Twitter has gained widespread recognition from media outlets, celebrities and brands among others. There are certain brands that already have a well-known presence on Twitter like @WholeFoods , @JetBlue , and @Starbucks. Now because of the exposure more brands find value in this "social network" but don't know how to go about utilizing social media tools.
Some have resorted to buying Twitter followers. Some have enlisted Twitterers to get paid for their tweets with Magpie and Adjix. The latest to throw their hat in this ring is Ted Murphy and IZEA with @Spontwts.
@Spontwts is a program where you can signup to allow advertisers to pitch you offers for you to tweet. I learned about this from a tweet from @tedmurphy which said that a celebrity made $2,500 from a single sponsored tweet.
Danny Brown wrote up an article about this. He's "neither here nor there on the topic as long as it's handled properly." I tend to agree with him. Promoting something is generally neutral. How it's done is what sets it apart.
People generally are adverse to this because of Magpie. Magpie promoted itself in an invasive manner, Any message that doesn't take your target audience into account can run afoul of them. No one wants to see a blatantly promotional ad for a service that has nothing to do with your or their interests. That's where Magpie went wrong. This is where Spontwts can benefit.
People want relevance. As long as the advertisers you choose align with what you already consume and subscribe to there should be no problem. I personally promote Mountain Dew on Twitter (@mtn_dew) whenever it's naturally possible. That's the key: NATURALLY possible.
I enjoy Mountain Dew in my life & I share my experiences with the brand on Twitter often. I can guarantee you that some of my followers do NOT share my passion for Mountain Dew, yet they accpt it /enjoy it/ engage with me on it. Why? Because I have PASSION for it. Regardless of what it is, they see that I'm genuine about it and THAT is why it works.
Spontwts is about how you use it. If a user accepts any and all offers from advertisers the service becomes a firehose. ANYTHING is a nuisance when used that way. It's all about timing, relevancy and precision.
The brands you subscribe to and promote become part of your brand. The more value you provide through sharing & helping the more people are willing to 'buy' what you are 'selling'. Tip the balance too much one way, you become an annoying shill.
Curating their users, advertisers, and tweet frequency/volume will ultimately make or break their service. Some on Twitter go for quantity, others, quality. Only a select few go for quantity of quality.
A couple of items of note:
- Sponsored Tweets only allows you to choose one category from a select sample: Business/Finance, Entertainment, Family, Food, General, Health, Marketing, Technology, Travel.
- You can further specify what types of offers you want to receive by tagging your profile with up to 10 keywords.
- Notification by e-mail or DM but not both.
- Either you or the advertiser can write the tweet (not sure if you can change their writing after the fact).
- There is a pre-set 'Charge per tweet' and 'Charge per click' that you can change, yet no formula is given to give you scope to gauge it on.
- A 'Content rating' area is also available for you to rate your tweets (Everyone, Mature, Adults-only), although if you're like me, tweets can be all over the board.
One clarification provided by IZEA:
Sponsored Tweets will not auto inject ads into your stream. Each tweet must be approved by you before it gets released. Our goal is to provide you with quality ads that you are comfortable with.
Some final thoughts:
Sponsored Tweets add #spon onto the end as to distinguish that it's a sponsored tweet. IZEA is also working out some technical issues like sponsored tweet DMs being truncated, thus cutting off vital information from advertisers.
Overall I believe that Ted Murphy and IZEA is onto something here. When you are allowed to preselect your content for your intended audience the ultimate onus falls on you as the selector. This is what sets apart a quality Twitter account from a spammy one and every shade of grey in between.
As I have used Twitterfeed to inject some of the best content I have preselected from the web, so will I try out Sponsored Tweets to see if the advertisers and quality are up to my followers' standards. I have faith in the community that I have built to tell me if it works for them or not, and I in turn will process that information and act on it.
Trust is gained over time and destroyed in a moment. Be careful with it. It is best to use a scalpel not a machete when dealing with trust concerns and your brand.
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