Background I work in social media and because of my experience I do speak at a lot of events. I’m currently writing a paper right now on how the media have turned the table on social media to create news via social channels vs using social to source reactions. So this is my ballpark.
I wanted to jump in because of the fake tweets – people spoofing tweets etc. It is done. TheAgency is a social media venture by CAA that exclusively had celeb clients – they organised the back and forth between Hasslehoff and Bieber and also helped to promote Oreo’s You Can’t Dunk in the Dark tweet. Their specialty is to get people talking and they often do it by manufacturing conversations between people to generate reach and visibility. Try to find a history on this agency and it is virtually impossible, they are like tighter than Fort Knox.
Most agencies also all do work with influencers to help promote any brand or product they are working on. So a Zoella getting free makeup all to talk about it is one example of the type of things that are done. Nothing new or hidden.
People like Kim Kardashian buy fans as most people – except for social media publications won’t know or check, they’ll just see popularity.
In Russia, the government – albeit from a benefactor not directly related has a social media farm known as the internet research agency, where they have people running 40 different profiles all to try and sway opinion or to cast doubt on thoughts the government doesn’t agree with. Here’s a story: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/07/magazine/the-agency.html?_r=0
What does all this mean? It means that take social with a grain of salt. Are the profiles tweeting about seeing Cumberbatch in Oxford all a sham? Meh – I would need to look at the history of their profiles in order to examine it fully. Potentially worst case they could be hired influencers, but probably not.
However, sites like Celebitchy – 100% troll farm side even with Daily Mail moderated comments.
Having worked with PR for celebs – I’ve helped build people’s profiles in the past, even pretended to be a few celebs while they started out online – the one thing I noticed is symantecs. People can try to hide their way of speaking in different characters but certain words, or sentence structures will always give them away. You can easily tell when it’s PR vs an authentic person on their own channels, the same as you can with internet comments.
That said, the restuarant sighting most possibly is PR. PR flackees often times do all the restaurant bookings for their clients. So this means the restaurant gets to claim someone famous visited, the celeb most likely gets the meal comped or at least the main/entree type of deal. Win, win. But in these cases the entire floor staff also know they are coming – so I would doubt they would be surprised if a celeb came in. Given it is in Oxfordshire – perhaps they could have walked in – but I would think if they did, it would be a place they visited regularly in order to make sure they weren’t papped and had an agreement with the landlord.
Long rambling sort of diatribe on social, but I think it’s easy to say, many celebs do have their profiles boosted online. Now if Cumberbatch is that sophisticated or not I don’t know. But it could be a fun experiment to do a listening analysis of his social media mentions from a year from Oscardom out, the release of the film, the announcement of the engagement, Oscars, etc to notice any patterns or language usage being used. I don’t have the time for that -but if there was anything shady, it could easily be seen.
Ballsy: Thanks Social Anon! 😀 Love a bit of good insider knowledge. Yep,
knew about celebs “buying” fans and the Russian farm thing. Thanks for the other tidbits. It’s amazing what you learn when you unravel
As to tweets on Ben earlier
than the Showmance. I have a little
collection. Mostly from fan selfies (so
def met, have receipt) and they have a certain ring to them that differs to the
ones we sprinkle salt on. The ones that
stand out are recent ones. On re-reading
them in a row, there’s a distinct pattern.
I think we’ve all noticed it.
What did I say about it being a PR outing if true? Poor BC’s parents were already papped ‘enjoying’ SH’s company back in January. They are doing it for BC’s sake but I can only imagine what they are feeling right now. Especially if they know that Notmybaby is not their grandson and TBH everything points to that. So discounted/free meal in exchange for publicity, staff would be encouraged if not paid outright to tweet because PR is coordinating everything. Given how much BC normally values privacy the tweeters would not have risked their jobs like that. This was a setup that hit all the right marks, no coincidence. When I told my mom about SH not eating to mind a 2 month old she laughed. Said that SH was not a good mother, she was a clueless poser who couldn’t put the baby in his carrier and eat like a normal person. Called it “Sophie’s Dinner Theater” but what can you expect? The nanny takes care of it most of the time, I’d be surprised if SH knew how to swaddle a baby properly.