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Sponsored tweets: Is it time for local celebs to cash in?

Nigel “Sir Nige” Mugamu, founder of 263Chat tweeted a sponsored tweet a week ago which got us thinking whether local celebs are missing out of a potential revenue stream. It’s quite interesting as well because you would think Zimbabwe is not ready for this model because the numbers on twitter seem to not justify it just yet. But is it just about the numbers?

We do not know how much Sir Nige charged for that maiden sponsored tweet, but we know on the international scene, sponsored tweet are big money for celebrities with vast Twitter followers. For example, Khloe Kardashian is rumored to pocket $13000 for each sponsored tweet to her 9 million plus followers. Those with much fewer followers like Frankie Muniz charge as much as $252 for a sponsored tweet to his 197000 followers.

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Is Zimbabwe ready for paid tweets?

263Chat has just over 14k followers which may suggest Zimbabwe is not quite ready for sponsored tweets or the price charged should be very low to correlate to the number of followers. This may not necessarily be the case because in most cases,  it’s the influence that celebrities or twitter personalities have over their followers, more than the crowd’s size that determines the value of the sponsored tweet.

Even in cases were sponsored tweets are clearly marked sponsored or simply “#ad” (this is the “ethical” way of doing it by the way), followers are more likely to pay attention to a celebrity’s sponsored tweet compared to a generic Twitter ad.

One local celebrity that has both influence and the numbers is Pokello Nare. Her Twitter count is at 80k and her followers appear to hold her in high regard – a key ingredient for an effective sponsored tweets. Local brands and brands in general targeting African woman can easily see value buying some sponsored tweets from her.


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