Is Celebrity Tweetvertising Worth Paying For?

Last January, I wrote about finding The Value of a Facebook Fan, which effectively took the number of fans a brand has on Facebook, multiplied that by the average number of friends a Facebook user has to determine the number of impressions each brand would receive from each users network, and then applied an average CPM for display media to determine the value.

I found it interesting this week to read What Celebrities Make For Twittvertising, which discussed the heavy payouts celebrities receive for tweeting about various products and brands. After reading this, I couldn’t help but think about how this relates to valuing a Facebook fan, so I decided to have some fun by identifying ways to truly value these celeb tweets.

The article provided us the price per tweet that some celebrities are receiving. We wanted to figure out how that translates into a CPM and a cost per follower (CPF). The chart below presents our findings:

Celebrity Tweeters
Follower data as of 1/18/10

So, what are some takeaways from here?

A lot of these celebrity tweeters seem to reach similar audiences and have similar celebrity status, so it makes sense to choose the celebrity that has the lowest CPM. This really does come down to price and the right celebrity tweeter, whereas when buying display advertising, CPM and reach are important factors. One also has to consider where your display ads will appear, which is not something needed with tweetvertising.

If you believe a Kardashian would be a good tweet-model for your company or brand, then it makes the most sense to pay Kim’s fees because she has a much lower CPM and CPF compared to her sisters. In addition, Kim likely shares much of the same audience as her sisters, plus has additional followers.

Quite frankly, it’s a bit surprising that Kourtney can charge the fee she does. After all, as the table confirms, Kim’s the real star (2,824,011 followers for Kim vs. Kourtney’s 778,620).

Other questions that came to mind after reviewing this information:

Should there be a flat value for CPM? An audience of 1,000 followers, whether they’re following a celebrity or an unknown, is still 1,000 followers to an advertiser.

Could my tweets about products and companies be worth more to advertisers because they are less likely to be perceived as advertising since I am not famous? As it turns out, there are companies willing to pay me for my tweets. For example, will connect me with companies willing to pay me for my tweets and has set a price of $2 per tweet. That translates into a $.002 cost per follower, which makes me a bargain compared to these B-list celebrities.

Do celebrity spokespeople translate the same with Twitter as it does for traditional marketing? Or are celebrities on Twitter perceived as producing “manufactured” word of mouth? Do readers of tweets by celebrities draw a line between personal opinion and advertising?

I’d love to hear more thoughts and ideas of how others in the online marketing world would answer these questions, along with what other questions come to your mind. Are you currently getting paid to tweet, and if so, what is your CPF? Has anyone’s company ever paid for tweets or have you considered paying for celebrity tweets?

Opinions expressed in the article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land.

Related Topics: Channel: Social | Features: Analysis | Twitter


About The Author: is the Co-Founder and Chief Innovation Officer at ClearSaleing, Inc., a technology provider of advertising analytics. Adam founded ClearSaleing after working at Google for 3 years, where he started their Inside Sales organization.

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  • Ezer

    CPM? Cost per fan? Neither metric is particularly useful in this measurable internet media world.

  • Ciaran Lyons

    It’s worth reading Anil Dash’s ‘Life on the List’ post, where he discusses the effect of being on Twitter’s Suggested User List. The members of the SUL have massively inflated numbers of followers, which in turn allows them to charge $10,000 per tweet. But people are really just twittering into the void.

    From the article:

    “I’ve been able to determine that having hundreds of thousands of Twitter followers is basically only a measure of having been on the suggested user list, and doesn’t consistently indicate any intent from Twitter users at all. So, not to take away from Breaking News or Kim Kardashian, but there are people making a significant amount of money simply by virtue of having been on the suggested user list.

    And it turns out, those suggestion-heeding followers might not actually be paying any attention at all.”


    “Being on Twitter’s suggested user list makes no appreciable difference in the amount of retweets, replies, or clicks that I get.”

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