Social media management has become the most versatile and potent tool for increasing celeb engagement with fans. Celeb managers have convinced their clients to get on board Instagram, Facebook and Twitter in order to keep their fans interested and begging for more.
A recent worldwide Instagram rich list compiled by UK social media management company Hopper HQ had Priyanka Chopra ranked at 46 and cricketer Virat Kohli ranked 50, the only two Indian celebrities to figure based on their charges.
That’s not surprising considering that Bollywood celebs and cricket are the two most powerful influencing professions in India and have infinitesimal reach across all boundaries. For celebs, being an influencer is as much a revenue stream as their chosen professions.
And we’ve known many a celeb manager to engineer a social media storm in order to lend top-of-mind recognition for their clients. By consistently augmenting their clients’ brand value, they are obviously ensuring big ticket advertising and film deals come their clients’ way and also ensure the fan base expands exponentially.
Of the top 50 most followed accounts on Twitter, @iamsrk (Shah Rukh Khan) is ranked 32, @SrBachchan (Amitabh Bachchan) is at 33, @BeingSalmanKhan is at 35, @AkshayKumar is at 45 and @imVkohli (Virat Kohli) at 49. Bollywood’s sway on social media is pretty much apparent. Celebs and the social media are seen to be inseparable today.
Stars and their media managers light up the social and micro-blogging sites with their chatter when wanting to promote themselves, their special causes, their films or preferred colleagues. They go by the dictum that the more you expose yourself to the fans the better the chances are of your film or product or cause becoming popular.
It’s come to a point where PR pundits advise against having critic previews and promote star previews instead — in order to gain maximum social media advantage and increase the first weekend coffers substantially. Even public displays of affection on social media have become another aspect of the social media marketing juggernaut that inevitably blurs the lines between the personal and the professional.
Which brings us to the recent spate of tweet exchanges between Deepika Padukone, amongst the most influential B-town actresses with a substantial following (over 26.5 million) on Twitter and her husband, actor Ranveer Singh, whose Twitter following sits at over 12.9 million. The mush fest has literally taken up plentiful column space across all new and old media.
The dimpled beauty, one of the most sought after actresses today, has, post marriage, indulged in witty repartee in response to her hubby’s irreverent preening across social media. Amongst Bollywood’s highest ranked power couples, Ranveer and Deepika were not half as open on social media about their relationship during their six-year-long courtship as they are now, after getting hitched a year ago.
In fact a few months prior to their announced wedding date, the couple had begun easing up on their self-imposed rigid social media restrictions. Their Instagram PDA which caught the fan-eye prior to their wedding had Deepika captioning her wide eyed, dimpled happy click with “Day Well Spent” and Ranveer responding with “melting.”
The fans of course were well clued in to what that meant. Ever since, an irresistible Ranveer has been trolling his darling wife with cute commentary. From ‘Dil Le Gaye Dimples tere’ to ‘What-ay good Sindhi Bahu’, Ranveer’s commentary on Deepika’s photo uploads are indicative of the love, admiration and camaraderie they share as a couple.
While Deepika is not exactly gushing on social media, her not-so-subtle rejoinders give you a sense of how strong their relationship is. When Ranveer shared a bare chested pic of himself Deepika immediately laid claim, commenting “Mine.”
When Deepika posted a picture of herself looking into the camera with come-hither eyes, Ranveer’s response was “Don’t Look at me like that,” suggesting anything, but. Another picture of Deepika got him saying “Marc is right.
We should do a lot of it,” while Deepika continued to keep her responses pointed. A picture of a fully clad Ranveer looking fit and smiling had her commenting “Why so Hawt?!?!” with several emojis indicating love, laughter and sassiness. When Deepika posted a close-up image of herself, Ranveer responded, “Aur paas,” and Deepika’s rejoinder to that was “Accha, Ghar aaja, Mein Batati Hoon.”
When Ranveer commented on a pic that showcased Deepika in a not-so-very-amused light his comment was, “This is the ‘Is this any time to come home?’ glare.” Deepika then responded with a, “Good. Now do you want to do something about it.”
The couple send heart eye emojis and virtual kisses to each other and even indulge in naughty, cheeky and sometimes suggestive banter — all in the public eye. And to what goal, you may well ask?
For a super busy power couple like Deepika-Ranveer it’s obviously extremely difficult to spend together time with each other and therefore they may be vicariously indulgent in hanging it all out on social media for the fans to gush about.
According to an article in Psychology Today, the majority of research actually shows that people who have a couple profile photo, are “Facebook official,” or post about their relationship tend to be more satisfied with their relationships than those who do not engage in all this showing off.
As the research states, Deepika-Ranveer are a happy couple, but are they indulging in social media PDA to solely compensate for their lack of quality time with each other or is there also a pecuniary gain attached to it? Distinctions between what is private and what is public are rather blurred in this era of the social media onslaught.
With marketing teams specially employed to increase the brand value of a star, it’s a given that social media banter has also become a potential cash card for the client to encash on. Indicators are all over the internet and associated platforms that the couple are fast increasing their popularity.
If they keep going at their current posting frequency, it’s only a matter of time before they make it to the top 50 social media influencers of the world, themselves!