Diddy wants you to text him. So does Paul McCartney, Sophia Bush and Marshmello. Over the last few years, a growing number of celebrities and influencers have been splashing their phone number all over Instagram, TikTok, Twitter and YouTube.
“I’m sitting here and I’m thinking, I’m about to go into this next era of my life and I’m going to be doing a lot of positive things, a lot of disruptive things, a lot of things I really don’t want everybody, like everybody to know about,” Diddy said in a recent IGTV video. “On the ’Gram, everybody knows about everything. I want a deeper connection with my fans.” He explained that he got a special phone number for his family, friends and closest fans and asked people to text it in order to stay in communication.
“When I’m in your city, I’ll be able to hit you directly. I will be answering people, accepting résumés, giving information for parties. I’m just going to give out my number,” he said. Diddy promised to distribute “special unique content” related to “getting money,” “vibrations” and “inspiration” through text messages before promoting the number: 917-746-1444.
Sounds like an AMAZING concept – so this begs the question, why would a celebrity or influencer give out their number? Hint: They don’t – In fact, this is probably not at all what you think – instead of entering into a personal chat with a celebrity, you’ve actually done nothing more than subscribed to a newsletter or an automated update that is sent via text.
Question: What can you expect from the bulk of celebrity and influencer text platforms? Answer: not much; expect little personal interaction, a stream of disjointed thoughts, minimal relevant content and a one-way blast of information (not to be confused with a conversation.) You can also expect a frequent dose of your favorite celebrity pushing their latest news, photos, offerings, endorsements or promotions. Celebrities be warned, there’s no quicker way to damage your brand than an SMS program that sends one-way blasts to fans and then ghosts them with no response after an initial reply. It’s not that the fans don’t want to hear from those they follow, but they also want to be heard. It is tough to create trust, foster empathy and drive engagement when one party does all the talking.
At KLaunch, we are strong believers in the power of text messaging to connect celebrities, athletes and influencers, but the ROI doesn’t come from the platform, it comes from the way the platform is used. We love helping celebrities, athletes and influencers break free from big-box text blasting companies by providing them with ideas and thought leadership about how to create personalized experiences that make fans and followers feel valued and appreciated.
To run a successful celebrity SMS program requires an extensive level of personalization as to not risk the authenticity of the interaction, especially when a medium as personal as text is being used to promote a personality. The secret is that personalization and automation can coexist and therein lies the reason we exist.