Every once in a while I like to take a look at different celebrities on Twitter and analyze how they use their Twitter account. My main reason is to find out what makes some celebrities have more followers than others, because it’s rarely a matter of popularity.
For example, nobody would call Ashton Kutcher the most popular actor in the world, but yet he reached 1 million followers before anyone else. Why? Because he used it personally, he didn’t have a bot behind it. Also, he was one of the first celebrities to really use it and engage with us normies once in a while.
So let’s talk Ellen DeGeneres on Twitter. Why Ellen? Well, if I’m going to do a bunch of analyzing of a Twitter account, I want it to at least be somebody I really like!
Ellen’s username is @TheEllenShow, not her full name. Unfortunately, this gives the immediate impression that Ellen doesn’t Tweet for herself. It tells a fan that, upon first glance, this isn’t her account.
Upon second glance, you’ll see that it is her account. She Tweets in first person and writes in her profile “my Tweets are real,” although, all Tweets are real, so who can argue? Like many celebrities she might have a mix of personal Tweets and those curated by her team, but they all seem fairly legit to me:
Portia and I are watching #AmericanIdol. We think not sending Jessica Bassett to Hollywood was a big mistake. Who's with us?
But then there’s:
Somebody reading this is going to be sitting in my birthday show audience tomorrow! Enter here. http://ellen.tv/1dM1P6R
Either way it’s a nice mix, and when your handle is @TheEllenShow, you’ve gotta self-promote your stuff. And now that Twitter and TV is so intertwined, it's pretty much expected.
Getting more into the mundane portion of this episode, Ellen has 24.7 million followers, and follows 46 thousand. According to the faker calculator, 22% of those followers are fake. That number is a little high, but fake accounts do tend to follow celebrities in the beginning in order to look less fake, so it’s not surprising. As a side note, referring to my intro, Mr. Kutcher only has 15 million followers right now.
From Tweets I’ve read, Ellen often follows those who Tweet about, or to her. I love when a celebrity isn’t snobby. Want to know how to make a loyal fan more loyal on Twitter? Follow them. Examples here, here and here.
Using Twitter’s search tool, you’ll find many people saying that Ellen was the first person they followed on Twitter, making Ellen a gateway drug!
More impressively, at the time of this writing, Ellen’s account is 1,995 days old and she’s Tweeted 8,314 times. That’s about 4.1 Tweets per day. Maybe that’s not much for a tween, but for people with, like, things to do, it’s pretty active.
So why do people follow Ellen DeGeneres on Twitter?
She’s funny. If you like following people who will make you laugh, then you’ll like following Ellen. Example:
Here's a great business lesson: To be successful, learn how to say "no." In other news, does anyone want Girl Scout cookies? I have 35 boxes. [tweet]
She Tweets for herself. From what I can tell, Ellen sends out Tweets on her own, and from watching her show it would seem that’s true. She might have some PR folks in there tinkering but a lot of what she puts out, people are happy about. I tend to think she’s scheduling jokes in here and there, but I won’t hold it against her.
She engages with followers. When she follows back people on Twitter, people kind of freak out a little. And while she doesn’t make a habit of responding back to fans, she does respond to celebrities and she does retweet her fans once in a while. Gary Vaynerchuk would call that birdie bragging, normally, but she doesn’t retweet the “OMG I love you!” Tweets.
Having a live Twitter chat on the show would be the ultimate fan fest, and I recommend all celebrities do it once in a while. Take an hour out of your day to orchestrate a time where you’ll try and respond to as many people as you can.