In the modern world, is there anything more disappointing than discovering your favourite celebrity has a team of social media experts updating their Twitter page? ‘We want to be near the real thing!’ you may cry. It’s a fair argument; if I can be bothered to post inane photos of every meal, or update the world every time I have a shower then surely they can too?! Some celebrities would agree and it seems that Harry Styles, of One Direction fame, counts himself amongst them. However, Harry has quite a specific approach to doing this…
At first glance, Harry Styles’ Twitter timeline looks very innocuous; he rarely posts details about his personal life or friends. However, he does post quite a lot of ‘shout outs’ which enable him to interact with or, at very least, encourage interaction with other users. But when you look even closer still, you realise that these shout outs are not leading to any further interaction. His Twitter feed is almost entirely singular tweets from Harry, by Harry.
He tends to tag other celebrities in his tweets (for example “Congratulations @zanelowe on your last show tonight. Have a good one.”) but then there’s no further response, seemingly, unless it happens via private messaging. Equally, for every post that Harry puts on Twitter, he seems to very rarely respond directly to fans. Admittedly, a lot of his fans seem to spam him religiously with requests to be followed back or RT’ed so perhaps there’s very little to say in response.
In spite of his ongoing lack of direct response, his fans continue to hang on his every word. The nearest he gets to acknowledging them is when he posts tweets after various shows, thanking the crowd for having them and coming to see them perform. He is, after all, a polite boy whose mother always taught him to be a gracious guest. And his fans lap it up.
All of Harry’s tweets are favourited somewhere in the region of 200 thousand times, in spite of their relatively simple and, often, repetitive nature. Sometimes, he signs off his tweets with “H” or “love, H” too which helps to give his tweets a more personal edge. Regardless of this, the fans respond heavily and dutifully to his every tweet. He also, occasionally, tailors his tweets to be in different languages, depending on where the 1D boys are performing. This was particularly prevalent on his feed following an Asian leg of their tour.
In summary, Harry Styles uses Twitter in quite a simple and relatively impersonal way, other than the fact that it is actually him updating it which is far more than a lot of celebrities do these days. However, it seems he recognises its power in terms of reaching audiences and fans, as well as being an opportunity to thank them for their ongoing support. His tweets are far from literary but they play the Twitter game very successfully.