How Do Celebrities Use Twitter? Interview With @ShiraLazar

Celebrities and stars in the tech world use Twitter for a lot of reasons – promoting a new venture, to praise or complain about something, to share information, to spread news about a good cause.  So I thought it would be fun to hear from the stars themselves about how they use it.

You probably know her as the creator and host @whatstrending on @CBSNews live on Tuesday at 10 a.m. (PT). She is also a correspondent on The Tomorrow Show with Mo Rocca, a contributor on The Huffington Post and host of This Week in YouTube as well as Live Earth Video, bringing people information and news about the global water crisis.

When you joined: March 12, 2008

Why you signed up: All the cool kids were doing it. Just kidding, even though at the time I didn’t understand the power it has now, it seemed like an interesting and fascinating new way to connect and communicate with people.

Number of followers: 31,350

Number following: 636

Your favourite part of twitter: Connecting and building relationships with people I would have never been able to interface with. Finding ideas and comments on stories I’m covering in real-time is exciting! The stories of how Twitter has been used to save lives, mobilize communities against totalitarian regimes and raise money for worthy causes has been powerful and inspiring to see.

Least favourite: The fact that if you don’t tweet over one day, it’s almost like you’re non-existent. There’s definitely a bit of anxiety around feeling like you constantly need to contribute or else you lose value as a person or brand.

Do you have any rules? No rules necessarily, just general etiquette. I try to balance out talking about myself with contributing links to other people’s work and articles I’m reading that other people might find interesting or valuable. I also try to @ reply appropriately to people, but not flood my twitter feed with a ton of @ reply’s. Sometimes I’ll even DM someone if I don’t feel like having a long public conversation with them. I also try to be honest and of course true to myself, but I’m wary of being too negative or saying something about someone or somebody that I may regret later. It’s easy to forget that once you put something out there, it pretty much exists forever. That’s something to be aware of.

What do you use twitter for mostly – promotion, conversation, etc.? As I mentioned, I use it for a balance of everything. I obviously will use it to let people know about what I’m up to or when I’m going live on my show or on YouTube. However, a huge part of Twitter for me is definitely the conversational element. I also use it to track conversations and news by following hashtags. It’s incredible how that can change the way you’re informed and care about international news more than ever before. I also use it to get ideas or questions for guests I’m going to interview, and I’ll give that person a shout-out if we decide to use it on-air. It’s fun to see how excited people get when they hear their name. It allows for a real-time interactivity with the audience that we never had before.

What have been some of the best tweets you’ve done? I can’t even remember my tweets from last week – ha!- but I do love tweeting from events I’m hosting like the Oscars and Grammy’s. When I was on vacation in Hawaii, I used the 360 app to tweet amazing pictures of the beaches I was on. Finally, I love tweeting quotes like this one that I found useful over a pretty chill Twitter weekend from @SethGodin: “If you’re going to waste time (and I hope you will) the least you can do is do it well.”