Happy New Year everyone! It’s nice to be back on the Smartdog blog. This happens to be my first post of the year, I was waiting for something interesting to kick this year off with a bang and here it is…

I was reading The Mail on Sunday the other day, where I noticed an interesting article about celebrities being paid to endorse brands or products in their tweets.

Here is one of the tweets mentioned in the article, concerning Peter Andre endorsing Costa Coffee. The chain had choosen singer Peter Andre to launch their ‘flat white’ drink recently. In the Daily Mail article it said ‘a Costa Coffee spokeswoman confirmed that he was paid to launch their Flat White coffee last year. She denied that the company asked him to Tweet.’

I

personally really like Peter Andre, he truly is a nice bloke and probably why I picked him out from the celebrities mentioned to analysis his influence.

Let’s look at how influential Peter Andre is online.

The tool I’m using here is called Klout, Klout is a social media measurement tool using the metric Klout Score as a measurement of your overall online influence.

You’ll notice that Peter Andre’s true reach on Twitter is 219,000. Klout say that True Reach is the size of your engaged audience. They eliminate inactive and spam accounts, and only include accounts that you influence.

In the achievements section of the analysis Peter has had a message reach 250,000 + users, that’s a hell of a lot of exposure for one message! You can see now why brands would want to get celebrities to endorse them through Twitter.

However, for the money they pay. It could be interesting better in creating original engaging content themselves through social media.

Surprisingly, rather than being classified as a celebrity. Peter Andre is a Thought Leader, you can see that he is high in the sharing / participating index and high in the creating content index as well.

Importance of the Integrity of Information Online

The Office of Fair Trading (OTF) is cracking down on this area in UK I recently read an informative post on How to Steer Clear of the OFT when Blogging by Kevin Gibbons. If you blog professionally then I suggest you read it.

Heather Clayton, Senior Director of OFT’s Consumer Group, said:

‘The internet plays a key role in how people purchase products and services and the importance of online advertising continues to grow.

 

‘The integrity of information published online is crucial so that people can make informed decisions on how to spend their money. We expect online advertising and marketing campaigns to be transparent so consumers can clearly tell when blogs, posts and microblogs have been published in return for payment or payment in kind. We expect this to include promotions for products and services as well as editorial content.’

In the UK Actors, footballers, pop acts / singers, TV stars and other celebrities who abuse their status and position on the web can be taken to court if they fail to mention that they a have a financial interest in ‘plugging’ products, good or other services online.

Unfortunately, the UK government has been rather slow to act on the massive growth in social media and blogging over the last four years.

In America celebrities have long been paid for endorsements on blogs and Twitter, it is a huge industry in the US.

 

In the US the FTC have extra guidelines to make it clear that celebrities have a duty to disclose their relationships with advertisers when making endorsements outside the context of traditional ads, such as on talk shows or in social media.

These endorsements have to contain the prefix ad’ or ‘spon’ to show that they have been paid for.

Let’s Stop Glorifying Celebrities Online

In the UK we glorify celebrities far to much in the media and now its moved online, it’s all gone a bit crazy in recent years. Many celebrities in the UK are actively involved in Twitter for the right reasons but there is a large number whom I believe personally use Twitter to massage their own egos and to get further gratification from fans.

We have to remember that these people already receive a comfortable living from endorsements, advertising deals & their own careers. Getting paid to Tweet or making endorsement through social media could be seen as excessive greed by some.

Brands need to understand what value it offers and release that they don’t have to rely on celebrities to give power to their message through social media.

Take the example of Comparethemarket.com, they have been able to successfully create their own celebrities in Aleksandr Orlov the founder of Comparethemeerkat.com through social media.

All you need is a good idea. Simples!

Next time, we’ll discuss harnessing the power of social media for brands. What are you thoughts on celebrities getting paid to tweet?

Published by Illiya Vjestica

Illiya Vjestica is MD at Smartdog Digital, who specialise in Web Analytics, Social Media & Search Marketing. Illiya is passionate about helping his clients to understand the value of digital marketing, helping them to measure and improve the performance of their website traffic and digital marketing campaigns.