So, should marketers consider incorporating today’s pop culture stars into their social media campaigns?
It’s a reasonable question, and recently, Brand Affinity Technologies (BAT) conducted research to help find some answers.
The study, the largest comparison of endorsed and non-endorsed social media advertising to-date, compared more than 200 Facebook and Twitter endorsements with similar Facebook ads that did not feature celebrities. These campaigns were for advertisers in the auto, entertainment, technology, and retail categories and included endorsements from various celebrities and professional athletes, including Drew Brees, Snoop Dogg, Matt Hasselbeck, Khloe Kardashian, Enrique Iglesias, Nick Swisher, and Kendra Wilkinson.
The results show that, for the same spend:
- Endorsed Facebook messages resulted in a 50 percent improvement in cost-per-action (CPA) over non-endorsed Facebook advertising.
- Click-through rates were 21x higher with endorsed Facebook messages over their non-endorsed counterparts.
- Click-through rates for endorsed Twitter messages were 17x higher than non-endorsed Facebook messages.
- Endorsed Twitter messages resulted in a 72 percent CPA improvement over non-endorsed Facebook messages.
Based on these results, BAT concludes that, when done right, endorsed messages delivered monumental performance lifts.
But, don’t forget that the social media landscape is relatively new and enormously complex. Plus, not all the news about celebrity influence is as rosy.
Earlier research from Sysomos found that even though celebrities have a large number of followers on Twitter, most of their followers are low authority users with very little social media influence. By contrast, in this study, both news media organizations and what Sysomos called “social media heavyweights” attracted fewer Twitter followers than celebrities –but both tended to have followers who were more engaged and therefore more influential.
Bottom line: know your target audience and what influences it. Then, you can use social media to connect, engage and amplify your message.