Toward the end of last month, Facebook launched a new page promoting celebrities pages, in order to drive engagement from an extremely popular segment of the population. So far a number of videos have been posted from pages including a 6-song performance from Wyclef. Today Roger Federer posted a video showing off his Coupe des Mousquetaires which was won at the French Open. The strategy comes at a critical time for Facebook as celebrities have helped Twitter experience tremendous growth.
Oprah alone helped drive over 1 million new users to Twitter which illustrates how important celebrities are for attracting new users and helping to keep those users engaged. The celebrity presence on Facebook is distinctly different from Twitter though. Many celebrities on Twitter have become well known for sharing a personal side of themselves through their accounts yet many of the celebrities on Facebook appear to take a more polished approach.
Mike Shinoda of Linkin Park did a quick video interview from Facebook which seems more like a commercial than a true attempt to reach out to users. The All-American Rejects also did a promotional video for their Facebook page. While my initial response was that it wasn’t very personal, I clicked through to their page and saw a number of photos and comments which were much more effective at connecting with fans.
Last week I was speaking on a panel at the U.S. Capitol with Adam Conner from Facebook, and a number of other individuals discussing social media strategy for Congress people. The overall consensus was that posting the routine activities of the house members (in this case the “celebrities”) was just as effective if not more effective than posting about the latest bill. Social media is about connecting with the users on a human level which makes me wonder why there are so many high-touch promotional videos on the celebs on Facebook page.
Regardless of the content on the celebrity pages, it’s clear that Facebook is in a competition with Twitter for attracting the most celebrities as quick as possible. Right now top Facebook celebrities have more fans than the top Twitter celebrities but the battle is fierce. The Twitter leaderboard has quickly shifted from being a list of internet industry insiders to world renowned celebrities. While early adopters will continue to be rewarded with more followers and fans, I’d imagine that the shift toward celebrity dominance will continue across all social media channels.