With the total amount of social media fans across different platforms (Twitter: 51 million followers (1), Facebook: 66 million likes (2) and Instagram: 15 million followers (3)) exceeding the population of Japan (which currently has around 127 million inhabitants), Justin Bieber is arguably the most popular person on the planet. With this popularity come a lot of perks: the best perks according to regular human beings are the endorsement deals that the Canadian superstar signs on a regular basis. One of these deals was to design his personal nail polish called ‘One Less Lonely Girl’. Certainly this was worth around $12,500,000 (4).
Since almost all major brands engage in this behavior, these celebrity endorsement deals must give the brand something in return. However, not every company has a spare $163.75 million in cash to endorse athletes (or other celebrities) like Nike does (5). So what can the smaller companies do to get the same exposure as these large global brands? Because those smaller companies can simply not afford to sponsor the superstars of today, it seems that they can only hope and pray that somebody like Justin Bieber enters their store and purchases their product. If he then writes an objective review about the product on one of his social media platforms, a logical consequence seems that the owner of the smaller company will be able to retire at an early age.
Just imagine that Justin Bieber does write objective product reviews on his social media platforms. According to recent research, these reviews will probably not get the owner into early retirement. In fact, it will most likely cause the owner to work past his retirement age. In the article ”Popularity effect” in user-generated content: evidence from online product reviews, the authors describe the different trends that occur when a reviewer’s follower base increases. The author of the reviews (in this case Mr. Bieber himself) will pretend to come across as smart, unemotional and the more followers the reviewer gets, the more negative the tone of his reviews will be (6).
So to all small-business owners: deny anybody with a follower base over 1000, on any social media platform, access to your products.
3) Instagram for the iPhone
4) Most outrageous celebrity endorsement deals. (2012, December 11). NewsComAu. Retrieved May 3, 2014, from http://www.news.com.au/entertainment/celebrity-life/beyonce-signs-50m-pepsi-deal-to-become-global-brand-ambassador/story-e6frfmqi-1226534213626
5) Arshad, S. (2014, January 12). Nike’s Top 10 Highest Paid Endorsement Deals to Sports Players. TSM PLUG. Retrieved May 1, 2014, from http://www.tsmplug.com/richlist/nike-highest-paid-endorsement-deals/
6) Paulo B. Goes, Mingfeng Lin, Ching-man Au Yeung (2014) “Popularity Effect” in User-Generated Content: Evidence from Online Product Reviews. Information Systems Research Published online in Articles in Advance 30 Jan 2014