Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Have Twitter missed the boat here?

How much do you think a twitter endorsement costs from the Doggfather of rap? A 140 character shout out for a brand? Well, $10,000 (£6,256) apparently – at the very least, that’s $71 (£44) per character!

Yup, brands can now slip Snoop Dogg a couple ‘G’s for him to give you a ‘holla’ on Twitter. Ask Toyota, he’s already bigged up their ‘swagger wagons’ and he’s not alone either. Plenty of online celebrity influencers are using their enormous tweet reach to push advertising messages for big brands., social marketers and online conversation starters have set up this service for brands to tap in to their target audiences on twitter, reaching them through the hyper-connected twitterati – celebrities or influencers. They’re not alone either, Izea are another market leader in social media sponsorship, an industry that is unsurprisingly on the rise.

Now, rather than question the ghetto credibility of a Toyota minivan (It’s actually a really good campaign) and also bring Snoop Dogg’s good name in to disrepute by suggesting that the quadruple platinum hip hop star, has *ahem* sold out, there’s one thing that is clear to me here - celebrities are Twitter’s bread and butter. It begs the question really, why haven’t they already done this?

But perhaps they have just missed the boat. I read an article earlier this autumn in New York magazine which described how Twitter, if anything, is a talent company, dominated by an influential, media-celebrity-blogger elite who are connected to the millions. In effect, they tweet and everyone else listens. Twitter has to look after this talent like an entertainment company would look after its star attractions because without them it faces a digital backwash of MySpace proportions. 

Makes sense really. Adverts can now form part of the serendipitous chatter and reach audiences with the frictionless immediacy that only a micro-blogging site could provide. But whilst this dream has already been pounced upon by silicon valley vultures, have Twitter missed another lucrative opportunity?


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