On Twitter, rumours spread like wildfire. This is a great opportunity for companies and PR specialists to grab the bull by the horns and take full advantage of it. In this post I will look at two controversial characters who’ve flourished on Twitter and why they have proved such a social success…
Rumour has it – Mario Balotelli
Take the country’s most controversial football player, Mario Balotelli. Renowned for his inability to follow the rules and unpredictable behavior, it wasn’t long before he was branded the country’s ‘most hated footballer’.
However, a string of bizarre and ridiculous rumours unleashed on Twitter, have changed this perspective.
A personal favourite of mine… at Christmas he took it upon himself to drive round Manchester dressed as Santa handing out money to the lay masses.
This is not the first time Balotelli has reportedly flashed his cash and dished out bundles to those less fortunate then himself… sensationalising him as some kind of virtuous, all-giving Saint.
Best football rumour of the century: Mario Balotelli is dressed as Santa, driving around Manchester, handing out money. Please be true
— James McMahon (@jamesjammcmahon) December 17, 2011
With the combined power of social media and a little crisis management, Balotelli has fast become a pantomime ‘marmite’ figure: you either hate him or love him – but you definitely know him!
If these Balotelli rumours are true, I love him even more… #SantaMario
— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) December 18, 2011
Make yourself #win on Twitter – Charlie Sheen
Unlike Baloteli, Charlie Sheen used a personal account to ensure his twitter success.
Rather then being talked about by others, he gave others something to talk about with his ‘internship’ campaign and constant tweeting.
Sheen ventured into the world of social media following a disastrous TV interview and a failed TV show. He appeared an embarrassment – a shadow of his former successful self.
Sheen joined Twitter at the height of his own public humiliation – he was being talked about all over the net and in traditional media. So much so that he picked up his first 100,000 followers while his Twitter feed was still empty!
To his credit, Sheen suggests a certain amount of irony, tweeting himself an unemployed ‘winner’.
Twitter enabled Sheen to take advantage of his celebrity status and his recent high profile crisis events. Here is an example of a fallen character using social media to collect a new generation of fans online.