Social Media and Celebrities

By: Aaron Petit, Mike Filardi, Mary Kate Buckman

Alperstein’s essay states that there are some people in society who are “known” to some extent by all other members of that society. These people are called celebrities, and include well known people such as Emma Watson, an actress, and Kim Kardashian, a businesswoman and pop culture personality. Both of these individuals, like so many other celebrities, utilize the new power of social media to expand and reenforce their celebrity status. This sort of thing can be done through a variety of different methods, but they are all attempting to create the illusion of a personal relationship. This used to be difficult because the celebrity was limited in how he or she could interact with the people, but now with things like Facebook and Twitter, they can communicate in the same way that a friend or distant relative might communicate with someone. This makes the relationship feel a lot less imaginary than it actually is.

Alperstein mentions that because celebrities have become icons and cultural figures, they have  often been used for advertisements, as firms hope to connect their product to the superhuman awe that fans have for celebrities. Emma Watson and Kim Kardashian have taken this a step further with social media. Instead of connecting themselves to a product, which risked turning fans against them, they both use social media to advertise their own projects. For Watson this means promoting her new movie Beauty and the Beast with photos and messages relating to that topic. Her fans won’t turn against her because the reason why they liked her in the first place was because of her acting, and that is what is being marketed. Kim Kardashian has more variety in her social media account, as she is connected a wide range of industries including fashion, smart phone applications, and television programing. In addition to advertising those individual projects, she works to create a distinct and recognizable persona. This gives the fans something to form a relationship with, and she appears to reciprocate this by responding to fan questions and going to her followers for advice. This approach feels more personal to her fans since they feel as if they really know her, as a result they will then be more inclined to support her businesses financially. This talent and skill in social media leads to the conclusion that although Emma Watson is uses social media well, Kim Kardashian uses the technology far more effectively.

Both of these types of relationships are possible because of new social media services. Mediums like television and advertisement could never come close to this level of connection because there was no way for fans to respond to celebrities and so two-way communication was impossible. This two-way communication is necessary to form these relationships, especially the kind Kim Kardashian has established, as they are closer and more personal. Mail and email services that let fans and celebrities communicate before social media could do carry out that function, but not on a scale that would make it an effective marketing tool. In conclusion, social media allows for these kinds of relationships because it combines the massive reach of television and advertisements with the personal connection and two-way communication of mail and email.

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During this past week, Emma Watson and Kim Kardashian have both used social media to stay connected to the public and advertise their products. Emma Watson did not post on Instagram this week, but her latest posts have been about the new Beauty and the Beast movie.

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Emma Watson does not post on social media as often as other celebrities, however, her posts are effective in advertising her products and movies.

Kim Kardashian has a well known and strong media presence. She utilizes social media to advertise her products, such as Kimoji.

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