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The Twitter Report: Self-Promotion

Twitter is a network of people talking and, generally, talking about themselves. It’s fair to say that self-promotion is the very essence of the service for every user. Though for the elite Twitterati (athletes, celebrities, and artists), it becomes even more powerful as an ideal and completely free platform to establish and maintain a personal brand.

It only makes sense that people with a lot to gain from increased exposure are eschewing privacy concerns for the reward of hundreds of thousands of fan connections. Twitter is a great platform for talented and interesting people to share their talent and interesting lives. 140 characters may not seem like a lot, but oh boy is it enough.

Here are a few examples of famous people who took to Twitter to get the word out about something.

"Kiss my ass, @cultureblues"


In the days leading up to “The Decision”, Bron hopped on Twitter to ride the tide of buzz. People flocked to his account to see what the self-proclaimed “King of Akron” (as stated in his bio) was up to in the days leading up to the biggest decision of his life. Would he tip his hand? Maybe tweet about how “hot” he was (leaning towards Miami) or maybe how badly he needed a haircut (L.A. Clippers)?

Well, we got none of that. In fact his tweets were, and are, boring as fuck. Bron has done nothing creative, or even captivating with Twitter.

The morning after chose Miami as his next home, James offered to take questions about his decision, which could have been interesting… except he never followed through (WACK). A few weeks ago, he tweeted about a pair of signed kicks he left on the UCSD campus (PLAYED OUT).

The only interesting thing LeBron has done with Twitter is announcing that he is taking “mental notes of everyone taking shots at me this summer”, which could only be entertaining if he starts calling out Twitter handles in press conferences this season after big wins.

Now exclusively hosting a Twitter account!


Jobless (and apparently razorless), Conan took to the streets this Spring with the now infamous “Team Coco” campaign. He was able to keep himself even more relevant by launching a Twitter account and got a few hundred thousand followers within hours. His tweets have been everything you could expect out of 140 characters: punchy, sometimes nonsensical, yet somehow still personal. He even nailed the bio: “I had a show. Then I had a different show. Now I have a Twitter account”.

For Conan, he was promoting himself in probably the most literal sense. He didn’t have an outlet, so he took to Twitter to remind everyone: Hey, I’m funny. In fact, he demonstrated his significant clout by following one person, @lovelybutton and making her famous.

This all turned out to be an excellent PR move that helped Coco land a late-night gig with TBS. Yes, he probably would have gotten a job anywhere, anyway. But in Conan’s timeline of events over the last six months, starting a Twitter account would be bolded, circled and highlighted in red.

About to board @cultureblues' private plane.


Ah, the Grandmaster of Grandiose. When Kanye joined Twitter, my immediate feeling was doubt. Could he keep up with the fast-paced nature of the medium? Would his updates just be arrogant with no purpose or point? Would he tweet in all caps like his blog? A few weeks in, and it was clear that I was a fool. Kanye has, in my opinion, had an incredibly successful foray into Twitter and created an aura and following that hasn’t really been seen before.

‘Ye is, by all accounts, a deeply divided individual and I completely respect that his tweets are reflective of his moods and various personality traits.

Yes he is arrogant:

But can also be endearing:

More than anything else, he talks about the most ballin’ shit in the world, so you had to know I would be a fan:

Kanye’s personal brand took a substantial beating after he made Taylor Swift cry. He was always sorta a jerk, but for whatever reason, that time he crossed the line (although Corey over at “yes. yes it is.” does a good job pointing out the fallacy of any discontent).

It’s important to remember that while Kanye is a professional artist, he is also a professional celebrity with a team of PR folks to help manage and refine his image. With a new album set to drop in November and a few tracks out right now, starting up this account was no accident and he has seemed to quickly win people back over. I'm really curious to see how this will affect his record sales this fall. There are so many variables that come into play, but my guess is that joining Twitter will end up being a very lucrative move for The Louis Vuitton Don.

Do you have any examples of people using Twitter for self-promotion? Was Jason too mean to LeBron? Does anyone you know own more leather pants than Kanye? Tell us your thoughts in the comments!

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3 Responses »

  1. No mention of Twitter is complete without a nod to the legendary Dan Billy.

  2. You're right. Sorry for the oversight. Let the record show Dan Billy's last tweet:



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