We just passed our one year anniversary of selling and serving sponsored tweets. You can read our original release here.
I’ll be honest, when we first launched sponsored tweets I wasn’t convinced that it was a good idea. In my mind, sponsored tweets were synonymous with audio ads… they were just another pesky message that I couldn’t turn off.
My mind was changed when I saw the positive reaction to the sponsored tweets launch: advertisers were loving them, and publishers posted them without any backlash. Last Fall I saw a particularly successful tweet that made me fall in love with these sponsorships:
Fed up with your BlackBerry? Switch to a new iPhone and move all your data with new app. bsa.ly/f49 *ad
— Cult of Mac (@cultofmac) October 26, 2011
This tweet was relevant; it solved a problem that a lot of people have. People were happy to be introduced to the product, and the publisher was happy to post it.
This tweet received over 100 retweets and dozens of favorites within a few hours. It blew my mind. Nobody likes a sponsored message, right? Wrong.
At one point in time people hated banner ads because they were thought to be obnoxious. Banner ads hinted at a future where every inch of online real estate would be blinking for your attention. This future has not come to pass. Advertisers have come to realize that the power of an ad stems from the relevance of its product or message. If it’s relevant to the audience, they’ll like it. A friend of ours recently said that advertising is a game and the objective is to find a way to get in front of someone who is not expecting to be advertised to. That’s exactly what tweets have done.
In the last year we’ve built a marketplace that allows advertisers to create a potentially viral tweet, and given publishers the power to review it, request changes, or deny it. We’ve created a transparent marketplace with fully disclosed sponsorships, as the law, and common courtesy, dictates.
We were not the first company to sell tweets, but I do think we were the first company to automated the scheduling, posting, and disclosure of tweets. It’s this ease of use and total transparency that I am most proud of.
After some discussion with the team that I co-own UX Booth with, we decided that sponsored tweets were not something we’d move forward with. I was outvoted. My co-founders worried that our audience would hate it.
I eventually convinced them to give it a try, and the results were shocking. Our sponsored tweets had more interaction, retweets and favorites than our normal, hand picked resource tweets. People didn’t hate the ads, they loved them.
Normally we see 4-5 “proper” retweets and 10 or so RT: tweets, along with 2-5 favorites. Our first sponsored tweet brought in 6 “proper” retweets, 10-15 RT:’s and 12 favorites. We heard from YouEye he received an instant burst of 300 folks navigating YouEye.com to learn more about his product.
— The UX Booth (@UXBooth) March 19, 2012
Recently we’ve added Paris Hilton to our marketplace. If you’re interested in buying a tweet from @ParisHilton you can do that here. We sold a tweet for Paris within 12 hours of adding her to our marketplace. Users responded favorably and we’re happy with the interaction the tweet received. To date this tweet has received 50+ retweets and 37 favorites:
— Paris Hilton (@ParisHilton) March 21, 2012
From the Advertiser
I asked Kyle from YouEye.com to give us some feedback on why he likes purchasing sponsored tweets. Here’s what he had to say:
Tweets are the excellent ads because they are viral. Our team can engage each retweet or mention as a potential customer.
From the Publisher
Often we encounter publishers who are worried about selling sponsored tweets. How do they avoid losing the voice that they have worked so hard to create for themselves? What if their followers hate the ads? Simple. BuySellAds gives publishers total control over each tweet that’s purchased. If you don’t think your readership will like it, ask for it to be changed, or deny it. The incredibly relevant tweets that make it through will both please your audience, and fatten your wallet. It’s a win/win situation.
Barbara at AppCraver sells tweets through our marketplace. I asked her, what made you decide to sell tweets through us?
Our site has sold sponsored tweets directly and through BuySellAds. Frankly, I would never go back to doing it the “old-fashioned” way! Our customers like the simplicity and built-in tracking. More importantly, it’s made it so much easier to control from our end.
We’re very careful about balancing ads and content in our Twitter stream. BSA makes it easy to see what tweets are scheduled to go out and to request changes. So, for instance, if two people request an ad for the same time slot, rather than lose a customer by denying the ad I can send a message and request the client choose a new date. BSA handles all the details, while still giving me total control over what shows up in our Twitter stream.
So Come on Over
If you’re interested in buying tweets you can view our full inventory here.
If you’re interested in selling tweets you can apply through our small publisher page.
PS: While writing this, we just added Jersey Shore member Ronnie Magro.