Person-to-Person vs. Product-to-Consumer
The idea of a talent agency offering an agent focusing specifically on social media disappoints me a bit. Maybe I’m reading the move the wrong way,1 but it seems UTA is looking at the interactions on Twitter, Facebook and the other social media platforms in the same way that they have viewed old media: social media has eyes on it, so lets force feed products to those eyes and make them buy stuff.
I like you. I consider you a friend, so I’ll tell you what I told my buddy who sent me the link to this article:
Social media works best when it’s about people connecting with people. I’m afraid this will change the ‘talent’ from being a person interacting with their fans into a product marketing itself to its consumer.
It’s old media marketing disguised as new.
There are some great and successful examples of celebrities who know how to work social media.2 Their follower numbers are huge and they continue to build a following because they are focussed on being themselves: the digitally accessible human being who has a family, a few cool hobbies, interesting previously-unkown talents and maybe supports a great charity â€¦and also happens to be on one of our favorite TV shows, or plays in our favorite band or on our favorite team.
They interact with their fans like friends and those fans then respond by feeling an emotional investment in that celeb’s professional efforts because “their buddy from Twitter” is on that show, at that concert or in that game.
In the end a product is still sold, but what got people on board to buy was the honest, transparent connection between two people.
I guess we’ll have to wait and see what this guy at UTA actually does, but I think it’s much better when the actors, writers, directors, props people, makeup artists, musicians, and athletes do their own tweeting according to who they are and how they are wired.