“AXL ROSE’S TWITTER ACCOUNT HACKED” was a recent internet headline. This is worthy of exploration.
There’s something ironic, peculiar and funny about the front man for Guns ‘n’ Roses – heralded as “the most dangerous band in the world” – even having a Twitter account. Contrast the persona that brought Rose global fame – a shrieking, wild-eyed sociopath, clad in a tartan skirt and leather Gestapo hat – with Axl the Tweeter. In this incarnation, he sits in a five-star hotel suite, Belgian slipper-clad feet propped on a fringed ottoman, steaming cup of Chamomile at his side as he thoughtfully massages his iPhone, sharing his innermost thoughts/feelings/tour musings with fans.
The hackers falsely tweeted that GNR concert dates were canceled. If the earlier tweets were bona fide Axl, he has a penchant for exclamation points and geographic shout-outs. “Seoul, South Korea!” (We know where Seoul is, Axl.) “Tokyo!” “Osaka!” “Edmonton!” “Happy New Year!” Is this the guy whose website touts the length of his rap sheet? Or are these tweets from Miranda Cosgrove?
Rose has nearly 69,000 followers, robust enough, but miniscule compared to more Twitter-savvy celebs like Ryan Seacrest or Ellen De Generes. GNR was arguably the biggest show business attraction of its time but that time has passed. Like all successful performers, Axl has a head for business. He owns the Guns n’ Roses name, and rocker/wild-man image aside, knows social media is a pipeline to a fresh fan-base.
Maybe Axl is slick enough to hack himself. It made him news and a Twitter-peer of more current hacked celebs like O’Reilly, Britney, etc. But, he’s not done his due diligence. Using Twitter for shout outs or announcements is like running a fuel dragster on kerosene. Tweets should engage fans – converse with them, keep them involved.
Memo to tweeting rock stars: your fans want to know if a Stratocaster will crack a Kohler toilet at the Four Seasons. Or how may flips a flat screen will do when thrown from a 10th floor balcony. Or whether you prefer Chamomile to Darjeeling. “Tokyo!” doesn’t cut it.