Can you really text a celebrity?

Yes. You absolutely can text a celebrity.

But the question is, 'will you receive a response?'

Celebrities are notoriously hard to reach, mainly due to their unrelenting schedule, the plethora of fans, and severe security measures. Aside from the obvious barriers that disconnect the famous from their fans, social media filters posts, and messages according to an array of algorithms. Meaning most comments, messages, posts, and tags go unseen.

Taking a stand

Social media is one-to-many

Familiar with broadcasting their lives, these stars have a lack of quality communication with their fans, whether it is real life, traditional media, or social media.

Taking mass communication to another level, celebrities are handing out their phone number for fans to text them. Instead of social media's one-to-many communication method, those with fame and fortune can now reach people one-to-one.

How does it work for celebrities?

In July 2019, Ashton Kutcher tweeted, "Just text me it's easier. +1 (319) 519-0576." And his current Twitter profile description still sports the same number. His number was the first to pilot, and then in July, launch.

SMS platform, Community, calls itself the "first-of-its-kind." The aim? Connecting artists, celebrities, and visionaries with fans, supporters, and event patrons through meaningful, one-on-one conversations.

These public figures, known as Community Leaders, can now message their Community of followers directly with updates, news, events, as well as standard texts expected from a friend.

Before the famous person is connected with the fan, there are a few introduction messages. These texts include a link to sign up to their Community contact list and opt-in/opt-out message. Once that is completed, fans are free to message their Community Leaders as much as they like.

It's up to the celebrity to respond.

How does it work for fans?

Connect via SMS

At first, it might seem like a hoax or a scam, however, verified online profiles publish their own phone numbers to text, and answer follow-up questions. On the surface, it seems pretty legit.

Emily Forney of Betches was both curious and skeptical of celebrities giving out their numbers, and so decided to text Ian Somerhalder, among others. By her account, there was "a slew of robotic messages" that were "pretty anticlimactic." She said, "I feel hustled, scammed, bamboozled, led astray."

After sending a message with no response, Forney concluded that this service is more a subscription than a conversation. She said that Community Leaders will send updates on what they are doing, causes to donate to, or pictures to "keep the false sense of friendship alive."

Forney reiterates "how unlike real texting this is," saying that many people who use Community give their fans a specific timeframe when they are available to message.

New contacts are automatically created, fully equipped with name and profile image, once signed up to the Community Leader's list. But no need to call, calling the number just puts the caller through to voicemail.

Related: 'The impact and importance of dynamic messaging'

Is a celebrity a business?

Celebrities have managers, long-term plans, collaborations, social responsibilities, and whole teams dedicated to making them look good. Being a public figure is a full-time job. Without a group of people to assist with everyday functions, it would get hectic. So how is Community much different from other SMS platforms?

Bulk SMS platforms for mass communication have been around for some time. It's even expected that most communication-centric businesses utilize SMS in one form or another.

Community is an SMS platform. Most SMS platforms are built with the main features, including automated and scheduled messaging, contact management, status reporting, and robust systems to deliver SMS en masse.

The main appeal of Community's communication platform is the celebrity element. Communication management and mass messaging are perhaps why an SMS platform is appealing to celebrities. It offers celebrities a way to group fans into location, age group, and any other information they provide about themselves at sign up, and communicate with any and all of them.

SMS is the true hero

SMS is reliable, trusted communication

Community, among many other SMS platforms, is so popular because of how trusted and widely used SMS is. There is no doubt that anyone with a mobile phone has received or sent a text—it's almost unheard of in this day and age.

SMS is unique. Calls, emails, and even OTT messaging can be associated with both personal and professional communication. SMS is more personal and less business. The recipient is much more engaged in content from a text message because it's meant exclusively for them. As SMS is short-form, with 160 characters to work with, the actual message is quintessentially concise.

Not only is SMS direct to the recipient, but there is also the opportunity for A2P and P2P communication. A2P refers to Application-To-Person and P2P, Person-To-Person. Using an enterprise SMS platform, you can send bulk messages such as mobile marketing or notifications (A2P). And you can also reply with two-way texting and trigger responses (P2P).

With a 98% open-rate—90% opened within the first three minutes—you can bet SMS is a communication big dog. Even with its 160 character count.

Related: 'Why SMS will remain the winning mobile channel'

SMSGlobal has an array of resources to assist you with all things SMS. Learn more about two-way texting for business in this eBook, or head to the Information Centre for more!