagram. (Rabinovich, 2018).
(Picture: Instagram, 2017)
YouTube stars have also recognised this as a way of gaining profit, as a significant amount of ‘youtubers’ have released their own products which have become very popular amongst a wide variety of people who watch their YouTube channels. An example of this would be the ‘youtuber’s’ merchandise, as their list of subscribers increase, they can bring out more merchandise which will give them a gross profit. Youtubers are also given opportunities to make videos which are sponsored by big brands. Due to these sponsorships, the youtubers get commission off the brands as well as money off the views that they get off making the actual video.
(Picture: Recode.net Wagner and Moller, 2017)
(Wagner and Moller, 2017) use the example of Olivia Munn as she was paid to advertise a company called “Xfinity” through recording a video and posting it onto Instagram. As a result of this “The video had 330,000 views. A longer version of the video did more than a million views on YouTube.” The article then later goes on to say that “social media posts like this from celebrities like Munn are big business. Social influencer marketing is more than a billion-dollar industry, according to estimates from research firm eMarketer.”
Search engines, such as ‘Google’, are mainly used today to search for things that people can buy. Online shopping has become a multimillion-pound industry as it is more convenient for people who do not have the time to go into stores and look for themselves. This works out better for celebrities that advertise their overpriced brands/products online, this gives the consumers the chance to pre-order their products so that more money can be made to create more of them. As a result of this, the celebrity makes more profit. (Metzger, 2015) found a list of 10 celebrities whom have their own lines of beauty products. One of the examples was Drew Barrymore, Metzger found that she had a brand called ‘Flower Beauty’ which is an affordable make-up line making this accessible to everybody.
Another example that Metzger used was Kat von D, who has created her own line of make-up claiming to be an animal cruelty free brand as well as vegan. This has attracted many animal activists as well as vegans as this line is aimed directly at them. As a result of Von D’s campaigning and animal cruelty free claims, this has earned her a net worth of “$10 million” according to (Celebs net worth today staff, 2018).
(Picture: Instagram, Zendaya, 2015)
Celebrities are well known to communicate with their fans through social media, for example; Instagram as this allows them to send messages and reply to anything that anybody has sent them. Some celebrities are very influential on social media as they are able to “openly speak about issues that affect many people” (Maithya, 2017). This then makes the celebrity appeal to a wider range of people as the current issues that they speak about could affect a large cross section of society.
An example of a celebrity who has captured fan’s attention through inspirational posts is Zendaya. According to ‘Bustle Magazine’ “The act of airbrushing celebrity photos for magazines spreads or other promotional uses is nothing new, but celebrities like Zendaya are taking a stance against it, showing that they are proud of their bodies the way they are and don’t need airbrushing, filters, or other manipulation techniques.” (Tschinkel, 2016) As a result of this, the popularity of the social media post causes it to then be broadcast across the internet and for more people to see it, this makes the celebrity more popular for standing up to issues that affect ‘normal people’ as well as themselves. This can also influence other celebrities to do the same thing, therefore making them more popular as well.
In relation to negative images being broadcasted across social media, there has been research to suggest that celebrity culture is “damaging” to young people. (Parveen 2018) found that this is because celebrities post images about the “perfect body” which then damages some young people’s mental health as they set an image of the “unobtainable body image of the online world”. Parveen stated that “The youth charity YMCA spoke to more than 1,000 young people aged between 11 and 16. They found that 62% of 15 to 16-year-olds felt that social media had ramped up expectations over their personal appearance.” So, in a sense, celebrities can miscommunicate with their followers by transmitting a false set of ideals to which the followers adopt.
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Some celebrities fail to communicate with their audiences/fans, this can be due to the lack of communication through not posting anything for a while or not having social media at all. (Young, 2015) found that Bradley Cooper did not have any form of social media accounts at all, Young found that Cooper did not use social media because he said he didn’t want people “Knowing him too intimately” or that “They would see a different character to the one he plays on screen.” Young also uses the example of George Clooney as a celebrity who doesn’t use any form of social media as he says that he doesn’t want to “say the wrong thing, or be too accessible with his fans”, this is understandable as with social media nowadays as celebrities are able to take control over what they post- they become their own publicists/journalists, this way they can decide what gets let out into the public eye and they can determine which audience they can attract depending on the nature of the things that they post and how popular their posts will be.
Over the years, celebrity’s communication with their audiences have gotten better due to the rise of social media. The main way to contact people nowadays is through social media which makes the celebrities a little bit more accessible to us as celebrities and the general public can communicate without having to actually meet each other.
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