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Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Geno's journey with Ad.ly and Sponsored Tweets. A love story and a horror movie.

You’ve no doubt seen the stories. Kim Kardashian makes $10,000 a tweet! Reactions have been mixed. Outrage, awe and “Hey how do I do that?” among them. Companies such as Sponsored Tweets and Ad.ly have popped up getting Kardashian and other stars to tweet “ads” for interested companies. One concern many have had is that stars would hypothetically tweet things like “I can’t wait to go see the Dear John movie this Friday!”. Were they really a Channing Tatum fan or were they getting paid to get interest in the flick? It seems that those fears don’t have merit as the words (ad) or (Sponsored) appear after sponsored tweets. What about the anger at stars getting paid huge sums of money for tweets? Ad.ly gives the option of donating all your tweet income to charity. The celebrities that do so are clearly marked on their site. Some celebrities have been getting paid to appear at events, wear a certain clothing line, and drive a certain car for years. It doesn’t bother me in the slightest if they get paid to tweet about a product as long as it’s clear that it is an ad.

So after reading about all this tweeting for money business, I had thoughts that many of you probably have had……Hey, what about me? Can I do that? Do I want to do that? How much money can I make? Will my followers think that I’m a disgusting whore if I tweet for cash? What will my dog think? So I gave it a try with mixed and interesting results.
I signed up with ad.ly and found it easy to do so. They give you a suggested price per tweet which you can accept or change. You are also given the option of receiving your payment through PayPal or a check. Before you receive any payment, you must fill out a tax form online & submit it to the company. Uncle Sam wants his cut too! :) I set everything up and I was ready to go!.....I realized after a week of not hearing anything that Geno’s World may be overshadowed by the huge names that ad.ly has. If you were Nestle and you had to pick between Dr. Drew and Geno to push your product, who would you choose? Of course, Dr. Drew. But hey Geno’s World has over 26,000 followers & my charges certainly don’t come close to Dr. Drew’s fees. So what do I do? I contacted ad.ly and introduced myself. I explained my background, my loyal followers and I thought I could be a good candidate for interested companies. I admit that I was a bit of a nag & e-mailed several times. But it did pay off as a wonderful woman from ad.ly got back to me and started to work with me.

In the past month I’ve had two tweet campaigns with ad.ly. One directed my followers to a Nestle video with Olympians. ("Checkout http://bit.ly/7KSXpA Gymnast Shawn Johnson backflips over a moving bobsled! What do you think? (Ad)") It was clearly marked as an ad & I didn’t feel dirty tweeting it. As with all their campaigns, I received an e-mail explaining what the tweet would say, how much I would receive and when the tweet would go out. The next campaign involved promoting ad.ly itself and offering twitter uses who clicked on the link a chance to win a flip phone. ("RT this and sign up here http://bit.ly/7QTPn9 to win a Flip Video Camera. Every 100th sign up wins a Flip until they’re gone (ad)") Again, I felt o.k. about tweeting it. It was clearly marked & I wasn’t screaming “DENTISTS DON’T WANT YOU TO KNOW THE TEETH WHITENING TRICK!! CLICK HERE NOW TO LEARN!!! WOW!! O.k., so how much did I make? $10,000? Uh….no. And nor should I. I received $70 per tweet. (I received the payment by PayPal recently) My experience with ad.ly has been a pleasant one. Am I rich? Nope. Do my followers think I’m scum? Ummmmm, I think most don’t! Can I recommend ad.ly? Absolutely. They seem to have their act together, work with great companies, great charities, they pay well and you receive your payment promptly. And no….they aren’t paying me to say that!

My experience with Sponsored Tweets was quite different. Signing up on their website was also easy. I signed up & was ready to go within minutes. One feature that they had was offering banners to put on my site for potential advertisers to click on to advertise specifically with Geno’s World. Very cool! Sponsored Tweets has Featured users displayed prominently on their site. Two categories are featured, Celebrities and Web Celebrities. You have the option to apply to be categorized as either. Celebrity? Me? Nope. Web Celebrity? Sure, why not? I checked out the web celebs on their site. I felt that I was maybe on par with them. I applied and got a reply quickly back saying that I didn’t qualify. O.k., no problem. My ego isn’t that big! So I e-mailed back and asked why. I was curious as to what I could do to change my status. I received a response that was both polite and quite biting. I was told that I wasn’t Perez Hilton or one of the top 5 celebrity bloggers in the world.

The woman implied that my site had no web traffic and no user comments. But I got a lot of thanks and exclamation points. Ouch. No, I’m not Perez, but my site does get a nice amount of web traffic, I get tremendous feedback through Twitter….and hey that’s where I’d be “working” for the company. I use feedjit on my site which shows the “live hits” that I receive as they come in. I forwarded a link to the woman & encouraged her to take a look at the hits that I receive on a daily basis. When some of my tweets “got hot” and my traffic spiked, I provided her with links……and got told that she didn’t know what the point of my e-mails were. She had run Geno’s World through the system that they use & that was it. Yikes…….Needless to say, I haven’t received any offers from the company. I did have some celebs that were interested in the company. When I asked the woman if I could have them contact her or someone in the company, she told me to have them submit a form through the website. EEK. She also told me that all celebrity imposters would be reported to Twitter. Imposters? I told her that Twitter’s verified service clearly shows which celebrities are legit. And hey, the celebs that I was referring to her were verified. She had none of that. Geno’s World and my supposed “Imposter” friends weren’t welcomed inside their doors. Sooooooooo, to sum up if you are lucky enough to be Kim Kardashian or Perez Hilton, Sponsored Tweets will welcome you with open arms. If you are just a moderately successful blogger or an average twitter user…….you may be out of luck at Sponsored Tweets. Of course, your experience may be different. I’ve read on sites that users have had success through the site by lowering their asking price per tweet to low levels.

So that’s it! That’s just one guy’s experience with the world of “advertising” on Twitter. I hope it helped some of you that were curious about the subject. :)
Ad.ly

Sponsored Tweets

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

I've had a good experience with Sponsored Tweets. Maybe you just got a bad person on a bad day?

Metal Mike said...

Dude, you can write? Amazing!

Deb said...

Great article, well written. But the picture of Perez made me want to vomit. lol

BillW. said...

ad.ly has been berry berry good to me too.

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