LOS ANGELES: Celebrities looking to leverage social media are moving beyond being simply paid to tweet and are being paired with brands to create content for their websites.

Luigi Picarazzi, president of Digital Media Management, explained to Advertising Age that monetisation was not necessarily the primary goal of celebrities, who came to his organisation with a range of goals, from promoting their own projects or charitable causes to launching a brand.

"What we've found has been most successful is when we pair a brand with one of our talent and we create content with them," he said. That could be a video, a sponsored blog post "or even sometimes an entire section of a site that's partnered with a brand". These were generally new relationships, he added.

Picarazzi thought the celebrity tweet was in decline as brands realised that, after the initial thrill that a particular celebrity had tweeted about something for them, very few consumers were actually visiting their website.

"What brands have always been interested in are results and oftentimes that needs to go beyond social," he observed.

"Why not take the time to find out what these brands' objectives are, how that matches your audience, and see if you can come up with something more native and comfortable than paying the celebrity to tweet something that's probably not something they wrote or even thought about wanting to plug?" he suggested.

Picarazzi held that there was too much focus on Twitter and that celebrities needed to spread themselves out more, with YouTube a natural fit. He also reported that clients were showing increasing interest in Vine and Instagram videos.

The Economic Times reported that film and sporting celebrities in India were following a similar route in striking social media deals with brands.

"Twitter is a very big aspect of a celeb's reach. Sponsored tweets are certainly gaining traction in India," said Bunty Sajdeh, chief executive of Cornerstone Sport & Entertainment.

Brands are also finding it cost-effective, with social media deals coming in at around a quarter of the price of a traditional brand endorsement contract for one year.

Data sourced from Advertising Age, Economic Times; additional content by Warc staff