Tracy Morgan Joins, Miley Cyrus Quits; The Challenges of Celebrities and Twitter

The interwebs where all aflutter last week with the campaign to get comedian Tracy Morgan to join Twitter. He did. But also last week, another celebrity, teen sensation Miley Cyrus closed her account on the micro-blogging service. “Everything that I type, Everything that I do, some gossip site makes it news,” she said, in a Youtube video she posted to mark the occasion.

It led us to thinking, are some celebrities too big for Twitter?

ESPN’s Ryan Corazza looked to answer the question, in terms of sports stars. His take: “Twitter in an invaluable marketing tool for athletes. That’s why so many are on it, and have seen their profile and brand uptick in recent months. It will continue to help those who are seeking growth off the court. But for the biggest ballers? It ain’t worth their time.”

Curtis Hougland, founder of agency Attention, which was behind the Tracy Morgan campaign, said, “Celebrities who are using it are using it because it’s true to their nature, [which is] the same as anybody else. It allows you to attract attention and fame. If you’re a celebrity, it seems a natural place to be.” Although celebs should “be careful with tweets that geo-locate them, unless they want that extra attention,” he said.

We shouldn’t forget that it is the celebrity who chooses to use the service, they are not forced into it, said Adam Isserlis, VP and Director of Digital at New York agency Rubenstein. “You have to expect that if you have two million followers, a certain amount are bloggers, reporters, fans. You have to keep all of those audiences in mind,” he said.

So, will social media requirements such as Tweets and Facebook updates be worked into celebrity endorsement contracts – the same way public appearances and commercial shoots are? Isserlis said he hasn’t heard of that happening yet, but said “it’s easy for me to see why that would make sense.” Hougland said that Attention is already “starting to build that into anyone who is doing satellite media tour or morning media drive tour, setting up time to participate in social media.” He said that when hiring a celebrity, one definitely looks at “the influence they have online.”