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Will Tweet for Cash…

by on June 20, 2010

A few months ago I bought a pair of the Skechers Shape-Ups shoes that are constructed to simulate a walk on the beach, which means you burn more calories and toning just by going about your regular day while wearing them. It’s the same concept of walking around wearing a weight loss belt or leg weights; except you are wearing relatively normal shoes. My excitement for my latest acquisition was short-lived after I saw a tweet by Kim Kardashian (yes, I follow her …why not?). Anyway, Kim had tweeted something to the effect that she was heading to the gym in her new, Reebok EasyTones and encouraged folks to go get them through a link to Reebok’s website. I followed the link and that’s when my excitement for my Skechers was obliterated. The Reebok EasyTones were even MORE normal looking than the Skechers, yet both shoes promised the exact same benefits.

I went back in forth in my head, trying to justify buying a pair of the EasyTones when I had a perfectly good pair of Skechers that seemed to be getting the job done (normal-lookingness wasn’t a huge factor in my buying decision). Eventually, I caved and bought the EasyTones. Why? Well, Kim is much more toned than I am! And, apparently, she’s much smarter, too—if numerous reports are to be believed, Kim actually gets paid thousands of dollars to tweet about brands in an inconspicuous, I’m-going-about-my-regular-day way that makes her followers inclined to buy into what she’s saying about the brands.

From a purely marketing- with-the- purpose- to- sell perspective, companies using celebrities in this unassuming way is downright smart. A tweet doesn’t have the obviously, false aura that a commercial or magazine ad may have [you can’t seriously believe that all those celebrities have been “using Proactive for years”—especially after Diddy sued the company for skin damage AFTER he’d waxed poetic in a 15-minute infomercial on how the product kept his skin flawless!]. Plus, shelling out tens of thousands of dollars to reach a highly susceptible audience is still less than shelling out millions for celebrity commercials and print-ads.

A tweet, when written by a single individual, is like a line out of someone’s diary—and I never make up stuff in my diary, so the believability is off-the-charts! Kim is not the only celebrity cashing in off of her “diary”. Here are some others. I don’t know whether in the future, most people will catch on to the practice of celebrities tweeting for cash [or whether they already have]. But, I can personally attest that for now it is working and companies using this marketing tactic are using social media in a clever way—enhancing their brand and making money.


From → USA

One Comment
  1. Great tone in your post – I enjoyed hearing your voice come through and the personal example you shared. Social media can indeed have the power to make you rethink what you are about to buy (or may have previously bought). Your line about the inherent trust in reading someone’s tweet when it was paid for started to raise the tricky question of integrity and bias in the land of sponsored tweets. This has been a big ethical question in the industry, and it would be been interested to get your take on at least some part of that. Other than that, though, this was a very solid post for this first week. (4)

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