Social Media the J.K. Rowling Way
Posted on November 25, 2016
If you’re on Twitter, there’s one handle you’ll want to follow: @jk_rowling. It’s the personal handle of author, playwright and now screenwriter, Joanne Rowling, of Harry Potter fame: of course.
Jo Rowling came onto my Twitter radar the day of the recent US Presidential Election with a quite innocuous tweet found near the top of a hashtag I’d been viewing:
@jk_rowling: One way or another, history will surely be made tonight. Let it be the good kind. Please, please let it be the good kind. #ElectionNight
The wrath, ugliness, bullying, cowardliness; the utter misogynistic ranting she subsequently endured, hour upon hour, were unparalleled to anything I’d ever seen on social media. That’s the day I determined to follow her.
Thing is, she took it on head first, clouds of dust mushrooming from the melee. She never backed down. Her aura was steel.
Where many celebrities have fled, Jo Rowling remains. She’s simply gutsy. Gawd, I so wanted to write just now in the voice of Dashiell Hammett’s detective, Sam Spade: “Jo Rowling was a gutsy broad”. Oh heck, why not? Because she is. She’s one of the gutsiest humans I’ve virtually met.
Creatives wear their hearts on their sleeves, abhor rejection, toss dissent and scream “F-you!” to the world when things don’t go their way. True creatives you see, are meant to suffer from an overflow of empathy, a too-close synergy with the human condition; not at all creatures pre-fabricated for fame; definitely not public forums. How many personalities have we seen of late, abandoning social media altogether having whacked a proverbial hornet’s nest with hubris forgetting the bugs still living inside? Jo Rowling showed she’s different.
Her importance to users of social media—particularly businesses—sits with her promotional and branding finesse.
Not only did she throw herself into the most stinkingly partisan election cesspool in generations she did so, I claim, unwittingly synchronised with the release of her film “Fantastic Beasts”, a visit to New York for its premiere and the flooding of bookstores worldwide with its hardcover script two weeks later. Not really the muddled timing a publisher would want in the largest economy on earth. Still she took the risk, because she had something to say.
So, social power-users, start following her today if you’re not already one of her eight-million-strong cohort and see how she feeds news, delivers opinion and most importantly, interacts with fans in microbursts.
I wouldn’t recommend her online intimacy to the average CEO but when you are the brand, she shows it’s perfectly doable. Detractors or not, all it needs is energy and sincerity. She packs the swag.
Yes, @jk-rowling blew me away with her commencement speech at Harvard University some years back—and now her public joie de vivre continues her inspirational bend.
Study her, pick her modus apart. If social media must form a section of your marketing strategy there’s no better realtime example right now.
© 2016 Adam Parker.