Celebrities embroiled in online feuds, flame wars and scandals might want to take some cues from pop queen Katy Perry.
"I've learned how to ride social media," she says. "I have horrible typos. I use 'there' or 'your' wrong grammatically. But I feel like I've learned how to tame that social media dragon."
Perry has 58 million Facebook fans and 45 million Twitter followers.
Her first rule of engagement: "Less is more."
What else does Perry advise? Here's her primer:
"When you decide to have a glass of wine, put the phone down. Don't drink and tweet."
"Don't be self-indulgent."
"Don't use it just to promote yourself. That's boring."
Avoid using Twitter or Facebook to swat down every rumour or criticism.
"I see a lot of celebrities send out messages like that online, and I think, 'Sweetheart, nobody knows about this so-called issue because we don't have you on Google Alert. You're just throwing another log on the fire.' I do it only in extreme cases if someone is jeopardizing my character."
How to handle haters? "I don't know they exist because I don't give them attention. If you tried to please everyone, you'd have no sense of self. You'd lose yourself in the process of being a people-pleaser and there'd be nothing unique left."
Perry is the rare celebrity who seems to have enormous popularity but genuine ground-level interaction with her adoring Katycats, says Keith Caulfield, Billboard's associate director of charts / retail.
"It's not that fervent fan interaction that Lady Gaga has," he says.
Perry's manager Martin Kirkup regards social media as a perfect platform for the cheerful, friendly extrovert.
"For Katy, who has always been about making connections with fans, the social networks are a huge advantage," he says. "I often say that Katy was born on the Internet. She's taken the fullest advantage of the wonderful world of greater connectivity."
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