Monthly Archives: October 2009

Social Media Celebrities

There’s a new kind of celebrity on the rise: the social media star. Major publicity firms, who represent some of the biggest names in Hollywood, are on high-alert, watching to see how this new form of competition plays out. The smart ones are morphing as quickly as possible to cater to this new breed.

Meanwhile, advertisers are rushing to find these “influencers” and sign them up for online product endorsements in the form of paid tweets, product placement in YouTube videos, FaceBook fan page mentions, etc. Not only is their reach more effective than the average TV spot, the conversion to sale is higher, since it involves a trusted endorsement. See the article on the latest KLM campaign.

The biggest misconception? Many advertisers presume that negotiating the use of an amateur’s time will be easier and cheaper. They assume that these “amateurs”, sans agent/publicist, will have no sense of precedents for compensation, and will be so dazzled by the notion of fame and real income, that they will be falling over themselves to sign a deal.

Dream on.

Someone who’s that popular and connected can find an agent in under 3 minutes. And there are other issues. They’re kinda big on the whole transparency/authenticity/integrity thing. Accepting money for promoting a product, without being transparent about it, could swiftly put an end to their newfound fame. They know thattrust is their biggest asset. It’s taken them a lot of time and effort to build that trust with their army of loyal followers. They’re not going to risk it for peanuts. And they’re not going to promise to play nice either. They *are* going to tweet about the experience, good or bad. Every. Last . Detail.

All the more reason why you could use a little help from an experienced talent broker: someone who understands the often-bizarre demands of celebrities and their entourages, who has the inside contacts, because they negotiate non-standard deals and contracts every day. Someone who shares the same values of integrity, honesty and fairness, because without them, we simply would not have survived this long.

Our final advice? The next time someone suggests including a social media star or influential blogger, call us for the fastest, easiest, most cost-effective results.