Matter Chatter

#ad The Celebrity Social Endorsement

For $8,000-$10,000 Khloe Kardashian Odom will tweet about your brand to her 5 million followers! Too rich for your blood? Try singer Ray J, who will blast out your message to his 600,000+ followers for about $2,300. Still not buying? The list of B, C or D list celebs hocking their name for a quick 140 characters of their time, is fairly endless. In fact some celebrities that have…ahem, passed their prime…will even record video messages endorsing products or sending birthday wishes your way for a mere $3.00 a piece!

So, no marketing exec could pass up a celebrity endorsement, especially if there were measurable results attached, right? I guess it depends what type of return you’re willing to accept.

According to a recent AP story, for $3,500 Lindsay Lohan tweeted to her 2.6 million followers about CampusLIVE, a Boston-based surge marketing company that connects brands with college students…and a Matter client BTW. The post yielded 4,500 click-throughs to the company website.

We love our celebrity drama, and it seems the more embattled the celebrity the more social media sway they carry!

At the height of his award-#winning melt down, Charlie Sheen started a Twitter feed that has now attracted more than 5 million followers. At the time, his incented tweet drove more than 95,000 Tigerblood-juiced followers to an internship nexus site!

Both of these examples seem to match the expected click through from a standard tweet. According to Mashable’s unscientific polling, a 1.7% click through rate is pretty realistic. In these cases, the return rate from that found by Mashable’s quickie research proves pretty accurate, so the huge volume these pop icons reach makes mathematical sense.

So why isn’t every brand diving into the celebrity endorsed Tweet game?

First off, with estimates ranging from $16 to $70 bucks per letter (for the examples above anyway) far-reaching celeb tweets can be pretty costly for a smaller brand. Let’s not forget Twitter content like this has a very short shelf life. Sure it can be compounded by re-tweeters and extended virally through other social networking sites but, let’s face it, it’s not too often that a tweet, even one from a celebrity, lives beyond the same day…unless there has been external backlash about it.

This last point leads us to the most compelling aspect of the celebrity tweet consideration, why we all follow these celebs to begin with. We want to be the first to see them say something crazy and be among the select 5 million that were there the day they started their “Charlie Sheen spiral.”

Twitter can be a very powerful, sometimes dangerously powerful, communication tool. Ashton Kutcher, once the Twitter darling extraordinaire recently handed his feed over to his PR team after making some poorly-timed comments about the horrible events unfolding at Penn State.

So where do you fall on the risk v. reward expanse? Would you hire a celeb tweeter to represent your brand? With the numbers leading us to believe that a celeb tweet is equally powerful as that of any brand in itself (assuming like numbers of followers), what criteria would you need to see to make this investment?