Katy Perry took some flak recently as a special interest group singled her out for promoting Pepsi. They feel that she is helping to poison children and helping to promote a product that spreads a disease in children.
“Virginia Slims and other tobacco companies used glamorous celebrities and models to position smoking as hip, sexy and rebellious. Today soda companies are using you and other celebrities to convince young people that drinking soda is hip, sexy and rebellious,” CSPI and the other groups wrote. “‘Drink Pepsi and you can be cool like Katy Perry,’ is the takeaway message for your young fans. ‘Live for now’ and worry about the health consequences later.”
They did the same thing to Beyonce. Guess that didn’t work out to well. Fat chance Beyonce was going to turn down a $50 Million dollar payday to pacify these groups. I doubt Katy Perry will either.
In addition to being a successful artist with millions of records sold, Katy Perry is destroying conventional wisdom by being a massively successful social media icon. Perry has 58 million Facebook fans and 45 million Twitter followers. Her new album, PRISM drops today.
So how does a multi-platinum artist deal with issues on social media? She strives to be authentic and not take herself to serious.
“I’ve learned how to ride social media,” she says. “I have horrible typos. I use ‘there’ or ‘your’ wrong grammatically. But I feel like I’ve learned how to tame that social media dragon.”
Indeed her strategy is to simply avoid trolls and haters who only want to spew negativity. In that regard, unlike other celebrities, Perry simply chooses not to engage.
“You’re just throwing another log on the fire. I do it only in extreme cases if someone is jeopardizing my character. I don’t know they exist because I don’t give them attention. If you tried to please everyone, you’d have no sense of self. You’d lose yourself in the process of being a people-pleaser and there’d be nothing unique left.”
In working with celebrity clients or professional athletes, Katy Perry is the type of person who truly understands social media and the type of client that you want to have on your roster. She understands that it’s not about posting a tweet here or a Facebook update there…it’s about really connecting and providing value to her fans.
It’s also about being human. Many brands and other high profile individuals could take a lesson from Perry.
“Don’t be self-indulgent. Don’t use it just to promote yourself. That’s boring.”
Katy Perry’s manager Martin Kirkup says that social media aligns perfectly with their objectives.
“For Katy, who has always been about making connections with fans, the social networks are a huge advantage,” he says. “I often say that Katy was born on the Internet. She’s taken the fullest advantage of the wonderful world of greater connectivity.”
Notice what he didn’t say. He didn’t mention that she took advantage of social media to sell anything. It’s about making connections and building relationships. The sales will certainly come.
But if you want to roar like a champion, you have to build the relationship first.