Like Me? Follow Me.
Last Friday I saw the opportunity to comment on a Twitpic (a photo sharing tool for Twitter) tweeted by Kylie Minogue from her verified twitter account. The twitpic mentioned a competition to win a Kylie At Home candle which Victoria Linen, one of my clients, happened to sell. I commented on the twitpic using my personal account simply stating that “If anyone doesn’t win a Kylie candle but would still like one you can find them here” – then placed a bit.ly link to the Victoria Linen's candle page. I thought this may be a good way to gain relevant traffic and hopefully drive some sales of the candles.
Around five minutes later I was very surprised to see a popup from Echofon (a browser extension that notifies you when friends post tweets) showing @KylieMinogue had tweeted to her 323,145 followers saying “Current fave #kylieathome design - online here - from Team K” followed by a full link to one of Victoria Linen's Kylie product pages (see below).
I instantly thought “This is a great endorsement but how can I make the most of it” in the short space of time I had before the tweet was replaced by another then another. I took to Victoria Linen's exsisting social media, posting on Facebook about how THE Kylie Minogue had mentioned us and uploading a screenshot to hopefully impress and remind the Kylie fans on there that Vic Linen stock her product range. I also went onto their Twitter and RT’d (ReTweeted) @KylieMinogue’s tweet to all followers and messaged a few die-hard Kylie fans in the hope they would mention to others or RT on their accounts.
After all my relatively unplanned attempts at being pro-active “in the Tweet of the moment” (sorry folks) I managed to increase traffic to Victoria Linen's site by +320.74% (compared to the previous day).
My brief encounter with the “Celebrity Twitter” endorsement culture, that has started to pervade our social media, got me thinking about how much it would cost to have Kylie tweet a link to a client and how much benefit these celeb endorsements actually have.
Some marketing companies specialise in paying celebrities, such as Kim Kardashian and Lindsay Lohan, to tweet on behalf of their clients, the likes of Microsoft, Volvo and Fox TV. If you are curious (nosy) to know how much some celebrities make per tweet then check out the SponsoredTweets.com price list. At this rate Victoria Linen's mention by Kylie Minogue would of cost between $3000 - $5000.
Pay per tweet may seem like a very simple and full proof way of getting your product associated with a celebrity but unless its done in a subtle way across multiple media (rather than just Facebook or Twitter) your chosen celebrity could see a backlash of negative comments. @KimKardashian for example, often promotes Vistaprint by tweeting about “exclusive” promo codes for her followers only for those followers to realise the code is available to anyone and found all over the net showing that Kim was just tweeting what she was paid to.
A lot of users on twitter then posted negative tweets about Kim “selling out” and joining “The Man” which negatively impacted on Vistaprint. Our advice to Kim is that she should know better, if she wants to recommend a great online printer she should try Betterprint not Vistaprint.
Twitter should develop a clearer way of labelling paid tweet endorsements compared to genuine personal tweets as well as limiting the number of paid tweets a celeb can place per day. This will make the grey line between endorsement and personal opinion a little clearer for readers and help Twitter abide by advertising guidelines.
Once users catch on to the fact a celebrity is tweeting or mentioning something just because they’re paid $10,000 per tweet, the validity of your endorsement goes out the window and you end up with a waste of client’s money and a celebrity who has lost the respect and trust of some fans.
Think and plan before you Pay Per Tweet.
If you have had any experience, good or bad, of twitter endorsements please comment below.