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Published January 17th 2017

Why Should Celebrities Be Using Social Listening?

Nudes, compromising Reddit threads, off-brand Tweeting. Why should celebrities be using social listening? Chris McCormick takes a tongue-in-cheek look

Having worked across countless social listening projects, I have come across almost every brief you could imagine. What the elderly are saying about erectile dysfunction? What content is performing well with American Republicans? What’s the sentiment toward stand up desks on Twitter versus forums?

The list goes on. And on.

However there has been one glaringly obvious piece of work that has yet to come past my desk. Celebrity.

Social engagement has become such an essential part of celebrity life now, that if a celeb still manages their own accounts they’ll have another full shift to do after they’ve finished ‘celebriting’ around the place. Fan interaction, content creation and brand management are key for the modern celebrity to stay…celebrated. So why are they not keeping an eye on the bigger picture?

Here are some opportunities I believe are being missed.


Benchmarking themselves against similar celebrities will help put metrics in front of potential sponsors/brands/etc. to compare themselves with other similar celebrities; going into meetings with a folder full of flattering ‘competitor’ benchmarks surrounding engagement, reach, growth, sentiment will help convince the more skeptical board members of the value of this particular influencer.

Social Prioritization

Using true social listening tools would allow the celebrity to prioritize their interactions by followercount, topic (e.g.: campaign), number of interactions, author lists, and so on. Cleaning up this workflow will have huge impact on work hours, sentiment and engagement.

PR Crisis

Is a rumor going round on social media? Have your nudes just ended up on Reddit? Has your football player been caught doing something with someone he shouldn’t be?

Most social listening platforms will allow you to pick these up as soon as they happen and the enterprise tools will send you an automated email to alert agents/management/PR teams of the impending PR nightmare – allowing them to make a coffee before the long shift they have ahead of them.

Risk Assessment

What if I told you we could put together a list of words to identify everyone from the haters, to the overly obsessed, to the genuine death threats.

Monitor them, block them or report them if necessary on a near automated basis and stay on top of not just personal brand but personal safety. Think of it as an online version of a body guard, without so many sketchy stories from when they worked ‘the door’.

Sentiment and Volume Monitoring

Most celebrities have a shelf-life unless their work or personality can stay relevant over time.

Keeping track of volume and sentiment will allow analysis of data to pre-empt a collapse in interest or loss of popularity, and pivot to being ‘celebrated’ once more by dusting off the ol’ sex tape and hitting the upload button.

Contextual Share Of Voice

Find out which celebrity owns the most share of conversation around any given topic, for example H&M’s campaigns generated most volume from David Beckham, but most purchase intent from Beyoncé:

Content Creation

As mentioned above, the modern celebrity is the content creator now, as well as the product and the brand and content creation in 2017 is data driven.

Celebrities should be dashboarding their most successful posts, along side audience research to find other topics/platforms/trends that currently excite their fanbase.

The Obvious Stuff

And then there is the obvious stuff, things like which time of day is best to post to reach you audience? Which day of the week? Which platforms are they on? Which forums/blogs are discussing any given celebrity and why?

Imagination is the Limit

It’s true, there is no reason to stop optimizing your social listening. When Bieber gets $12m for nail polish he’ll never wear and Pepsi spends $50m on Beyonce, surely you should be optimizing this stuff with cold, hard data?

If you’re a celebrity or talent agent or manager, a PR or even an enthusiastic stalker and you’re not already doing the above, it’s time you start.

Maybe I’ll see your brief pass over my desk in future. Maybe I’ll regret writing this. Maybe because you just increased my workload.

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