How to Get Celebrities to Promote Your Brand on Social Media
By Aaron Broverman
NBA MVP Kevin Durant has been on an endorsement tear lately. In addition to signing with action sports accessory brand Neff, he also resigned with Nike for a reported $300 million and a percentage of sales over ten years.
However, if your business doesn’t have $300 million to spend, through social media you can still get celebrities to promote your brand, but at a considerably lower price tag that’s typically between $5,000 – $100,000.
“Before social media, you would have had to call and get an endorsement deal for $1 million, so you’re still much better off in terms of value for your money and your return on investment on what you spent. You’re still getting celebrity brand interaction, but you’re not getting it at the price point of a straight endorsement,” says Harvey Schwartz, senior vice-president of talent for WhoSay.
WhoSay is a HootSuite for celebrities – a software platform that automates and customizes the posting of all their tweets, status updates and images, as they see fit. But, unlike HootSuite, it gives them full ownership of their images and words. Plus, WhoSay offers celebs additional promotion of their activities by turning their tweets and images into original articles that fans can access through WhoSay’s fan app.
But the one thing that separates WhoSay from its competition is the way they share revenue with the celebs who use their service through strategic brand partnerships.
“It’s not a paid tweet campaign,” says Schwartz. “When a brand buys into WhoSay it’s not, ‘I want the celebrity to tweet this.’ There’s a big distinction between WhoSay and some of the other more transaction-based platforms. With WhoSay, the celebrity gets to interject their own creativity into a theme or hashtag provided by the brand.”
So how can you get a celebrity to promote your brand on social media? We asked Harvey Schwartz to explain.
It’s Not All about Number of Followers
As a business owner, it’s logical to assume that you’d want the celebrity with the most followers to promote your brand, but Schwartz says engagement is more important than number of followers.
“If someone has one million followers and someone has one hundred thousand, the obvious choice is, ‘let’s go with these million,’ but when you dig into the numbers and you see that the audience of 100,000 is ten times more engaged than the audience of one million, you’re going to pay less for the 100,000 and get way more for your investment,” he says.
An audience that is more engaged with a celebrity is one that’s more likely to share, like and click on the links the celebrity tweets out, including the ones associated with your brand, which means they’re much more likely to buy your product. WhoSay’s FanScore determines, out of the celebrities with the most affinity for your brand, who has the most engaged followers relative to the social media community.
The Deal with Data
WhoSay uses their own proprietary data to determine which celebrities and their fans are the best fit for your brand.
It starts with cookie data – those little markers left behind after web surfing that can track which websites the celebrities and their fans visit. They also have what Schwartz describes as “a treasure trove of Facebook ‘Like’ data,” which can tell them what brands a particular celebrity’s fans like and what brands those fans’ friends like.
“It can get very granular” says Schwartz. “We can tell you who are soccer moms, who likes salty snacks or who’s likely to buy a Lexus. There are thousands of data points we can pull from and scrape; it just depends what the inputs are to find the right match.”
Keep Your Campaign Open-Ended
After identifying traits among the celebrities and their followers that match with the brand, the brand approves the celebrities they want to work with and those celebrities are approached with the campaign idea – along with the rate.
For example, Canon just did a campaign where they gave out cameras to pre-approved celebrities such as Eva Longoria, Jordana Brewster, Kevin Bacon and Mario Batali who were instructed to take five photos and one video demonstrating how they bring Canon into their lives with the accompanying hashtag, #Bringit attached.
“Unequivocally, from where I sit, both the interest of the celebrity and the performance of the content is exponentially greater if the influencer or celebrity is given an open, creative pallet to deliver, instead of a restrictive box,” says Schwartz.
Social media is driven by spur-of-the-moment impulses to share what’s happening now, and Schwartz believes the moment you go away from that is the moment you steer away from what makes social media work.
B-List is Best
Companies all have dreams of landing A-list celebrities like Jennifer Lawrence or Zooey Deschanel to promote their brand of social media, but Schwartz says this is a mistake.
“There’s a middleverse happening. You know your top stars: the Jennifer Lawrences, the Matthew Mcconaugheys — and then there are the influencers who are bubbling up. But in the middle there are a lot of great celebrities that are on TV shows with highly engaged audiences that are maybe being overlooked because they’re not the big names and they’re not on the cover of People magazine all the time,” he says.
“But, with their highly engaged audiences, I actually think they are the best value for brands. It’s hard to say, ‘Yes, I want that celebrity’ because they’re not a household name, but I think there’s great opportunity in the middle and I think it’s being under-served.”