Once upon a time, celebrities showed up at magazine photo shoots and had a full team of experts on hand to make them look glamorous. They were captured on glossy pages displayed on newsstands. Sometimes, they were seen in brief news reels at the beginning of movies. But now we live in a digital age, and celebrities are able to keep their fans up-to-date on what they’re doing on a minute-by-minute basis. The thing is, most of the time it’s not the celebrities who are actually doing it. Hollywood is and always will be a smoke and mirror show, and that celebrity you’re following is probably someone who’s in the publicity game — not an award-winning actor or musician.
Celebrities have millions of followers and about a million things on their daily to-do lists, so they don’t have a whole lot of time to check feeds and craft perfect tweets. If your favorite celeb spent that much time looking at their phone, you’d never get to see them doing anything else. These 15 celebrities and a whole bunch of others hire individuals and entire companies to keep their social media profiles interesting, engaging and well-updated. So is that a famous celebrity you’re actually following…or just someone who happens to work for them?
15. Britney Spears
Britney Spears is still way too busy to use Twitter. Look at her feed, and you’ll see that most of Brit’s tweets are designed for marketing and don’t feel all that personal. Spears has admitted that she uses ghostwriters and social media managers to keep her social media accounts going. Sometimes, you’ll see extra info tagged in Britney’s tweets so you know if it’s one of her assistants or the diva herself posting. And even though Britney isn’t exactly crouched over her smartphone typing everything out, she does tell her staff what she wants them to say before it gets posted.
14. Taylor Swift
Taylor Swift is famously engaging on her social media accounts. She shares all sorts of fun pics on Instagram — but Taylor isn’t always the one doing the sharing. In fact, lots of stars don’t manage their own Instagram accounts. First of all, their phones would never stop humming from all the likes, shares and comments. Secondly, they don’t have time to Photoshop the pics. Pretty much all the celebrity Instagram photos you see are Photoshopped completely before they’re posted. Celebs want to look perfect, so they hire people to touch up all those “personal” photos before posting them to the world.
13. Hugh Jackman
Hugh Jackman was “exposed” in 2009 for hiring ghost Twitter writers. When one of his staffers called the famed Opera House in Sydney the “Opera Centre,” Jackman admitted that he had not, in fact, written the tweet himself. He apologized for not writing his own tweets and said the message did come from his own mouth, but there was some communication error at work. Since that incident, lots of stars have admitted to using professionals to craft their social media posts, and still more stars have been outed by the firms who hired them. Today, social media management is considered to be a pretty high-paying gig, but it’s known to be a high-pressure job as well.
12. Kanye West
Kanye West has a lot of raps to write, so he doesn’t always have time to keep his blog updated. In an interview with “New York Magazine,” West said he’s hired two writers to keep fresh content on his blog. That leaves him free to go on tour, spend time with North and see what Kim’s up to on Instagram. Blogging can be pretty time-consuming, and not all celebrities are very good at it. Rather than attempting to come up with content on their own, many celebs hire writers to do the work and give them a general idea of the stuff they want them to write.
11. 50 Cent
It’s well-known that 50 Cent hires people to run his social media accounts and maintain his web presence. One of his employees admitted that 50 Cent does not actually post to Twitter back in 2009. He’s too busy making appearances and crafting lines to actually punch letters into his phone. Lots of celebs who maintain a strong presence online actually aren’t online much at all — they’re too busy going to appointments, attending meetings, working out at the gym and doing all the stuff celebrities do in order to keep being celebrities. Either way, 50 Cent fans don’t seem to care; he’s got 9 million followers.
Usher doesn’t hide the fact that his tweets come from both him and the team of people who work for him. Look at his Twitter profile, and you’ll see that all tweets are “from Usher and his team.” This probably means that, like lots of celebs, Usher tells people who work for him what to tweet but he never actually types the info in himself. Celebs already have a lot of stuff to juggle, and that includes multiple mobile devices that are connected to their various social media and email accounts. Chances are, someone else logs into Usher’s Twitter much more than he does.
9. George Takei
Decades after the original “Star Trek” was cancelled, George Takei has enjoyed a resurgence of popularity in recent years. Largely, that’s due to his strong social media presence. Takei has millions of followers on his accounts, and he’s known for tweets that run the gamut. He writes funny tweets, he tweets about current events, he expresses his opinion about social issues, he’s engaging and charming. He’s also not always him. Takei has admitted that he’s paid people to craft some of his humorous Facebook posts. Some celebs specifically hire social media managers to help them strike a certain tone, from funny to businesslike.
8. Mark Wahlberg
Mark Wahlberg’s Twitter account pretty much speaks for itself. Start reading, and you’ll get a good idea of what a professionally-managed social media account looks like. Even if Mark doesn’t openly admit that he’s using staff writers instead of wearing out his own thumbs, his tweets are pretty impersonal. And — here’s the dead giveaway — they’re all written in the third person. Wahlberg clearly doesn’t speak this way when he’s being interviewed, so it’s safe to assume that he’s not actually writing these third-person tweets. However, there is a ray of hope: maybe that’s what the Funky Bunch is doing these days, managing Wahlberg’s social media.
7. Willow Smith
It’s possible Willow Smith has never even seen her own Twitter account. Unlike many celebs, who at least pretend to have a hand in their own social media management, Willow Smith’s profile clearly states that it is managed by a team of professionals who represent Willow — it’s not actually Willow herself contributing to the account in any way. It’s her official account, but she may not even know how to log into it and clearly hasn’t got a lot of day-to-day input regarding what goes into it. For lots of celebs, Twitter is a tool to connect with fans…but fans have to accept that it’s a one-way street.
6. Kylie Jenner
Kylie Jenner is a brand unto herself, and she’s part of the much bigger Kardashian brand of reality celebrities. That means she’s got to be extra careful about what she posts to Instagram…so that’s why she doesn’t do all the posting. Kylie has been singled out by the media for posting clearly photoshopped pics on Instagram, the app that’s supposed to be spontaneous. But Kylie keeps careful control over her brand and what she shares with the world, so she has a staff to help her with that. She doesn’t just photoshop her pictures — she pays someone to do it for her.
5. Charlize Theron
Charlize Theron is one of many busy celebs who has hired a social media marketing company to help her manage her brand and keep her social media accounts frequently updated. Celebrities use social media for all sorts of things, and it’s not always just about self-promotion and selling themselves. Reportedly, Theron hired the company specifically to help her promote the various charities she’s involved with and help raise awareness for the issues that she personally cares about. Her Twitter feed may not always be in her own words, but it does share some of what’s close to Theron’s heart and on her mind.
4. Emma Watson
Emma Watson has been publicly outed as one of the many stars who doesn’t contribute every word to their own Twitter feeds. Like many others in Hollywood, Watson hired a social media publicity company to help her tout her various acting achievements and keep her fans up-to-date on all her latest roles and movie projects. Like many working actors, Emma does a lot of work on her roles so she can keep acting. This doesn’t give her a lot of time to promote her own achievements on Twitter. While some celebrities try to hide the fact that they hire companies to run their social media accounts, Watson hasn’t been secretive about it.
3. Kerry Washington
Kerry Washington does not run her own Twitter and Instagram feeds, but someone very close to her does. Washington’s staff is made up of friends and family members who actually know her, so fans still get a somewhat intimate look at this star through her social media accounts. Washington’s Twitter page is actually managed by one of her childhood friends who knows her well. Before the posts go live, Kerry looks over them and approves all content. The friend, Allison Peters, also asks Kerry about current events and issues happening around the world, and if she would like to Tweet about them online.
2. Ariana Grande
Ariana Grande has hired social media managers to help her stay in the social media limelight. Like several stars in the social media game, Ariana also posts some of her own stuff, but she may have someone else check it out first. It’s not uncommon for stars to send the stuff they want to tweet to their social media managers, and ask for an opinion before they approve the content to go live. After all, once it’s posted on social media there’s no time to have second thoughts. Many stars double-check their own tweets with managers for just this reason.
1. Paris Hilton
Paris Hilton clearly has not written all of her own tweets. This was obvious back in 2010 when she tweeted that she was in bed watching “Family Guy,” when it fact she had just been arrested and was being held in police custody at the exact time the post went live. Lots of social media managers who write celebrity tweets schedule those tweets in advance. That makes more sense than remembering to tweet something new every few hours, but it does cause problems when a star ends up being somewhere different than what their most recent post just told the world.
Celebrities today have to work hard at being celebrities, and that doesn’t leave a whole lot of time for Twitter. The busier and more popular your favorite star is, the more likely it is that they’re hiring someone to keep their social media accounts up-to-date. But if you’d rather see your stars in movies and on tour than on Twitter, don’t hate the system. For many stars, it works.
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