Social Media Is Crowdsourced PR…But Every Crowd Has A Few Stars

Yes it’s self-serving. Yes the quality of the science is probably debatable. Still, the findings from a recent study from celebrity-focused social media company Brand Affinity Technologies feel right.

Basically, BAT analyzed over 200 celebrity endorsement programs on social media outlets like Twitter and Facebook, comparing their effectiveness against more standard Facebook banner ads. I’m sure they were shocked and delighted to find that those performance lifts were at least 50% greater for streamed celebrity endorsements.  CEO Ryan Steelberg says “Dollar for dollar, you are actually going to receive more branding, and more impression impact, using streamed endorsements on Facebook and Twitter, than people seeing an ad on Facbeook, because the engagement rate is so much higher.”

Said another way, social media operates like crowd sourced PR, and inevitably, opinions voiced by celebrities reach more people. Celebrity opinions voiced in social media also feel more believable and less sell-y. Facebook posts or Twitter tweets are one-to-one which feels intimate, so the brand message comes across as a conversational comment as opposed to a traditional ad.

All of which is very good for Brand Affinity Technologies.

At least for now.

Because like any gold rush opportunity, the advantage is greatest RIGHT NOW. Very quickly, as people begin to learn that the seemingly casual mentions of brands by actresses and athletes are anything but, this too will quickly become a tired advertising platform. If history tells us anything, the decline of this ad medium could be astonishingly swift.

Because one-to-one thrives on direct connection and one-with-one-to-one is already a step removed. And so less legitimate. Which means the worst executions of the medium will quickly spoil it for the rest of us.

So good for you BAT. Dig in and sell now. Next month, there will inevitable be another technology, another platform, another flavor.

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By Dennis Ryan, CCO, OLSON

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