I’m a skeptic. Yup, that’s me. I have heard that some people are getting paid to send out an occasional sponsored or advertising tweet, but I can’t believe it. I mean, really? If so, what’s involved and, well, how do I get involved?
Where there’s a data stream, there’s a company waiting to take advantage of it, and Twitter is a splendid example of companies that seek to tap into your existing network and your credibility. There are a number of different services that I’ve bumped into and a couple that I’ve even signed up for, but the first that actually has generated revenue for me is Sponsored Tweets.
Now I do need to disclose that if you click on one of the links in this article, I’ll make an affiliate commission based on you signing up for the service. But that’s all part of the equation here, in my opinion: just as companies seek to gain access to your followers, you also seek to make a few bucks too, which is kinda how this capitalism thing works.
The trick here is to find a balance between greed and purity. My rule of thumb is that I’m okay with sending out no more than one tweet per week that’s an advertisement and that it needs to be clearly and obviously marked as such so my followers know what it’s about. Here’s a recent example of one:
Not too bad when you consider that I send out about 50 tweets/daily. That translates to roughly one tweet out of 250 being a clearly marked advertisement.
Even with that, when I have talked about it on Twitter, people have popped up and said that they’ll immediately unfollow me if they see a single ad. That’s cool, it’s their right (though better Twitter apps that had filters to screen out material you didn’t want to see would be a better solution). Has anyone done so? I dont think so, and I’ve been participating in the Sponsored Tweets.
Let me show you the backend and I think you’ll have a bit better sense of why I like this particular program.
First off, Sponsored Tweets communicates with me via Twitter. I get DM’s, direct messages, from the service when there’s an ad buy available:
I click on that link and go to the Sponsored Tweets site, where it shows me the advertiser, the offer ($25) and the requirements:
First off, you get to determine how you’re going to denote that your tweet is advertised. There are quite a few choices:
You can keep track of mine: I use “#ad” because it’s short.
Now you just need to write a tweet that encompasses the requirements of the advertiser while still, hopefully, being consistent with your own style and interaction. Here’s one I was playing with:
Of course, I decided for something a bit more humorous and less, um, potentially critical of the vendor’s product, as you saw earlier.
When I’m ready, I submit it for the advertiser to approve (because something like “I hate frozen pizza, it all sucks. The worst? #tonyspizza. Go complain at: xxxx #ad” isn’t going to be a particularly good bit of positioning for the advertiser) and see this in my Twitter stream:
A short while later, I see the followup:
Cool. Within a few minutes the ad itself (shown earlier) appears in my Twitter stream.
That’s all there is to it. One ad, once, and…
I gotta say, a pretty easy way to pull in another $100/month. Pays for my mobile phone bill, actually!
Now, disclaimers: you can advertise more frequently (or less), you can reject ads for products you don’t like or don’t want to essentially endorse (I recently rejected an SEO product as I felt it was not a good value to my readers) and you can set your own price as high or low as you’d like. Every decision has ramifications though: set your price too low and you’ll drown in annoying offers. Post too frequently and you’ll see your followers drop like flies. Who would want to follower an advertising stream twitter ID?
Still, I think it’s an interesting way to slip a very low-key advertising aspect into my own Twitter stream and with 8500 odd followers for @DaveTaylor, it doesn’t seem that I’ve crossed the line to where people are running away. Frankly, I think that just about every single medium can include advertising, as long as it’s low key and thematically consistent with the channel, but that’s another story.
Anyway, worth pointing out is that you can also sign up, check it out and never actually publish anything on your Twitter channel if you just want to learn more.
Either way, if you are interested in signing up and checking out Sponsored Tweets, I hope you’ll use my link: revenue is what keeps this site running and free.
Learn more about Sponsored Tweets
Disclaimer #2: the sponsored tweet links are affiliate links. You’ll earn exactly the same, but this gives me a tiny bit of $$ on the back end. It all adds up. Thanks.