The role of Facebook in the image management of Vietnamese celebrities

Phan, Tue Minh
King, Barry
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Master of Communication Studies
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Auckland University of Technology

The development of Facebook is one of the most interesting trends in the growth of Internet usage. In Vietnam, the popularity of Facebook means that it has played a significant role in human interaction and strongly influenced the development of celebrities? careers. However, there is a lack of literature on Vietnamese celebrities and their Facebook usage. Therefore, this research aimed at exploring how Vietnamese celebrities use Facebook as a significant and effective tool in managing and promoting their images. Key concepts of celebrity culture and the rise of social media, especially Facebook, are discussed in this research. In researching in the context of Vietnamese celebrities, this paper discovered the media, cultural, and social contexts in which Vietnamese celebrities form their images. The benefits and drawbacks of Vietnamese celebrities? use of Facebook are also pointed out in this study. Recommendations are made concerning celebrities? use of this social network in managing and enhancing their names. The major findings that emerged were as follows. Vietnamese people, especially the youth, are now more proactive and have more freedom and opportunities to express their thoughts and opinions. In addition, with the globalization and the popularity of social media, especially Facebook, celebrities as well as the youth of Vietnam have embraced global trends, including the different cultural values and lifestyles of other countries, notably the US, Europe, and Korea. In general, in western societies as well as Korea, people are more individualistic; that is, they emphasize their own identities, talents, and ideas and conduct their own ways of life. Many Vietnamese celebrities and ?would be? celebrities are now following the Western model whereby they have become obsessed with fame and the need to stand out from the general public. Celebrities are aware that Facebook provides an ideal vehicle through which to develop their images and they post carefully polished photos to attract fans as well as information about their private lives. However, Vietnamese celebrities have not yet taken full advantage of their Facebook pages to promote their images/personae and interaction with fans on Facebook is still limited. Therefore, in order to grow sustainably, Vietnamese celebrities should have their own social media managers who can help them create strategic plans to minimize the negative effects of Facebook use, control online scandals, as well as manage and promote their names online.

Vietnamese celebrities , Vietnamese identity , Fans culture , Vietnamese middle class , Facebook , Image management
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