Do Sponsored Tweets Work? @CharlieSheen Shows Us the Money

Money doesn’t grow on trees, but it does grow on Tweets…

The world knows quite well that #tigerblood flows through the veins of @CharlieSheen. We’re also learning that the color of #TigerBlood is green, as Charlie proves to the world that paid Tweets not only sell, they work.  Ad.ly, the social media talent agency to the stars, is largely recognized for its work in merging celebrity endorsements with Twitter, introducing us to an era of sponsored Tweets from the people we know, love, and take guilty pleasures in following. Ad.ly is also the team behind the media storm that is @charliesheen.

Ad.ly arranged an initial endorsement opportunity for internships.com, helping Charlie Sheen find a #winning intern.

Today Ad.ly and internships.com released some initial stats that officially are impressive and unofficially are nothing short of incredible. I’m working getting approval on releasing additional data, but in the mean time, the team published an interesting infograph that demonstrates just how far #tigerblood spills.

One single tweet published at 4:03 pm Eastern was published to 2.2 million followers.

The Speed: The velocity of the social effect hit 95,333 clicks in the first hour…

The Reach: 181 countries

The Yield: Over 74,000 applications

Other interesting stats…

- 412,000 clicks in 48 hours

- A worldwide trending topic #TigerBloodIntern

Is this a fluke or does sponsored media represent a promising opportunity for brands? Certainly Charlie is in the spotlight and that ads to the value of his channel. To answer this question, I will have to run research and follow up with a formal report. But in the meantime, Ad.ly CEO Arnie Gullov-Singh believes that we’re just getting started, “After 24,000 endorsements over the past 12 months, these results are not surprising. Celebrities are the driving force in social media.  Celebrities are the new prime time.”

Celebrities wield an effective level of influence and combined with the personal touch of new media, brands can literally buy into an enriched form of direct engagement. Aspiration is an important part of the equation and through celebrity and now weblebrity endorsements, brands piggyback on the trust, admiration, and allure of the personality and the relationships they maintain with the audiences. Personality, reputation, and affinity are critically important in new media as these relationships are much more personal.  Complementary alignment with a personal brand is instrumental to the success of any campaign as is the expectations of their audience. Goals and objectives require design into any program at the beginning to identify ideal celebrities and realistic outcomes.

For those celebrities who are considering endorsing products in social channels, consider first your audience and their audience. Charlie Sheen earned tens of thousands of ReTweets and as a result, hundreds of thousands of people were exposed to the message. An ad for an intern using internships.com makes sense. And that’s the point. People are commodities, they are your connection to networks of people like them creating an audience with an audience of audiences.  They are living and breathing communities and they deserve transparency, respect, and empowerment. With that, of course they’ll support sponsored activity as long as it either ads value to the thread or it doesn’t take away from the experience and allure of staying connected to you.

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ABOUT ME

Brian Solis is a digital analyst, anthropologist, and also a futurist. In his work at Altimeter Group, Solis studies the effects of disruptive technology on business and society. He is an avid keynote speaker and award-winning author who is globally recognized as one of the most prominent thought leaders in digital transformation.

His most recent book, What's the Future of Business: Changing the Way Businesses Create Experiences (WTF), explores the landscape of connected consumerism and how business and customer relationships unfold in four distinct moments of truth. His previous book, The End of Business as Usual, explores the emergence of Generation-C, a new generation of customers and employees and how businesses must adapt to reach them. In 2009, Solis released Engage, which is regarded as the industry reference guide for businesses to market, sell and service in the social web.

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