When it comes to social media for celebrities, Instagram is one of their favorite platforms and it's quite obvious why. They can allow fans to take a sneak peak into their fabulous lives and keep all of us mere mortals up to date with their daily adventures.
Since it first launched in 2010, Instagram now has more 400 million users worldwide and was bought by Facebook for a staggering $1 billion (in cash!) The most followed accounts are exactly who you would expect; Selena Gomez, Taylor Swift, Beyonce Knowles, Justin Bieber, Katy Perry and of course the Kardashian-Jenner sisters. Fans absorb themselves in every post, from cute throwbacks, to their stunning evening gowns and intimate seflies.
The truth is - we just love their pretty faces! A study by the Georgia Institute of Technology and Yahoo Labs lead by Saeideh Bakhshi found: "Faces are powerful channels of non-verbal communication. We constantly monitor them for a variety of contexts, including attractiveness, emotions, and identity."
It may appear that celebrities are tied to their phones constantly updating their own Instagrams - picking out the best shots, thinking of hilarious captions and replying to followers. But this couldn't be further from the truth. Get ready for your eyes to be opened, as we delve into the all the secrets of celebrity Instagram.
14 They Pay Someone To Post For Them
Becoming an Instagram manager for the stars may sound like the dream job but they are ruthless when it comes to protecting their own brand. Jo Piazza, author of Celebrity Inc. and the newly released The Knockoff, revealed to E! Online, "It's actually a really high-pressure job. You are essentially the public face for these celebrities. I've heard of media managers being fired because they posted the wrong thing, the wrong picture or just because the celebrity didn't like it. You have to be absolutely meticulous. It's immediate, it's fast-paced and it has to be perfect."
Huge stars will forward their favorite pictures they have snapped that day over to their Instagram manager and they will do the rest of the work. That includes photoshopping, selecting the right hashtag, alongside tagging in all the right people and right people and places. The job itself can command a salary of $100,000+ a year - but when it comes to diva celebs, you may be made to feel as if every post could be your last.
13 Their Managers Create Scandals For Publicity
One top tip for a star to stay as relevant as possible is for them to always be surrounded by scandal - they need just enough gossip to keep the fans interested. Last year, Selena Gomez was in the middle of an interview with W magazine when the sharp-eyed journalist noticed a message pop up on the singer's phone. It was from her manager explaining a "teaser photo" was about to drop on Selena's Instagram of her arms wrapped around an "unknown guy."
Her 100 million fans on Instagram went crazy trying to work out who her mystery new beau was. However, the whole teaser was just a production shot from the new upcoming video for the track Hands To Myself. The hot guy was a model from the video. We always end up kicking ourselves when celebs trick us like this - yet we still fall for it every single time.
12 They Can Earn Eye-Watering Amounts From Posting
It's no big secret that celebrities cash in on their Instagram accounts. Working with huge global brands who want to engage with a large audience can be quite the profitable enterprise. Social media measurement company D’Marie Analytics revealed Gigi Hadid and Kendall Jenner can take home anything between $125,000 to $300,000 per Instagram post, but Selena Gomez can make a staggering $550k thanks to her huge following.
In such a short space of time, Kendall has worked with Dolce & Gabbana, Balmain, Chanel Haute Couture, Calvin Klein, Victoria’s Secret and Estée Lauder. Calvin Klein designer Francisco Costa told Vogue, "Her social-media reach is just incredible. She is a combination of things. She is beautiful. She exudes American ease. She’s young. As a house, you become part of the culture by embracing someone like her." Which is why many industry experts are predicting that Kendall will take the Kardashian-Jenner crown as the highest-earning family member in a matter of just a few years.
11 Their Following Can Land Them Huge Hollywood Roles
Social media affects the casting process for big Hollywood blockbusters more than you might think. Gone are the days when landing a big role meant you had to have a killer headshot and a high-paid casting agent. Veteran casting director Mike Fenton told The Wrap, "There is no question that today if you have good numbers on social media, you have become a better choice to be cast. It would behove actors to generate a social media presence."
Celebs can now use their Instagram to show off how versatile their look is - the ever-changing hair, style makeovers, shots in different locations around the world. What he see is an enviable lifestyle but actually behind the scenes the stars of today are using their social media as another part of the audition process. Also having a ton of loyal followers helps as Fenton explained, "If it came down to two professional actors, one of whom had great visibility in social media and one who was barely recognizable, we’d go with the one who could get the numbers."
10 They Need To Stay Relevant
Kim Kardashian is an expert when it comes to the fame game and every time she fails to make the news that week - almost like clockwork - her clothes fall off on Instagram again. Earlier this year, when Kim decided to wear nothing but her own bleach blonde hair and a couple of censor strips to cover her modesty, the world went into meltdown over the nude selfie. Kim was confused as she tweeted, "What's the big deal? They have seen me naked 500 times!"
Fans weren't too overjoyed by the Instagram snap as many voiced the lack of grace behind the shot. One fan commented, "She knows exactly what she is doing. She breaks the internet here and there to stay relevant." 19-year-old actress Chloe Grace Moretz also slammed the reality star as she wrote, "I truly hope you realize how important setting goals are for young women, teaching them we have so much more to offer than…just our bodies." That's easy for you to say Chloe - as a young, upcoming Hollywood actress with actual talent.
9 There Are No "Natural" Shots
Even if there is an image with the caption "Woke up like this" - don't trust it. There is no such thing as a natural shot on Instagram for celebrities as their look is very well protected. Author Jo Piazza also revealed, "It is very rare that there is just a candid picture of a celebrity. It is set up in advance. There are hair and makeup teams. There is a reason they look so god damn perfect all the time."
The hotel room, clothes and props (such as that cute coffee cup they are holding) are all carefully selected in advance too. Celebrity is a business after all, the use of their face in an advertisement campaign can help revive a failing brand as it gets people interested. Also companies are paying mega bucks for these stars to tout their products so they expect them to be looking nothing less than flawless as standard.
8 They Have To Stay As Neutral As Possible
Career suicide for any celebrity would be weighing in on political issues. Many stars this year, including Kendall Jenner, Beyonce, Jay-Z, Lady Gaga and Katy Perry just to name a few, showed their support for Hillary Clinton during the presidential election.
This was a rare event, stars showing whom they sided with politically, as they are mostly encouraged by their public relations team to stay as neutral as possible. Avoiding sensitive topics online helps avoid causing any backlash from those who disagree with their opinion. They can lose followers from this and it's very clear - a following is everything.
Nobody understands a backlash more than Selena Gomez when she supported her BFF Taylor Swift during the feud earlier this year with Kim Kardashian and Kanye West. She tweeted, "Why can't people use their voice for something that f***ing matters?" Twitter users fired back that she had failed to voice her opinion on the #BlackLivesMatter movement, to which she replied: "So if I hashtag something I save lives? No - I don't give two f***s about sides." Her dismissive remarks caused such a stir the backlash lasted for weeks.
7 They Prefer To Create "Stories"
Celebrity publicist Lisa Jamal, founder of Social Intelligence Agency, revealed that the top performing posts on social media are those that create a story.
For example, if a celebrity is travelling somewhere exotic there will need to be the shot of the Louis Vuitton luggage - packed and ready to go -, the shot of the private jet, the bikini shot and the healthy breakfast shot. Quite often a luxury travel company in return for the promotion will pay for the whole trip.
Stars don't even need to worry about putting the effort in to create the story as this is the job for their social media manager. Lisa revealed, "We will put the whole thing together - the copy, the photos, and create strategy. It's not posting, but also strategy and community management - you need to respond to your fans. It's a collaborative process with talent and their entire team."
6 They Get Special Features To Help With Trolls
Instagram allows celebrities access to a program that can block internet trolls. If stars are facing a huge backlash online and need the extra defense, they can use the program to mass-delete comments or users without having to go through the hassle of doing this for each individual user.
When Taylor Swift posted about her feud with Kanye West and Kim Kardashian, her Instagram account was hit with thousands of comments using just the snake emoji. Taylor was allowed to use the program to make any comments that branded her a snake instantly invisible.
A spokesperson for Instagram told The Telegraph, "We’re always looking for ways to help people have a positive experience with comments on Instagram. We're currently focused on providing tools to improve accounts with the most high-volume comment threads. We will use our learnings to continue to improve the comment experience on Instagram."
5 They Don't Even Write Their Own Comments
Stars get hundreds of comments a day on Instagram and don't have anytime in their busy day to reply to them all. However, on the rare occasion they do - this can send a fan into meltdown that their favorite celeb took the time out to say hello. Sadly, this might not be the celebrity replying but instead their own social media manager.
Another reason celebrities don't both with online comments is to protect themselves from reading anything awful from trolls. Kylie Jenner disabled comments on her own Instagram because of the vicious comments but also as too many of her fans were using it for their own "self-promotion." She receives an average of 20,000 - 50,000 comments per picture.
Chrissy Teigen also revealed that she wishes keywords such as 'w***e' and 's**t' were filtered out so she could avoid the online abuse that comes with being a star.
4 Stars Have A Lot Of Fake Followers
Although it may appear that followers mean everything it's actually the engagement of their fans that determines how popular the star really is. Mike Heller, CEO and founder of Talent Resources, explained to E! Online, "Engaged followers are more important - it shows that their followers are not just taking a look at their Instagrams but are actually participating." He added, "They are touching the brand. They are getting involved. The convergence of the fans buying the product is when the celebrity has a loyal engagement."
The engagement shows brands that the celebrity has genuine followers. In December 2014, Instagram purged a load of fake accounts much to the embarrassment of many stars. Kim Kardashian lost 1.3 million followers, Alkon lost 56% of his following, and Justin Bieber lost 3.5 million followers.
3 They Can Sometimes Get It Very Wrong
Rihanna is never far from controversy but she offended many fans after she posted a "racy" selfie of her posing out a mosque in Abu Dhabi. She was actually kicked out of the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque by staff who found her poses offensive at the sacred site. The singer wore a head to toe jumpsuit and posted the pictures online. Her fans were not very unimpressed with her attitude and accused the singer of turning the place of worship into a moment of her own self-worship.
Beyonce suffered the same fat when she posed for a "Last Supper" picture which she posted online. She sat in front of a picture of the Last Supper, in the same spot of the Messiah, wearing a yellow bustiere and a bright green mini-skirt. Thousands of Christians slammed her in the comments and one Twitter user wrote: "All hell broke loose with Beyonce's last supper picture. The Christians on my TL are not having it! Her Christian fans are p****d!"
2 They All Want The Top Spot
Selena Gomez has 103 million fans on Instagram (a number higher than the population of some countries in the world) so it's no wonder she is the current title holder for the most liked Instagram picture - ever.
The above picture of Selena sipping on a bottle of coke landed both her and Coca-Cola some serious publicity. The previous title holder was Kendall Jenner for her picture with love hearts in her hair which gained more than 3.7 million likes.
Selena told The Hollywood Reporter her secret is not to overthink things. She said, "It comes in a moment when I capture something happened, and I go, "Oh that would be great for Instagram. I should post it. I know it's boring, but that's genuinely what I do." (That and having an awesome social media team behind her!)
1 . ...But Taylor and Rihanna Come Out Top For "Authenticity"
Taylor is the second most followed celebrity on Instagram with 93 million followers and Rihanna is in 20th place with 46 million followers, but as far as engagement and branding goes - the experts claim they are head and shoulders above the rest.
Cosmopolitan showbiz editor Peggy Truong explained, "Rihanna and Taylor Swift are regarded as two people who have managed to perfect what BuzzFeed's chief marketing officer Frank Cooper calls the "authenticity" smoothie recipe. In other words, they know exactly what their fans want to see online, creating a space of intimacy without revealing too much about themselves."
Last year, Rihanna signed a deal with Samsung for a reported $25 million and Taylor Swift landed a contract with Apple Music for an undisclosed amount - which basically means a small fortune.
So it appears that the age old rule of showbiz still applies even today - all press is good press.