I’m encouraged that the UK Office of Fair Training are clamping down on Tweeps and bloggers that are paid to be effusive about products whilst not admitting that they receive payment. The use of Twitter reaches new heights for communication (there were 6,939 Tweets per second sent on January 1st according to the Twitter blog). People are communicating more, and celebrities have a huge set of followers. So should they append tweets with ‘ad’ or similar to show that they have been paid to do this?
In companies like Microsoft, bloggers and Tweeps receive a salary, so it’s natural that they would enthuse about company products. Their opinions are (generally) their own and they put a personal perspective to the standard PR campaign about the product. But celebrities don’t tend to work for companies so is it right that they get paid to talk about consumer products.
Look at the TV adverts. The voice over, or the ad itself shows celebrities talking about the product. They don’t explicitly say that they are being paid to advertise the product. We’re intelligent enough to assume that they are. So why do the OFT need to get Tweeps to ‘explicitly state’ that they are promoting products. Surely we all just assume that they are being paid when they enthuse. or are we assumed to be so dim. that we blindly assume that they love these items AND have been paid for them? Did all of those women actually buy those dresses they wear at the Golden Globe awards or the Oscars? Surely not…
But does the fact that these celebrities endorse brands, and enthuse about them mean that we’re going to be more influenced by them and buy goods? We’re much more likely to buy products recommended by our peers (figures vary from twice to 4 times more likely to do this). But are we more likely because a celebrity endorses the brand.
Do we now class these celebrities our peers and our friends just because we follow them on Twitter?
There are new rules for online advertising that are coming out in March and they now include User Generated Content (UGC) on web sites. Here’s a snip from the code…
When the new code comes out in March 2011, will Tweets from paid celebrities be included in the CAP remit? Will it change the way that Facebook page campaigns work. It will be interesting to watch things develop…
Perhaps I’m too cynical – but I’m less likely to buy something that a celebrity has endorsed – whether they are paid for endorsing the product or not. I’d much rather consider something that one of my first degree connections has enthused about.
Or AM I too cynical??
I was listening to an argument the other day amongst my network and it concerned the importance of Digg versus Facebook likes.
Digg, the social news website has been around for a while. Users can vote, or ‘digg’ articles that bubble up to the top of the top news trends
Hmm. It’s interesting to note that this screenshot, that I took today, isn’t dominated by news of the Wikileaks revelations that have been dominating the news for the last 7 days. The more folks that vote to Digg an article, then the higher it appears in the results. But this approach seems to be open to abuse, with mob mentality activities altering the results according to wikipedia…
So Digg is linear, and gives linear results based on the numbers of votes that it received. So… is that better than Facebook likes?
I don’t think so.. especially if you’re a marketer who wants to find out your reach in the B2C market.
Facebook’s Like feature allows you to broadcast recommendations to your friends and to your friends friends. And as 75%of people who post reviews on products or services push this review out to their friends who are then 4 times more likely to buy. Your friends respect your ‘social worthiness’ and will reinforce your decision in a really effective way by purchasing the product you’ve recommended. Digg is linear, Facebook Likes are exponential (viral). Offers delivered via Scoutmob or Groupon can more easily be delivered over Facebook too, so there’s a good opportunity for B2C social commerce
Simply put. Digg articles are recommended by strangers, whereas Facebook recommendations are made by your friends. you trust your friends, so you trust their recommendations.
So is Digg on it’s way out as a social bookmarking site? Does the new algorithm allow for flash mob type voting on articles? Will Facebook continue its rise for B2C market dominance or will another new mechanism appear to take Digg’s place?