Everyone is talking about Charlie Sheen and what is interesting is that people really want to know about this guy. The digital world has been set on fire in anticipation and observation as he rants his way out of a career or into eternal career enhancing notoriety.
He is, as we speak, creating his own PR machine to manage his direct line to people so he can continue to have his say. On March 1, 2011 Sheen joined twitter and by 6pm @charliesheen had 108,000 followers and had not yet tweeted a single thing. He was accumulating followers at a rate of 1,000 a minute while we were watching. In fact, by midday March 2nd he had over 840,000 followers and had begun tweeting with the likes of Floyd Mayweather and inviting @iamdiddy over to hang out.
While it is fun to watch this unfold, it is also a lesson for brands. Companies with big names and some notoriety like Delta, Amex, and Best Buy, all of which seem hard to reach and larger than life (much like Sheen) are also notable for being highly responsive on their twitter feeds. Within minutes of a post you can get a personal reply. Here are a couple of examples from a colleague’s twitter feed:
In case you’re wondering which brands are winning in this channel, Mashable gives a good roundup of the best twitter brands, which includes Chevrolet, Marriott Hotels and the Detroit Pistons. These brands are connecting with consumers in a very public yet personal way. Those that continue to proactively pursue these interactions and build a closer connection with consumers will be the winning brands in the future. The question remains however, what will become of Charlie, but we’ll be right there following him.