While researching my discussion topic this week for viral, buzz, and word of mouth marketing I came upon Ad.ly. They are a social media, celebrity endorsement company. Basically they bridge the gap between celebrities and marketers. They are active on Twitter and Facebook. The concept is very simple. A company tells Ad.ly what celebrity or celebrities they want to mention their product. The proposal is then sent to the selected celebs. They have a set amount of time to accept or deny this offer. If they accept, they craft a tweet or Facebook status update. The company then must approve of the message. If the company approves the message it is sent to the celebrities’ followers by Ad.ly. They must send out four messages over the course of a week, and get paid based on the amount of followers they have. Typically celebrities get $200 – $10,000 per campaign. Ad.ly has run over 22,000 campaigns for many top companies such as Best Buy and Sony.
Ad.ly’s website lists all of their available celebrities, listed in order of amount of followers. The top ten celebrities’ social media pages are-
- Enrique Iglesias 12,777,393 (Facebook)
- Chris Brown 8,367,121 (Facebook)
- 50 Cent 8,254,187 (Facebook)
- Snoop Dog 6,730,986 (Facebook)
- Kim Kardashian 6,440,701 (Twitter)
- Kim Kardashian 4,387,949 (Facebook)
- 50 Cent 4,076,635 (Twitter)
- Mariah Carey 3,887,417 (Twitter)
- Mariah Carey 3,789,191 (Facebook)
- Paris Hilton 3,466,116 (Twitter)
They have also recently released their most influential celebrities of the fourth quarter of 2010. The top four are Lauren Conran, Kim Kardashian, Khloe Kardashian, and Snoop Dog.
If all of these celebrities are sending out sponsored tweets, then why don’t we see more of them? In 2010, Ad.ly sent out 21,000 endorsements via celebrities. There are 21,000 tweets sent in the U.S. every four seconds!! Even though the amount of sponsored tweets is very small in comparison, they are a powerful marketing tool.
So, here is the big question. How do you know if the tweet you are reading is sponsored or not? Below is an example of Ad.ly sponsored tweet from Jason Mewes about True Blood.
You can see from the picture that the tweet ends in (Ad by http://Ad.ly) and says that it was sent from the Ad.ly network.
This isn’t to say that the celebrities tweeting about these products don’t actually like the product. Using the above example, Mewes is a confessed big True Blood fan. So why not get paid to tell people that you are a fan.
I want to know what you think-