PRNewser shares a tale of two celebrities: one famous on TV, the other, internet famous, whose names garner wildly different sums of cash for sponsored content. The former is Kim Kardashian, who according to AdAge gets $10k per tweet. The latter is Webkind Chris Brogan, who only got a $500 giftcard to Wal-Mart after penning a blog post about a recent shopping experience in one of their stores.
By the numbers, Kardashian has 2.7+ million followers to Brogan’s 100k+. If we’re talking tweet to tweet, the ratio is about the same, meaning Kardashian gets about the same amount per follower as Brogan: $.0037/follower for her, $.0044 for him. Except that Brogan’s content was published to his blog, ChrisBrogan.com, rather than his Twitter feed.
The reason we make this comparison is because now that Tweets show up in Web search there’s technically no difference in how you’d find the content. Brogan and Kardashian’s content are available in both Web search and via Twitter. However, brands aren’t paying tweeters for their SEO capabilities (though now that it’s tied in, the premium on cost-per-twitter-follower (CPTF) should probably increase). What brands are paying for when they buy celebrity tweets is the audience and the reach of that audience. Access to 2.7 million followers is just the tip of the iceberg depending on the content of the tweet.
With Web search so closely tied to Twitter and the value of Twitter audiences on the rise, it’s safe to assume the CPTF scale will slide upwards. Whether a Twitter celeb takes $10k or $500 for a tweet is pretty arbitrary when you consider the potential of a Re-Tweeted remark. What it will come down to is how much each follower is worth, and for my money, an influencer like Brogan has as much (if not more) to offer because his audience is in the business of conversation, making them more likely to share his stuff.
The implications run deep for brands like Mashable, who according to Pete Cashmore deal in trust as currency, not dollars. For Carl’s Jr, who launched a campaign with Kardashian this week, trust isn’t at issue. Entertainment is. What that means is her feed will always have value for brands looking for audiences who just want entertainment (or, more specifically, who won’t take issue to being sold something). Bottom line: it’s going to be different for each case.