So many folks are scolding stars like @oprah and @barbarajwalters because they’re not following-back the thousands of fans who are following them. Here is a case-in-point from Lena Claxton and Alison Woo, Don’t Make Oprah’s Twitter Mistakes:
Right now by only following 10 people, she’s using Twitter as a broadcast medium. The power in Twitter is in speaking AND listening. And for someone who already has a huge platform to speak to her audience with her TV show, she might consider using Twitter to LISTEN and engage in conversation.
Stars don’t need to follow-back. They’re stars. Their brand is secure and we don’t even need to engage in a conversation with us, necessarily. And, if Barbara Walters and Oprah Winfrey do a good enough job at nodding, winking, and sharing insights into their lives, their process, and their experience, that’s good enough, because they’re stars, they’re not like us, and they don’t really need our approval.
Additionally, if an A-list celeb is following everyone back and responding to all convos and carefully-reading their Twitter stream to the tune of 300,000+ follow-backs, it will probably end up not being the star or celebrity herself, but a small flock of ghost-twitterers, which is something we the fans don’t want at all.
Case-in-point why Oprah is doing it write is that tonight on Entertainment Tonight, they reported that Oprah had announced that she was cancelling a show today about Columbine — and she did it on Twitter:
This kind of open and generous “broadcasting” with her viewers, fans, and the media — ET and TMZ included — is what this is all about — if, and only if, you’re not only a star but also one of the most powerful women on the planet.