For those who want to buy stuff online, tweets may be a great online currency. At least this is the premise for the existence of Pay with a Tweet – an online “payment system” imagined by Leif Abraham and Christian Behrendt, and developed by Alexander Milde. With this system, business owners may “sell” products or services for a tweet, gaining free social media exposure on Twitter, and not only.
By default, tweets are a great way to create buzz around a product, service, brand or personal brand – provided that you get enough of them. One lonely tweet doesn’t resonate, and doesn’t bring much of anything. Viral tweets are another story. The more mentions of a brand, product or service on Twitter, the greater the buzz, and the greater the chances to boost customer awareness, reaching out to new audiences, and gaining potential new customers.
The question is: is Pay with a Tweet the right system for you?
It depends. If you are willing to give out, for just a tweet, a product or service, then yes. There are a few examples on how this “payment system” might work, on the official Pay with a Tweet website.
A French electro-pop band called “The Teenagers” are selling a new single exclusively for a Tweet. They have a promotional video residing on a specially created landing page at paywithatweet.com, then a live Twitter feed that doesn’t really show a great deal of mentions – which means that the system may not work as effectively as they expected. But it could, provided that more and more people learn about the Pay with a Tweet promotion. After all, who doesn’t like free music? And instead of ripping off the song from a torrent site, what better way to give back something to the artists who made their music available for free? A win-win scenario for all. Users get free songs, and the band becomes more popular – eventually famous?
The Pay with a Tweet option could work for “selling” eBooks and whitepapers as well. We created such a test campaign – you can see the “Pay with a Tweet” button on the right sidebar now – promoting our Press Releases Designed for Effect whitepaper, to see how effective this “online currency” is in generating traffic to the site, mentions of @EverythingPR, whitepaper downloads, and even increase our followers numbers on Twitter. The only drawback of the Pay with a Tweet system is that they don’t provide analytics. This way, we will have to rely on other tools to monitor mentions, downloads, etc.
Other than that, the system does have some potential, and the uses are only limited by your imagination. According to its creators, the Pay with a Tweet system could be used by journalists and publishers to sell leading articles for a Tweet to promote a magazine, newspaper or charged online service; by authors who could sell a teaser version of their books with a Tweet to boost sales; by consumer brands who could sell commercials for a Tweet to make them go viral; by professionals and scientists who could sell their master thesis, study, paper or presentation for a Tweet to increase their popularity in their specialty field; and even by film and entertainment companies, that could sell a trailer for an upcoming movie for a Tweet to maximize the viral momentum of their marketing campaigns.
Soon, the Pay with a Tweet “currency” could spread on Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn and other social networks, where marketers want to promote their products and brands. You are already “paying with a like” if you want to participate in Facebook promotions, anyway. So what’s next?