Charlie Sheen is the man of the hour. He’s become Twitter royalty, adopted the vlog medium, and kept Facebook abuzz; all-in-all taking social media by storm. Here’s what Charlie can teach us about social media and marketing:

Charlie Sheen Winning Tip One

Early bird gets the worm.

Establish your presence on social platforms as soon as possible. If you wait too long, you run the risk of missing the peak of the hype and/or someone else stepping up and pretending to be you. (Just ask BP about that.) When things started blowing up in the media, Charlie jumped on Twitter almost immediately. Within 24 hours, he gained account possession and the supposedly discontinued verification.

Spread the word.

You can’t gain a following if no one knows you are there. Sheen has more than 2.6 million followers, with over 1 million having been added in the first 24 hours. Now, Charlie has the media and Adonis DNA helping him out, but the point stands. Do whatever you can to alert your presence: include the Twitter logo in emails, campaigns, sites, and print media. If possible, launch a PR campaign to generate word-of-mouth.

Be omnipresent and available.

What network has Charlie Sheen NOT been on recently? Coverage of his every move has become ubiquitous; blogs, TV, twitter, Facebook…they are all talking Sheen. Different platforms present different audiences, so dive into as many platforms as you can reasonably manage.

Go big or go home.

If there is one word NOT being used in conjunction with Charlie Sheen’s name, it’s timid. (It takes a bold man to handle the tiger blood in his veins after all.) Every customer interaction – tweets, blogs, ad campaigns, emails, etc. – should be treated as a headlining event. Customers are bombarded day in and out with marketing babble; you have to make extra effort to stand out.

Claim the hashtag.

On Twitter, the ultimate win is becoming a TT (trending topic). If your hashtag starts to trend locally or worldwide, you will automatically draw in extra traffic from curious visitors you may not have otherwise reached. When even the Red Cross is tweeting about #tigerblood; you know you have done something right.

Engage with your followers.

Numerous surveys show that brands who engage in dialogue with customers via social media garner increased brand loyalty. Embrace the “social” aspect of these platforms and respond the @replies and wall posts. Even a negative comment or review presents an opportunity to build reputation. Though not always politically correct, Sheen is actively retweeting and responding to critics on Twitter.

Be yourself.

Clients are savvier then brands often give them credit for and will almost always recognize a hired service managing a social media account. Sheen has made a solid (if not comical) point to present himself in an uncensored manner; warts and all. A combination of honestly and passion is a sure path to WINNING.

Let 'em talk.

Celebrities know that no press is bad press and Charlie knows this more than anyone right now. He has taken an unparalleled advantage of love of gossip. Furthermore, from a brand standpoint, people tend to trust endorsements from friends in their network much more than any other source. If it makes sense for your business model, try rewarding customers for spreading with word via wall posts or retweets.

Video spawned the viral star.

Charlie’s various soundbites have been overlaid over various images from the start, but when video footage starting emerging from interviews and “Sheen’s Korner” it exploded. Remixes started appearing, parodies on every late-night comedy show were recorded, and Charlie parodied himself on funny-or-die. Bottom line: try exploring visual media to garner more attention.

Soundbite yourself.

Part of what has enhanced Sheen’s takeover of social media is his tendency to be downright quotable. People across the country (and maybe world) are walking around shouting “Winning!” The quirkier the quote, the more the media seems to eat it up. People love to forward quotes that inspire or amuse them. This is a good time to whittle down your mission statement as well and frame it in a pleasing context.

With these tips, a little bit of Tiger’s blood, and some hard work…your marketing efforts can soon have you enjoying the view from the top just like Mr. Sheen.

5 Responses to “WINNING Marketing Lessons from Charlie Sheen”

  1. John Beagle says:

    What a great post, you hit all the big things Sheen does to stay in front of his market. I bet Charlie has figured out how to make much more than a million or two per episode. From selling out shows like a real rock-star to branding himself and his ‘tigerblood’ products, Sheen is just one more celebritie who has found the power of social marketing. You nicely summarized many important marketing lessons for SMBs.


  2. Beris says:

    I’m disappointed your firm would glorify Charlie Sheen (even in a round about way), and jump on his train of misplaced glory. In his current state, Sheen is just a very rotten apple. He is a public figure who has abused his role (not to mention his brain, his body, and his spirit). The fact that he has 2.6 followers is just a sad statement that we are off course.

    Sometimes it’s not about the game – it’s about doing what’s right.


  3. admin says:

    @Beris – Your opinion is certainly respected; I think he is a polarizing individual to many people. For marketing professionals and corporations who are trying to deploy and master a social media platform for their organization however, I think there are some valid lessons to be learned from Sheen’s actions over the past couple of weeks. Even “bad apples” can teach us something now and again. We do, of course, hope that his staff are aiding him towards a more healthy lifestyle where he can embrace and capitalize on the buzz he has created in a positive way.

  4. I agree. Netnews have been careful to keep judgemental comments reduced to a minimum in this article. They have kept their focus on what a successful marketing campaign is about. This links a high profile news topic perfectly with their own business goals on marketing. As a result, we opened the link and read the article.

    I think you’ll find most people are following Mr Sheen because they want to see him fall in a spectacular fashion. He is drawing out the voyeurs. But in terms of boosting the personal profile, we can turn to the old saying “All publicity is good publicity.”

    For me as a coach, dealing with high profile performers regularly, I would say this detachment from all that is good and healthy is not unusual. He’s just doing it more publicly than most. I wish him well.

  5. Mike says:

    Points are very well taken from this article. Obviously, Charlie is at an advantage because he is a celebrity already, but good article to press upon points to be more successful with social media campaigns.

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