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Lately the issue of sponsored tweeting has been getting a lot of attention. Last year it was all about the sponsored posts. People weighed in very enthusiastically/critically on either side. Add to that some recent grumblings from the FTC about sponsorship of blogs and you have a very interesting situation.
I didn’t think much about Sponsored Tweets until I met Ted Murphy at Affiliate Summit. I had heard so many negatives from my Twitter friends about ads in tweets that I had no intention of signing up. But then I met him and thought “People immediately think the worst about my rewards site until they meet me and learn what I am doing. Maybe I should give his business a chance.”
Armed with a $100 coupon in my swag bag, I came home and set up a Sponsored Tweet as a sponsor. I told them that they could write whatever they wanted. I didn’t want to influence their writing. They could mark that it was an ad however they wanted as well. I specifically targeted tweeters who posted to moms and who wrote about savings or coupons. I figured that these were people who really could benefit from my business if they clicked on the sponsored tweet.
We did get a number of clicks off of the Tweets, but it remains to be seen how many of those people will become members of our site. I probably should have done a better job of tracking it. Will I continue to use the service as a merchant? Maybe. I genuinely believe that my business fit in with their Tweets and they were all honest with their followers. It’s my hope that they looked critically at my site before they accepted the Tweet offers.
Now this morning I see that Sponsored Tweets has a referral program. I would be silly not to sign up for it because I think it would genuinely interest a lot of my blogger friends. I signed up this time as a sponsored tweeter myself. Honestly, I don’t have a ton of followers so I am not sure that I will even get offers. When I do get my first offer, I will look at it and decide if it is something that I would promote even if I weren’t getting paid. If I would, I might just accept it.
I know some of you are rolling your eyes and already ready to “unfollow” me before we even see if I take an offer. But I think that the medium is too new to draw lines in the sand like that so quickly. Sure, if all I ever do is Twitter junk, you should unfollow me. But what if you are actually interested in the offer that I am Tweeting about? Are you going to unfollow me just on principal.
For the record, this is my Sponsored Tweets referral link. If you are interested, I would love it if you would sign up using the link. If you are totally against Sponsored Tweets, I’d love to hear your comments. We may not change each other’s minds, but it is good to understand where we stand and why.