Social media is now a very big deal in the country. You realize this not because of the fact that millions of Indians use Twitter and Facebook on a daily basis but because Indian celebrities are looking at Social Media as an avenue to get paid for promoting brands. Their large number of Twitter followers are now their biggest assets. A Times Of India report details this new trend among celebrities and public personalities.
The trend is already prevalent abroad and has just surfaced in the country but it seems many are jumping on the bandwagon. Marketers are looking at this as a brilliant opportunity to get their products endorsed by a celebrity but get quality social media exposure, which normally takes a lot of time to build. Apparently, the social media promotion costs brands around 25% of their traditional endorsement engagements with celebrities. The report also quotes Anurag Rajpal of The American Swan Lifestyle as saying that such endorsements can range between Rs. 10 lakhs to Rs. 30 lakhs for 2-3 month engagements. This is an average figure and the article also notes that there are celebrities who charge around Rs. 5-7 lakhs for a single tweet, if their follower count is more than 2 million.
Social Media and social networks offer people better communication channels than the standard one way communication channels like TV, Radio, Movies etc. which have been prevalent for a while. Indeed one of the core promises of social media, is that you can connect directly with a person and share your thoughts. Many Indians are actively talking (or at least trying ) to and engaging with celebrities on channels like Twitter and Facebook. Verified profiles on social networks mean that it is really that celebrity behind the handle but the deeper you get into it, you realize that many celebrities do not really handle all their social media activities themselves and in fact hire a team to get their job done. To a fan, this may amount to disingenuous behavior, because they are really looking to interact with a celeb and not with someone else.
Secondly, many celebrities joined social networks with the sole purpose of connecting with their fans. Their priority seems to have changed as many of them look to monetize this user base. Getting paid to tweet about a product to your loyal fan base is a very grey area and no one can yet clearly point out why it is so. This may partly be because of expectations from people about being genuine on social channels. Promoting brands on your personal account takes that away from the perception. Clearly, not many celebrities are comfortable doing this and steer away from such deals, preferring to keep their social accounts private.
You can read about the celebrity social media endorsements report from the Times Of India here.
Do share your thoughts about this trend with us in the comments.
Image Source | Social Media Humor