Ever heard of Tony Hawk… the skateboarding legend? If you haven’t, please have a look here first. Also known as “the birdman”, he is arguably the most well-known pro skateboarder in the world. It has recently come to my attention that he is also very active on social media. So “active” in fact, that he hasn’t hired someone to manage his social media presence. Any of it! He simply does it himself. And he is awesome at it.
Being as famous as Tony Hawk can get quite difficult sometimes. People see you out in the street and ask you for autographs or selfies with you etc, and no matter how much you love your fans, fame must get annoying at some point. Also, your life is in the spotlight, and you tend to have many many fans and followers on social media. In the millions in most cases. Most celebs would simply hire someone to help out, or to take care of it. Sure, there are others who handle some of their own accounts – mainly the more “personal ones”, like Instagram, or Twitter. Kanye West for example – or Justin Bieber do some of their own social media management (and we’ve seen the results of that). Doing some of it on your own adds a more personal touch, and the fans do really love it.
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Tony Hawk on the other hand does it all on his own. 3.5 million people follow him on Twitter and over 6.5 million have liked his page on Facebook. He also has an Instagram account with over 1.5 million followers and a YouTube channel with over 10k subscribers. All those people can rest assured that the person on the other end is none other than Tony Hawk. And what does he do, or talk about on social media? Well, mainly about what he knows best as any expert would.
…the best, unfiltered feedback [from people], almost like a focus group. I want it to be my voice, and I want people to know that they are connecting with me, not another community manager.
How does he handle it all? Well, that’s a bit of a mystery really but I’d like to ask him. He does however really enjoy being able to “ask questions and get immediate replies”.
One really cool thing Tony Hawk does on social media are his scavenger hunts that started on Twitter under the #THTH hashtag. The idea was completely spontaneous – having a very engaged audience helped. He just hid a skateboard, took a picture to give people a clue, and later on in the day one of his loyal Twitter followers found it. It all went from there. Now, he also gets other brands in on for the ride – the stuff people can find on one of his hunts is starting to range from skateboards, to electric guitars or bikes. It think that’s a really cool way to involve people with his brand (he is a brand himself) and to engage them. Some brands could learn a lesson or two from this.
— Tony Hawk (@tonyhawk) March 20, 2015