Howard Stern may be the self proclaimed king of all media. However, Brazil’s Marcelo Tas very well may be the king of all Social Media. A TV celebrity known for his quick wit and engaging interviews that can range from the ridiculous to the sublime. Marcelo has a hugely popular blog on Brazil’s UOL. He also ranked number one in Brazil with the number of followers on Twitter according to twitterholic and 284 within the entire Twitter universe with 173,043. Less than six month ago, he had just a mere 18,000 followers (BTW…Howard Stern only has 56,000 followers).
However, what makes Marcelo so appealing to marketers is his acute awareness on how to harness social media. In March, Marcelo became one of the first celebrities to sign a major endorsement deal with the social media giant.
Telefónica SA recently approached him to help pitch the Spanish telecom company’s new fiber-optic Internet and TV service in Brazil… Digital agency iThink, in São Paulo, conceived the Twitter campaign and signed Mr. Tas. Telefónica’s fiber-optic service, called Xtreme, is geared to heavy Internet users and is available to only 370,000 homes in Brazil. A TV campaign would have reached too broad a public, says the company’s marketing director, Luiz Carlos Pimentel. According to iThink, Mr. Tas will limit his Telefónica-related “tweets” to about 20 a month.
Brazil is the perfect market for endorsing via social media. It is one of the fastest growing internet markets with 197 million people and 68 million on the internet (35%). A June 2009 social media indicates Brazil is the fifth-largest nation of Twitter users making up two percent of all users and the highest percentage of users of all of the non-English speaking countries. Celebrities, soccer clubs, and politicians have all embraced Twitter as a viable medium where engaged users and influencers can drive marketing, news, and communications.
In our pop culture celebrity centric world, it isn’t a bad thing for celebrities to use their influence. As long as the celebrities, like in Marcelo’s case, are doing the twittering themselves and not Telefonica’s tweeting for them. Moreover, marketers and celebrities should make sure their products are relevant. Marcelo deal is with a fiber optic service which makes sense for a social media guru, but if Ronaldinho tried endorsing Belissima Sim, a Brazilian Diet Pills, it loses all relevance to the audience. Overall, Brazil’s engagement in social media is influential and the growth makes it a viable option for marketers.