The buzz word d’jour (or public drug I should say) is Charlie Sheen. His odd behavior and ‘tiger blood’ antics have been splashed across the media industry as every channel, news story and website has jumped whole-heartily onto the Sheen train wreck. Although I could write an entire blog post about how out-of-control he and his ‘winning’ attitude are, or debate if this whole thing may just be an act, I thought it would be more refreshing to look at how social media has become Sheen’s most vocal supporter.
Highlights from Sheen’s “winning” social media campaign:
- In 24 hours on Twitter @CharlieSheen amassed a following of more than 900,000 followers (he currently has 2.5 million followers and 98 tweets). He has stated his reason for getting on Twitter is “to have a direct conversation with his fans to tell his side of the story.” As a result of his antics he set a new Guinness World Record ‘winning’ the title of “Fastest Time to Reach 1 Million Followers.”
- Sheen also used Twitter as a platform to promote the launch of Sheen’s Korner,” a 50-minute Ustream show that will become a regular event. The show has become an instant hit—with more than 115,000 people watching the debut and 100 million views in two nights and according to Sheen, another Guinness record.
- With a single tweet seeking a social media intern, Sheen drew in over 74,000 applicants within less 48 hours.
There’s no doubt Sheen’s bizarre rants combined with his celebrity status are fueling the success of his social media campaign. He provokes fascination. He is the epitome of a celebrity uncensored. And without a publicist by his side limiting his talk show appearances or discouraging runaway ranting to the public directly—Sheen has given his audience a raw look into the coveted celebrity world.
He has embraced his social media power by connecting with fans through erratic tweets and videos that have gone viral. This has allowed him to promote the “Charlie Sheen” brand and has led Sheen to paid endorsement deals for products and brands via Twitter and Facebook. And while he sees himself as a ‘warlock’ and his PR tactics are risky to say the least— every media outlet wants an exclusive interview with him. Sheen managed to get in front of the story (even if he was behind it), has taken control of the bad publicity and has somehow turned this mess into an advantage.
Sheen is winning.
So my fellow tiger-blood addicts, what do you think of Sheen’s off-the-wall approach to a publicity campaign? Is he winning the PR war? Are his social media successes going to be short-lived? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.