The celebrity that I chose for this assignment is fashion designer, TV personality and actress Nicole Richie. She is also known for being the adopted daughter of recording artist Lionel Richie, as well as playing a scripted version of herself on The Simple Life. Currently, she is playing the role of news anchorwoman Portia Scott-Griffith on NBC’s Great News. Richie is also rather popular on social media with over 540,000 likes on her Facebook page (facebook.com/nicolerichieofficial), more than five million followers on her Twitter page (twitter.com/nicolerichie) after 4,367 tweets since she joined in March of 2009, and more than 3.8 million followers on her Instagram page (instagram.com/nicolerichie), where she has currently posted 932 different photos and videos.
For the most part, her Facebook page is pretty basic stuff for a celebrity of her kind of stature. Her current profile picture is part of a photoshoot that she did for Vogue Australia, while her current cover photo is a promotional picture meant to help sell some new items that are part of her fashion line, House of Harlow 1960 (supposedly named after her daughter.) Her About section contains her birthdate, a link to her House of Harlow website, and a brief bio going over her love of fashion. The bulk of her page’s posts almost always contain either a photo or a video relevant to something she’s promoting at the time, or at least a link to a video. The more popular posts on the page appear to be when an announcement of some sorts is made, like when she reveals that she has become the latest ambassador for Urban Decay Cosmetics or when she’ll be competing against her Great News co-star John Michael Higgins in an episode of Lip Sync Battle.
Her posts regularly get at least a few comments, and they’re almost all uniformly positive, as to be expected from people who are fans of Richie. The last several posts in particular range from ten to twenty people commenting, and it’s the same deal. Her page covers the gist of what she’s promoting, be it a new clothing line or TV show, and doesn’t aspire to be much more, which I guess is respectable. It’s not too bad that the page tries to keep things simple and to the point, as the alternative can sometimes be overbearing. One problem I have with the Facebook page is that feels like she isn’t doing anything on her own. It seems as if she got a handler or some intern to take care of all the posts for her, and that makes her page seem less personable. I think if she used her own voice, more of her fans would gravitate toward her page.
Richie’s Twitter page tells a similar story. Her profile and banner (or header) images are the exact same as the ones on Facebook, which suggests she (or her team) isn’t doing much to separate the two pages. But it does help to reiterate that Richie is a woman involved in fashion. Her bio simply says “I invented post-it’s”, a reference to the movie Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion, which viewers can assume is a favorite of Richie’s. Also like her Facebook page, her tweets are generally self-promotional, contain related photos and videos, and sometimes carries the air of a Twitter account run by someone hired to take care of all social media concerns. But she (or her handler) also tends to retweet other accounts that are relevant (and favorable) to her, as well as getting healthy amounts of retweets herself. But it also (again, like her Facebook page before it) do a good job of keeping things to the point.
Richie normally doesn’t reply back to the dozen or so tweeters who normally respond to each of her tweets, which is fine but that might not help with building her brand and bigger. The only recent time she did anything like that was to promote her new show, Great News. And while some of her fans might appreciate that, it feels less like genuinely wanting to interact with fans and more like something she thinks she’s supposed to do in a situation like this. Another similarity to her Facebook page is that the tweets that get the most attention are ones that come in the form of some big disclosure, like a season or series premiere of Great News or when she’s about to be interviewed by a well known talk show host like Jimmy Fallon (though that could be because Fallon himself retweeted her tweet.)
On Instagram, things change moderately for the better. Richie’s profile picture is yet again the same as before, but her posts aren’t just self-promotional, they also open a smallish window into her life and her hobbies. Recent posts include books she read over the summer, pictures of her with her friends and family, and photos of just her in her everyday life. Many of her followers seem to appreciate that, judging by the very positive comments on her last five or six posts. The posts that get the most likes, as it turns out, are the ones that have nothing to do with whatever her current projects are. A photo congratulating her two friends Erin and Sara on their recent success got roughly twice the amount of likes her post usually gets. A “throwback” photo she posted on Father’s Day of her when she was younger being carried by her father received over 87,000 likes.
Her bio is succinct but also informative enough: “Creative Director of House of Harlow 1960. Portia on Great News on NBC. Nikki Fre$h in the garden & on the streets bit.ly/2sWDRJ3.” The hyperlink at the end leads to a project that she is working on with Revolve that was probably referenced in another Instagram post with “link in bio” in the caption. Aside from that, while Richie is comparatively showing more of herself on Instagram, she could still do a bit more to endear herself to even more people. A woman of many trades like herself has potential to reach larger audiences than what she currently has.
Easily, Richie’s Instagram page is the most interactive of the three, as well as the one I feel is most worth coming back to. It does more to update fans on where she’s at in her life, and it provides anyone viewing her page with a better idea of who she is without oversharing or getting too dramatic. Richie’s Facebook and Twitter profiles are at best fine, but when the primary focus is posting primarily about current projects, it doesn’t do all that much to separate Richie from any other celebrity on social media trying to promote him or herself. Perhaps Richie can find someone in the future that could make sure her presence on all forms of social media is more whole, and not simply doing just enough.