The Iron Man himself has finally joined Twitter. With only 4 tweets this morning, he’s dipped his toe into the social media universe. Within hours, Downey has tallied 912K followers. Wow, word travels fast. And why not? Iron Man is a billion dollar franchise for Marvel since they first introduced Downey, Jr. as Tony Stark in 2008. Worldwide the first film grossed $585M, the second one, $623.9M and the third, $1.2B. The next Marvel title for the actor is Avengers: Age of Ultron which will bow May 1, 2015 from Disney. Welcome to the SMU, Mr. Downey, No doubt, Disney and Marvel are thrilled. The actor has long been a strong presence on social media due to his many fans who call him #RDJ. His fans post video bits from the actor from media, on-stage award shows, red carpet appearances, and other media events showcasing the wise-cracking, irreverance. His opening Tweet:
Loving all the love, folks. It’s been a blast. Though can somebody please explain how anyone can keep their thoughts to 140 characters or le
— Robert Downey Jr (@RobertDowneyJr) April 12, 2014
The social media footprint of an actor or actress and how much a trailer or movie engages an audiences is becoming more and more important to film marketers and producers. “We see actors who are noticeably absent and others who are driving the train … Vin Diesel (71M FB), Emma Watson (20M FB, 12M Twitter), Will Smith (65M FB), Dwayne ‘the Rock’ Johnson (30M FB, 7M Twitter), Johnny Depp (16M FB), Taylor Lautner (31M FB) are a few of those,” says RelishMix CEO Marc Karzen. Others are either gun-shy or just want to stay out of the fray.” Facebook seems to be the preferred social platform for many of the film stars “because it’s much more of a visual experience,” said Karzen. Twitter has been trying to move that direction for the past year.
To show the power of social engagement, Vin Diesel changed his FB profile pic yesterday and got 1M likes and 48,000 comments. Can you say rapid fan base? Emma Watson helped lift the awareness of Noah on its opening weekend for Paramount Pictures through her strong following thanks to many Harry Potter films and social media savvy, and it’s well-known that producers and studios are constantly checking on social media footprints as it’s an element that plays a part in casting decisions. In television, the kings of it are Jimmy Fallon and Jimmy Kimmel both of whom have outstanding social media teams and have been engaging with their fans for a long while. On the flipside, some like David Letterman who was just replaced by Stephen Colbert, have social media anxiety.
When you have an artist like Bruno Mars, for instance, involved in Rio 2 feeding awareness for the movie across 51 million Facebook and 18 million Twitter followers, it’s promotion for studio marketers that they can’t buy. Oh, wait, maybe they can.
So, tweet long and prosper, Mr. Downey. It can only serve the business well.