Just because a celebrity is dead doesn’t mean he can’t tweet. Just look at Michael Jackson. The pop star (who earned $140 million in the last 12 months) has 884,000 followers on Twitter, where he has sent out 572 tweets, including, “RETWEET if you’re bad! #whosbad.”
Obviously it’s not Michael Jackson sending out these tweets. The singer passed away in 2009 at the age of 50.
But the people who manage the estates of dead celebrities have realized that if you want to keep your star relevant, it helps to have a social-networking presence. A surprising number of the stars we looked at for this year’s top-earning dead celebrities list have active online social lives.
Michael Jackson tops our list of the Most Social Dead Celebrities. Jackson’s biggest presence is on YouTube, where his channel has attracted 1 billion hits. The most popular video on the site is for “Thriller“, the short film Jackson made in 1983 with director John Landis.
But Jackson’s team also uses the site to promote new Jackson projects like Bad25, a reissue of Jackson’s iconic Bad album. The release will coincide with a documentary about the album from director Spike Lee which will air on ABC Thanksgiving night.
Living stars need to use social networks to keep in touch with fans. Stars like Justin Bieber, Kim Kardashian and Lady Gaga have shown how powerful it can be to have fans feel like they are friends with a celebrity.
It’s a slightly different story for dead celebrities. It would be extremely weird if a dead celebrity replied to a fan’s tweet or Facebook posting. Instead, the estates use the sites mostly to keep fans up to date on any new products and to give fans a place to interact.
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