As brands increasingly allocate more of their marketing budget towards newer, more nascent channels versus traditional print, out of home and TV media, one theme has remained consistent: the power of celebrity. Brands frequently incorporate top talent — everyone from actors to athletes to industry experts — into their on and offline marketing efforts.

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Aaron Paul of “Breaking Bad”

Facebook recognizes the power of celebrity, and is looking to capitalize on it. Last month, All Things D reported that the site is ramping up their celebrity outreach efforts, hoping to steal some of the spotlight from Twitter. Twitter has been the platform of choice for the Hollywood community for the past few years — 7 out of 10 of the most-followed accounts are musicians, after all — and Facebook wants a piece of the market.

If users react to celebrities on Facebook with the same enthusiasm as they have on Twitter, Facebook’s new focus is going to be incredibly beneficial for brands. ListenFirst often finds instances where key talent and the brand themselves post identical content on Twitter, and the content posted by key talent yields much higher engagement than content from the brand’s account.

(For an example, look at this tweet from “Breaking Bad” star Aaron Paul, and then this tweet from @BreakingBad_AMC account itself. Though the content is almost identical, Aaron Paul’s tweet yielded six times as many engagements.)

In some cases, content posted by talent even generates higher engagement than content posted by a brand that had paid media support behind it.

In a culture that’s obsessed with seeing what our favorite celebrities are eating, wearing and saying, this doesn’t come as a huge surprise. But leveraging key talent is an incredibly effective way for brands to earn media, and most don’t take advantage of it enough. As Facebook begins to get more of the Hollywood community logging in, there’s no better time for brands to seize the opportunity.

Jonathan Farb is the chief product officer at ListenFirst Media and is infatuated with creating products in and around the global media distribution ecosystem. Prior to ListenFirst, he was at Canoe Ventures, Anystream and Sapient, developing and managing products that simplify the challenges of digital content creation, distribution, ad optimization and reporting in an increasingly complex multi-platform, multi-device world.

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