GaryVee, a tortured Jets fan just like me, said yesterday that Britney should be sending and receiving her own tweets if she’s going to be on twitter. My favorite quote from Gary’s video is "when it’s your team [posting], it’s just a press release" the video below plays right at that quote so go ahead and hit play and see Gary say it himself.

I am not a Britney fan but I do follow some well known musicians on Twitter, including Ben Kweller and Dave Matthews. Ben and Dave do it right, they post themselves. Ben posts occasionally and Dave posts all the time (so much that I am thinking of taking him off my sms feed). And the difference between seeing press releases on twitter and the actual ramblings of someone you are a fan of is everything.

Authenticity is hard, but it’s critically important in the world of social media and "digital branding". GaryVee gave a talk about building your personal brand at Web 2.0 in NYC, the same day I gave my talk. His talk was awesome and is worth watching so here it is.

I didn’t start this post out intending to show you two GaryVee videos, but he’s the axe on this subject so it makes sense. In both videos, Gary talks about answering his own emails. I do that too. It kills me and I can never get to all my emails and it’s a personal struggle for me. But I cannot imagine someone else answering an email sent to me. So it’s not happening. You’ll either hear from me or you wont’ hear back at at all.

Friday night we went to see Ben Kweller at Bowery Ballroom, my favorite venue in NYC. We walked up the back stairs after the show and into the post show hangout room and nobody was stopping us. Ben was there shaking hands and talking with everyone who stopped by. At one point his little boy Dorian walked up to him and said "daddy I want to play drums". So Ben picked him up, told everyone to follow them back down to the stage so Dorian could play the drums while he chatted with us. Turns out the drum kit had been taken down so Dorian got to play the keyboards instead. That was an authentic moment. So is this latest tweet from Ben about what he did after playing the Bowery gig.

As more celebs show up on twitter, it’s going to be interesting to see what they do. Britney already has 2,600 follwers. That number will be 10,000 before long. And of course she cannot @reply to every one of them who replies to her. But she can and should send her own tweets. And maybe @reply to one every now and then. If she doesn’t do that, Gary’s right, she’s wasting her time with twitter and social media in general.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]
#VC & Technology

Comments (Archived):

  1. Ed

    When I heard the initial noise that ‘she’ was on Twitter, I assumed it was simply their marketing department using any avenue, any hot property to stay alive. “If it’s good enough for Obama…”And there will be many fans who follow. But to the Twitter purist, it pollution*.Fortunately, Twitter is the ultimate opt-out cups and string.It just doesn’t seem right that some PR hack suddenly has twittr on her radar,rather than [what’s left of] the actual person giving voice to their person.It’s early to judge Spears, but it is the Gary V’s and Dave Matthews make Twitter great.Not some intern PR hack: what if it helps Twitter? Sighhh. Say it ain’t so Joe.

  2. andyswan

    I can see it now: “I’m Hanna Montana and I approve this Tweet”

  3. sass

    Good stuff Fred and Gary! Twitter is potentially a great platform for celebrities who do want to directly connect with fans and do it themselves. It is totally opt-in, so the artist can control who has direct access to them, if anyone. It is portable, as the artist can send updates from their phone, anytime, anywhere. And most importantly, with a 140 character limit, posts can be short, sweet, and real. No need to think too much, no need to involve “writers” “PR folks” “assistants” or other handlers. You don’t need to review “drafts” of a Tweet! Those who realize this and “get it” will find a terrific way to add a layer of deep connection and reality to core fans who choose to follow them. CEO’s such as @zappos (Tony Hsieh) already have discovered this, and celebs can work their brand much in the same way Tony has worked his corporate brand, building tremendous customer/fan loyalty.

  4. kenberger

    The #1 most followed member, per Twitteriffic, is @BarackObama. The factual and impersonal nature of his stati suggest it’s not actually him.Also, you were totally right: Vee’s style is a dead ringer of Jim Kramer!

  5. Nate Khouli

    “But I cannot imagine someone else answering an email sent to me. So it’s not happening. You’ll either hear from me or you wont’ hear back at at all.”Very taken in statement, although, you have to admit, sometimes you receive e-mails that could be answered by review from past articles or further research. 10 of those e-mails a day is taking 40 minutes away from you that could be spent helping someone.

  6. rah33ls

    garyvee perfectly understands the dilemma that most advertisers fail to acknowledge – that is, to say (or advertise) you’re ‘authentic’, ultimately, means that you’re not. it’s that simple.

  7. SamJacobs

    I’m obsessed with this topic. It’s actually a conundrum for many artists, particularly up and coming artists, because the reality of their ‘authenticity’ may be to present an image or an act that is under-developed from the marketing world’s perspective. It’s the shower shoes argument from Bull Durham.Artists like to foster illusions about their persona which historically they’ve believed have helped further their brands. It’s unclear whether that illusion was also related to a monopolized restrictive distribution platform and mentality or whether it actually did help drive sales or awareness.In my tiny world, I’ve opted for more authenticity even though it’s meant being transparent about the nascent state of the enterprise. Here’s a post: http://www.theflyingchange….Beyond Twitter, it’s also fascinating to see how artists treat their blog presence. Again, most treat it like the old ‘News’ section of their website rather than use the medium to create a real voice through which they can talk to their community. This seems like a blown opportunity.My favorite artist blog is Kanye’s. It’s a photo blog on products and design concepts he finds interesting. It seems like it’s straight from him but the volume of posts might prove me wrong. http://www.kanyeuniversecit

  8. mattmaroon

    Gary and Britney have very different objectives. Britney has a lot more to worry about, I’m sure, and the amount of promotion she may get from Twitter isn’t worth her time, but may be worth a representative’s.

  9. Geoff

    It strikes me that Twitter could be adding some value for these celebs and high number of followers etc Just thinking revenue 🙂

  10. Chris Dodge

    Interesting tangent, Gary also does wine reviews. When played your embbeded videos, he seemed immediately familiar. Last week, I just accidentially stumbled on some reviews of his regarding Montrachet wines:…I just need to find a bottle of the 2005 Fontaine Gagnard La Romanee Chassagne Montrachet that he raves about.

  11. browser411

    You really hit the nail with your nuanced example of authentic marketing. The proliferation of technology has set back authenticity in many ways (i.e., many have honed their BS radar for “spam” like Britney’s twits or emails from Nigeria) but it can also do wonderful things like connect consumers efficiently and effectively with companies/producers who really care. Zappos is an example of a bigger company and etsy (an investment of yours, I believe) is an example of many smaller producers who are “keeping it real”.

  12. Brett Tilford

    These video’s were rocking! So impressed by Gary’s authenticity and his passion for social media. On the first video his thoughts about Brittney doing her own tweets were spot on. In the second video I loved his thoughts about doing what you love! I’m living that out every day.

  13. Gonzalo Arzuaga

    Gary’s authenticity and passion are the real thing. Thanks Fred for sharing them (Actually i’m talking about the 2nd video). We need 100’s of people like him, and we can change the world. Keep rocking Gary!

  14. Gotham Gal

    Nobody stopped us from going back stage because we had back stage passes.

  15. josh guttman

    From the point where that video was queued up, I was convinced that “Brit” was Brett (as in Favre) and the rib about making it authentic and your own was a criticism of this past week’s performance. Speaking of which, this twitter account also looks like its either a fake or from a pr team –

  16. jaygould

    Incredibly inspiring, I couldn’t agree more. I used to work a shitty 9-5 job when I got out of college at Microwarehouse as an inside sales guy selling IT. I came home every night and worked until 4-5am and got up and did it again… I eventually built my first website, sold it to MatchNet Plc, and that gave me the opportunity to quit my day job and do what I love full time… I’m still doing. Listen to this guy, he’s correct.

  17. Viveka Weiley

    Authentic can just mean truthful: e.g.… is the tweet stream of the UK prime minister. It’s not by him, but it doesn’t pretend to be. It’s by one of his aides, following him around, and written with a personal touch from that perspective. It works.