Social Media Strategy, Personal Branding, Social Media Marketing

Are You A Shaq or A Penelope?

penelope cruz social media 300x246 Are You A Shaq or A Penelope?Are you embracing social media connectivity, or trying to hide from it?

I realize that not everyone on the planet is going spend hours and hours each day communicating via social networks, creating content, and generally treating the social Web as if it’s the greatest development since “add your own” butter at movie theaters. 

But I’m increasingly hearing from people that are participating in social networks (most notably Facebook, Linkedin, and Twitter) but seem to be doing so out of some sense of societal obligation, like it’s jury duty with avatars.

Ultimately, I don’t see a lot of grey area with regard to social media and social network adoption and usage. You either love it, or you do it but secretly roll your eyes. You’re either a Shaq or a Penelope.

The Shaq

Shaquille O’Neal is perhaps the best current example of celebrity social media adoption. Among the five best-known athletes on the planet, he nevertheless has totally embraced social connectivity, spending hours per week communicating with humor and grace on Twitter (where he has 216,000+ followers).

He certainly doesn’t need to do this. He has money and fame in spades. He does it because he likes people, he likes to interact, and most critically he isn’t afraid to give up a piece of himself and his privacy. (For in-depth coverage of Shaq and the Phoenix Suns’ social media prowess, go here)

Three days ago, Shaq conducted his own instant contest with this Tweet giving away Laker tickets to the first person in Phoenix that spotted him:
twitter   the real shaq 300x49 Are You A Shaq or A Penelope?
Followed by this Tweet (9 minutes later) announcing the winner, and graciously asking his community to follow:
twitter   the real shaq2 300x48 Are You A Shaq or A Penelope?

He doesn’t complain that “the great unwashed” are able to interact with him online. He encourages it.

The Penelope

Last week, a friend saw Penelope Cruz at LAX two days after the Oscar’s ceremony. (Ms. Cruz won Best Supporting Actress for her role in Vicky Cristina Barcelona)

Evidently, Penelope was bundled up in semi-mummy fashion with multiple scarves and sunglasses, removing her wraps just long enough for security identification before retreating to her disguise.

If I had just won an Oscar, I’d be parading that thing through LAX like the Olympic torch, and encouraging people to buy me beers in exchange for the opportunity to touch the statue.

But I’m told that Penelope went way out of her way to not interact with the public at all. The same is true online. On Oscar Night, there were thousands of congratulations to Penelope on Twitter. But no response (I don’t believe she has an account).

Does lack of Twitter outreach make Penelope Cruz a worse celebrity than Shaq? Of course not. But it does demonstrate the difference between embracing the public and keeping your distance. Social media exacerbates that distinction.

Give a Little to Get a Lot

shaq shoe obama Are You A Shaq or A Penelope?Does active social media participation require you to give up some of your privacy? Yes. Does it require that you spend time cultivating digital “relationships” and helping others? Absolutely.

And if you don’t accept that you have to give of yourself to get back from the community ten-fold, then why are you participating at all?

If you’re a Penelope at heart, quit complaining about Facebook et al, and just sign off. It’s okay. Not everyone can be Shaq (or have size 23 shoes)…

(photos by PinkMoose and AP)

Related
  • http://tdhurst.com/ Tyler Hurst

    Great, except for one thing. Penelope Cruz hiding from her fans DOES make her a worse celebrity than Shaq. Someday (it can’t come soon enough) we’ll all be so connected that the idea of celebrity will fade and those that are rich and famous for movies will no longer be necessary.

    It will happen.

    Tyler Hurst’s last blog post..So I have these new business cards…

  • http://tdhurst.com Tyler Hurst

    Great, except for one thing. Penelope Cruz hiding from her fans DOES make her a worse celebrity than Shaq. Someday (it can’t come soon enough) we’ll all be so connected that the idea of celebrity will fade and those that are rich and famous for movies will no longer be necessary.

    It will happen.

    Tyler Hurst’s last blog post..So I have these new business cards…

  • http://www.themurr.com/ DaveMurr

    The beauty of Shaq is that he has no marketing experience and doesn’t approach social media and these tools like you and I might. He’s not concerned with promoting his blog or online presence, he simply just wants to talk, shake hands, and have fun. There is a lot we could take away form this.

    DaveMurr’s last blog post..Turn Off the Noise

  • http://www.themurr.com DaveMurr

    The beauty of Shaq is that he has no marketing experience and doesn’t approach social media and these tools like you and I might. He’s not concerned with promoting his blog or online presence, he simply just wants to talk, shake hands, and have fun. There is a lot we could take away form this.

    DaveMurr’s last blog post..Turn Off the Noise

  • Jacki Mieler

    I’d like to think I’m more of a Shaq, but with better spelling and grammar! But, I think all of that is part of his charm and what makes him more real. I couldn’t agree more with your last sentence. I have encountered some people that like to act all high and mighty and far too busy for social media – as if they have so many more important things to do and I’m just goofing off on the computer. Yes, there is a “fun” aspect to it, but I try to save that for my after-work hours. If you don’t get it, that’s fine, but keep your mouth shut, keep bundled up in your scarves like Penelope, and leave the rest of us to actually embrace technology while you are stuck in the caveman days of inventing the wheel and rubbing sticks together to make fire!

  • http://YourWebsite Jacki Mieler

    I’d like to think I’m more of a Shaq, but with better spelling and grammar! But, I think all of that is part of his charm and what makes him more real. I couldn’t agree more with your last sentence. I have encountered some people that like to act all high and mighty and far too busy for social media – as if they have so many more important things to do and I’m just goofing off on the computer. Yes, there is a “fun” aspect to it, but I try to save that for my after-work hours. If you don’t get it, that’s fine, but keep your mouth shut, keep bundled up in your scarves like Penelope, and leave the rest of us to actually embrace technology while you are stuck in the caveman days of inventing the wheel and rubbing sticks together to make fire!

  • http://www.sweetleaftea.com/ April Riggs

    Great article, Jason!

    I think what Shaq is doing is great! Being yourself when you are truly a people-person goes a long way and others out in the social media world can tell the difference between someone that truly enjoys their online experience and someone just there for self-promotion.

    Food for thought!

  • http://www.sweetleaftea.com April Riggs

    Great article, Jason!

    I think what Shaq is doing is great! Being yourself when you are truly a people-person goes a long way and others out in the social media world can tell the difference between someone that truly enjoys their online experience and someone just there for self-promotion.

    Food for thought!

  • http://ariwriter.com/ Ari Herzog

    Oh, Penelope Cruz! I clicked in, thinking you were comparing the tweets of Shaq with Penelope Trunk.

    Alas, no.

    Ari Herzog’s last blog post..Are You Among the 76% Adding Value Online?

  • http://ariwriter.com Ari Herzog

    Oh, Penelope Cruz! I clicked in, thinking you were comparing the tweets of Shaq with Penelope Trunk.

    Alas, no.

    Ari Herzog’s last blog post..Are You Among the 76% Adding Value Online?

  • http://twitter.com/bduverneuil/status/ Benoit Duverneuil

    Reading: Are You A Shaq or A Penelope? http://ow.ly/EDA

  • http://twitter.com/korykredit/status/1284352598 Kory Kredit

    Great blog by @jasonbaer today: http://bit.ly/AnNxC “Are You A Shaq or A Penelope?” Do you embrace social media or try to hide from it?

  • http://twitter.com/shellykramer/status/1286652367 Shelly Kramer

    Are you a Shaq or a Penelope? SUPERB article on Social Media http://bit.ly/AnNxC

  • http://twitter.com/christinekorda/status/1286671353 Women Social Media

    @ShellyKramer Are You A Shaq or A Penelope? http://bit.ly/A5hDv

  • http://twitter.com/jazzyg/status/1287646305 jazzyg

    Do celebs feel obliged to have a social media presence?: http://www.convinceandconvert.com/social-media-marketing/shaq-or-penelope/

  • http://twitter.com/shellykramer/status/1288448380 Shelly Kramer

    RT @Christinekorda: @ShellyKramer Are You A Shaq or A Penelope? http://bit.ly/A5hDv

  • http://twitter.com/socialmedia411/status/1292933294 Social Media Nuggets

    Are You A Shaq or A Penelope? (JasonBaer): http://bit.ly/2Ay4KS Do you treat SM like it’s jury duty with avatars?

  • http://twitter.com/roybragg/status/1292979679 Roy Bragg

    RT Are You A Shaq or A Penelope? (JasonBaer): http://bit.ly/2Ay4KS Do you treat SM like it’s jury duty with avatars? funny concept and yes.

  • http://twitter.com/roybragg/status/ Roy Bragg

    Duh. RT@SocialMedia411 R U You A Shaq or A Penelope? (JasonBaer): http://bit.ly/2Ay4KS Do u treat SM like it’s jury duty w/avatars? A:yes

  • http://www.spiral16.com/blog Whitney

    Jason – thanks for highlighting Shaq and Amy Martin’s efforts with the Phoenix Suns! She is one of our clients that truly understands how to use social media to elevate the fan experience.

    Whitney’s last blog post..Preparing for SXSW

  • http://www.spiral16.com/blog Whitney

    Jason – thanks for highlighting Shaq and Amy Martin’s efforts with the Phoenix Suns! She is one of our clients that truly understands how to use social media to elevate the fan experience.

    Whitney’s last blog post..Preparing for SXSW

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