Marketers fully embraced Twitter some time last year, but the platform’s utility is continuously evolving. Twitter allows advertisers to interact with consumers without any of the barriers associated with Facebook, so it’s no surprise that social media experts are concentrating on the former at the expense of the later. Small business owners find Twitter simplifies the process of engaging with customers, while larger companies aim for more generalized branding campaigns.
Research demonstrates the connection between word of mouth buzz and successful branding, although some are hoping to generate the same effect via artificial means. Perhaps the most novel approach comes in the form of celebrity sponsored tweets. Digital advertising is all about reaching the audience, and celebrities have thousands, if not millions, of Twitter followers. These groups of people may or may not follow a certain demographic pattern. For example, it’s probably a safe bet that the majority of Kim Kardashian’s followers are young women. This information gives marketers the opportunity to craft tailored ads that might appeal to the majority of her fan base. Some of her affiliates include clothing retailers Charlotte Russe and Rebecca Bonbon; both of them offer products designed for teenage girls and twentysomethings. Kardashian reportedly makes roughly $10,000 for every sponsored tweet, so this avenue is definitely lucrative for the participating celeb as well as the agencies that match up advertisers with endorsees.
The FTC requires some form of identification to set the sponsored listings apart from the organic microblogs. This is easy enough to accomplish, though it seems to defeat the purpose of the campaign. Many of the companies that connect celebs with brands in need give the stars permission to accept or reject the products that appear on their timelines. Nevertheless, seeing the word “ad” underneath a glowing piece of product placement might come across as disingenuous to the point of being ignored. For example, does anyone really believe that Jenny McCarthy regularly eats at Arby’s? What’s worse is that often times, the paid tweets aren’t even written by the entertainers themselves. Instead, they’re written by folks trying to sound like the person in question. This increases the cheesiness factor tenfold. The tweets don’t really stand out or disrupt the flow as a result, unless the person has a distinct way of typing that’s difficult to reproduce. Snoop Dogg is a prime example. His spelling and sentence structure are unique to the point where they can’t be replicated, especially not by someone that is unfamiliar with hip hop vernacular.
Clearly, companies are banking on this strategy’s effectiveness. It’s almost impossible to measure such a campaign’s results, since the ad itself is so far removed from any kind of consumer action. Does anyone have confidence in paid tweets? Make believers out of us!