I never joined Twitter to Tweet with celebrities and even now, two years after joining, it’s a small part of why I love Twitter so much. However, after Justin Timberlake (@jtimberlake) sent several Tweets to me and even created a hashtag topic dedicated to me (he also followed me as one of the 32 people on his following list for a couple of days but sadly, that ended), there was an unintended side effect: people I know suddenly were interested in joining Twitter to Tweet with their favorite celebrities.
In addition to Justin, I’ve Tweeted with many celebrities including Samantha Ronson (@samantharonson), Jewel (@jeweljk), Virginia Madsen (@MadlyV) and Internet celebrities Penelope Trunk (@penelopetrunk), Chris Guillebeau (@chrisguillebeau), Gary V. (@garyvee, though, let’s be honest, anybody can Tweet with Gary V.), YouTube celeb Mr. Chi City (@MrChiCity33) and many others including people that I am a huge fan of but aren’t so well known. If Tweeting with your favorite celebrities is your goal – and hopefully it’s not your only goal for being on Twitter – here are my tips for you.
Make sure you’ve got the right person first
I’ve had many people who questioned if I was actually Tweeting with the people that I said I was. Most Twitter users usually know to look for the Verified Account badge in the profile information of someone’s Twitter page. You should also make sure the badge is clickable because sneaky fakers have gotten clever and made the background image on their Twitter profile include that Verified badge image but the badge isn’t clickable. This happened to Danny Devito (@Danny_Devito) and the fake account was eventually suspended but not until after the faker had accumulated tens of thousands of followers.
Tweet celebrities who will reply (or at least DM)
Celebrities handle Twitter etiquette differently and some don’t send replies at all. One of my favorite Twitter users, Roger Ebert (@ebertchicago), rarely ever replies to anyone. Though I reply to him when he Tweets something interesting (which is often), I don’t expect to hear back. Others, like Penelope Trunk usually reply via DM (though she has replied to me once, she confesses that she doesn’t like to do that).
Time your Tweets wisely
If you just randomly send a Tweet to your favorite celebrity, the chances of getting a reply are pretty minimal given the quantity that most receive. However, if you see them Tweeting, that’s a great time to reply because you know they are on RIGHT NOW and any replies they receive are at the top of the list.
Tweet the celebrities, not their employees
Check and see if it’s actually the celebrity Tweeting and not somebody on their team. People like Dolly Parton (@dolly_parton) have different people Tweeting from their account on their behalf but they also personally use it. In her case, it’s obvious it’s her when it’s sent from her Blackberry (which you can tell by the use of the app UberTwitter) versus her web team which usually Tweets from the web.
Another way to tell if it’s the celebrity or not is if the Tweet contains links pointing to the celebrity’s own site. They will often have people who work on their web team who will update their site and then send out Tweets to point to the content. The celebrities are often not the ones Tweeting links to new content.
Say something to get their attention
For about 2 hours after Justin Timberlake started Tweeting me, I experienced what celebrities must get every single day: I was inundated with a new Tweet every few seconds. So many people just wanted me to reply to me “omg, how awesome, please reply back!” or “please follow me!!!” The only ones I replied to were ones that said something funny or insightful. When there’s so many Tweets for celebrities to read, you’ll need to say something interesting and unique to stand out from the pool of freaked out fans.
Incidentally, the Tweet that I sent that started it all with Justin Timberlake was this:
“Might have to unfollow @jtimberlake because a 34-year-old mother of 2 should not squeeee every time he Tweets. Embarrassing. I love him.”
I wasn’t trying to get him to reply to me (I was more talking about him, not to him) but because I said something unique that other people weren’t, he must have decided to reply. I’ve Tweeted with Jewel regarding her usage of both a Blackberry and iPhone. I didn’t say it for the purpose of getting a celebrity to talk to me, I was genuinely interested why she used both and that makes somebody stand out above the “omg, I LOVE YOU” replies.
Spend most of your time providing value to your followers
That’s my advice for people wanting to connect with celebrities via Twitter though I hope you’ll spend most of your time providing value to your followers and trying to connect with the real people who make Twitter such a great community.
What about you? Do you try to connect with celebrities via Twitter? Have you heard back from any?