3 Social Media Lessons from Running a Celebrity Parody Twitter Account
I am not ashamed to admit that I am a pretty dedicated fan of the reality TV show, The Bachelor (and The Bachelorette). It goes back to my freshman year in college when dozens of girls would gather in my living room to watch the show. Cheesy, but I met some of my best friends in college at our anticipated gatherings each week. Fast forward eleven years, and I still have a smaller, yet faithful crowd each week at my apartment.
During Emily Maynard’s season, my friend Katelyn and I were following Emily and Jef on Twitter when Emily chose Jef as her fiancee. As soon as their love was public, Jef started tweeting Emily, but through his Instagram account. Jef was creating messages on Instagram, engaging Emily, and auto-posting them to his Twitter account. The only problem was that Emily’s Instagram account didn’t match her Twitter handle.
Being the total social media nerds that we are, my friend Katelyn and I quickly realized that although Jef interacting with Emily correctly on Instagram, he was tweeting to no one on Twitter because the handle @emilygmaynard did not exist. I’ve always dreamed of being the first one to snag a clever handle during a major event, so we quickly grabbed the handle and tweeted back to Jef.
Ok, so I’m not proud of the little game we played, but in all fairness, we honestly didn’t think that Jef would think we really were Emily. Within hours, thousands of people were following us, retweeting us, and sending well wishes. We may have gotten wrapped up in our immediate, fake fame but couldn’t help ourselves to send out a few more tweets. We did make sure to keep the tweets positive and not stir up any controversy. It took Jef awhile to notice that his real girl was unaware that he was “tweating” on her with our parody account.
About a week or two later, Jef realized his mistake, and Emily fixed her Instagram account name. But we still have a dedicated following on our parody account and will occasionally tweet out our newest family music videos to get shameless views. Oh, well. It was fun while it lasted…
So 14,132 followers later, here are 3 community manager lessons have I learned as the owner of this celebrity parody account:
1. Listen to your fans. Passionate fans tried to tell Jef that @EmilyGMaynard was not the real Emily, but Jef continued tweeting to us. On social media, listening and responding to everyone is important. Even if at first you just think they’re crazy or wrong. You may miss out on some key feedback!
2. Remember how powerful your brand’s social voice can be. And with great power, comes great responsibility. I had no clue how big our account would get, but we had a very loud voice very quickly. Although we could’ve really taken advantage of it, we didn’t want to do anything to upset the real Emily before Jef realized that we were just a parody account.
3. Everyone needs to create at fun/parody account at least once. Even if you don’t have a golden opportunity like this fall into your lap, create a fun account that doesn’t represent you or your personal brand in reality. For those social nerds out there (or as we like to call ‘em, #SMerds), you’ll enjoy the creative freedom and the fun content that you’ll get to create with a parody account. Use your social skills and have some fun. See how much buzz you can create!
Just another example of finding inspiration in all kinds of unlikely places. Come get inspired and learn from other social media marketers (and hang out with me!) at Community Manager Recharge social media conference! cmrecharge.com
As a co-founder of the Community Manager Recharge social media conference, and a social media professional, I enjoy finding creative ways to turn boring content in social, shareable stories. I am a social marketing manager, former Phillies ballgirl, and a lifestyle and entertainment blogger, and I always have something to talk about and am always on the lookout for ways to spark enagement ...
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