For many, this direct engagement has fostered loyalty. This connection can be on a grand scale – such as Lady Gaga (unusual) – or on a more moderate scale (“celeb” Tweeters such as musicians Jane Wiedlin and Nile Rodgers, author Julian Gough or politician John Prescott).
Direct access can of course lead to abuse. At times I’m amazed how people such as politician Louise Mensch or sports commentator Stan Collymore can filter through the nastiness and still make time to engage effectively with followers.
I’ve witnessed how relatively innocuous critique can result in offense being taken. Many celebrities have left the platform (some eventually return), but I see that Pet Shop Boys have retreated from Twitter, and people who would be wonderful on the platform (such as Paddy McAloon or Green Gartside) have never appeared or keep a very managed distance.
Stephen Davies from London agency 33 Digital has a go at summarising the relationship between celebrities and social media – so far. Come back in 5 years and this will more than likely be quaintly obsolete, but right now, just make notes.