The Social Media Douche Bag Cabal that runs the world recently convened meetings in Las Vegas, San Francisco, LA, and NYC to confirm amongst themselves that they were all in agreement that the company pitch to be issued by Social Media Douche Bags around the world would be that Sponsored Tweets Suck.
This event was not blogged about, nor tweeted about. $500 tickets to the event were not sold and there was no keynote speaker for the event, which were all very abnormal behaviors for Social Media Douche Bag types.
Its the dirty little secret of social media, no pronouncement on a subject will be made if it might be bad for the personal following of the person making it.
There are readers, and feeders, and tweets, and followers and friends, and fanboys to contend with out there in the wild wild world of social media. The last thing anyone would do would be to jeopardize the wrath of their audience that follows them because they are on top of this new industry known as, social media.
Sponsored Tweets are just an easy target for those gallant knights of social media circles that are easily identified by a casual jacket, informal shirt sans tie and in days of old square toed shoes possibly or even a euro-trash button up.
Note. I have several of these uniforms in my closet for social media events. I’m not knocking or mocking the uniform any more than I’m knocking or mocking the language of finance, English, or the vehicle for finance for the last 60 years, the dollar.
It is easy to rally the masses of fanboys, commentors, and Digg stars with cries of, “Burn the witch, she’s about to issue a sponsored tweet!” Now, if that sounds sexist, the use of ‘witch’ or ‘she’ then you are paying attention, because there is more than plenty of sexism to have come out of social media for the last few years. This is the same circle that subjugated ‘mommy bloggers’ to some place below ‘other’ bloggers.
Sexism and Douchebaggery in Social Media aside – Twitter Celebrity Trend History
There could be a distinct difference however in the recent advances in twitter. It comes not in the form of technology, but in the culture of the users. There was a time when the only celebrities on twitter were primarily social media celebrities. These were simply the early adopters that were able to translate and migrate some of their large blog followers over from other mediums into the twittosphere.
They would gather together tens of thousands of followers, creating a massive following on Twitter in the land of 140 characters or less. After several years, they might even reach the dizzying heights of 100k or better.
As opposed to my meager ceramic tile height of 1.2k. 🙂
But then something happened in Social Media and Twitter in particular. A new type of celebrity showed up on the scene. It was a celebrity that often didn’t write their own 140 characters themselves. Angst and Scandal! Sometimes they didn’t even tweet that regularly-The Horror! or maybe they didn’t follow back more than 4 or 5 people-The Scoundrels!.
These slimy bastards had something that social media celebrities had not. They had fame outside of social media. They were movie and TV and music stars. They were politician
s and well movie stars and TV stars and music icons and well they were pretty much just movie, TV and music superstars, every body else just kind of sucked. Plus there was Obama.
They didn’t have to watch what they said on Twitter either. They could say the same crazy crap that they could say anywhere else, short of a drunk Mel Gibson tirade caught on police video.
Plus, unlike social media celebrities, FAME-ous people were not burdened with the kryptonite of having to follow social media prescripts for what is morally acceptable or not, like sponsoring products, providing endorsements, or sticking their face or name on a line with said product, service, company etc.
If Brittany Spears tweets through her ghost writer about Pepsi, Who gives a shit?
She’s done full blown commercials for Pepsi. BRING ON THE SPONSORED TWEETS!
If CNN or Anderson Cooper drops mention of BP or Some Oil Company or just about any mention of a company, can you really tell if there was advertiser influence at play somewhere in there?
Wouldn’t it be just easier if they dropped a #spon hash tag in their twitter stream so you know that CNN is now funding their twitter operation instead of just profiting from the free content and free hack journalism BS they use twitter for now. so BRING ON THE SPONSORED TWEETS!
If Barrack Obama were to simply come out and thank 10 of his biggest donors in a tweet, would we cry fowl over the mention of his sponsors, or would we croon and thank them for bringing the anointed one to the White House. BRING ON THE SPONSORED TWEETS!
I did vote for Obama. The guy has a lot to learn and needs to get his act together, but there is still hope for him to do that. I give him until the end of the year to figure it out. If he hasn’t got things fixed by then, well we are all going to be in a pickle anyway so it won’t really matter what I think. No one said I had to be fair in my political expectations. I digress . . .
So I caution you, as you will undoubtedly read from one social media douche bag to the next that ‘sponsored tweets are awful’, that they will be the downfall of twitter like sponsored articles were the downfall of Google, like PPC ads were the downfall of the internet, like cigarette ads were the downfall of Johnny Carson and TV in general, like propagandizing war videos were the downfall of cinema, yada yada yada OK, that Bee movie may have been the downfall of Seinfeld but he did get like $5 billion for that thing. But affiliate advertising on twitter is ok. wtf?
I also caution you to consider the messenger. Any social media celebrity is going to say that sponsored tweets is bad, until the real celebrities stand up and show that it is acceptable. Any real celebrity already makes a buck or a million from all different types of sponsored activities from t-shirt sales, to album sales to choice of pepsi vs coke at a concert to performing in say the Stapes Center (or having a funeral there).
With the exception of Pearl Jam and Ralph Nader all celebrities sell out. Its pretty much impossible to be a real celebrity without having your name linked to some company, product, corporation etc willingly or not.
And if you are Brittany Spears and hire a ghost writer to write your tweets (have no idea if she does that and don’t care and don’t follow her, not because I think she sucks or anything, just because I haven’t gotten around to finding here. Actually that’s a half truth and maybe a lie. I don’t know if I’m following her or not, but have not gone out to follow her on purpose, but I might have hit a button once and forgotten about it. I really have little clue as to who I am following.) 🙂
My point is that if Brittany or any celebrity out there hires a ghost twitter writer (kind of shows how stupid twitter can be) well then, let them make a little bit in profit to reduce their costs of twitter production a bit.
If some celebrity wants to publish or even write a sponsored twitter item for a cpm of $10 per thousand for their 700,000 followers, or if they can even pull in $100 or $1000 cpm, more power to them.
I just saw Nine Inch Nails and Jane’s Addiction in concert in Charlotte a couple weeks ago. If $1000 cpm for a sponsored tweet gives NIN or Jane’s the financial juice or incentive or whatever to go make another album or go on tour and keep the ticket prices low, or to compensate them enough to give me some free music, I say Fuck Yah! BRING ON THE SPONSORED TWEETS!
I watched Burn Notice on USA Networks last night. It had a bunch of commercials in between, and I like the hell out of that show. Its funny, got a decent little script going with a premise that is holding its own, and the Gabrielle Anwar, the woman that plays Michael’s love interest is hot and manages to walk into a cold breeze without a bra in Miami about every other episode.
Well guess what
Back when this show launched, we bloggers did a kick ass little sponsored buzz launch for the show through Izea. We wrote a bunch of articles to stir up buzz about the premise of the show before we had (horrors of horror) seen the show.
We were given the premise of the show, spy gets burned from his job, what does he do now, and we were asked to write some possible examples of what the show episode might be about.
Those articles were very fun to write, so much fun that I wrote a couple more, some of which I never got around to publishing. That show is also very damn good, and last nights show with some code breaking nut job was one of the better shows.
So Sponsored Tweets is getting ready to launch any day now. Might be today, might be tomorrow, might be Monday, Might be this month. I don’t know when. I don’t think Ted Murphy, the owner of the company really knows when. I got this feeling that he’s just letting the buzz percolate a bit and when it gets to the right temperature and his headlights start to poke out through his shirt, then Out Pops the Launch of Sponsored Tweets.
I like Ted, but not in the kind of way where I want to see anything pop out of his shirt, lets call those last few words artistic, or lack-of-artistic license. Some might call it might twisted sense of humor. . .
When it launches there will be some people that think sponsored Tweets are awful and they may unfollow a few people for it.
But I’d posit that real celebrities, especially those that write their own tweets and make connections with REAL people, are not going to notice any impact. Am I going to stop following, or stop being a fan of NIN because Trent Reznor drops a message or a link sponsored by say Coke or Revlons new line of black nail polish or Aquanet or Gold’s Gym or something.
No way in hell. He can do what ever the hell he wants pretty much short of buying up a 250 acre plot of land, creating an amusement park to attract little kids, sleep with them at night and turn them into donkeys in the morning, and even then I’ll still like his music, just won’t be so sure about him as a person.
From a twitter perspective, its not like this is really anything new. There are brazillians of people setting up accounts for companies and all sorts of stuff promoting themselves from everything from Wine to shoes and they are not kicked in the balls by new media douche bags.
And what if some of those sponsored tweets actually do some good?
But we will more likely see this type of thing. A twitter interview
Yet it looks like IZEA might suffer the same problem as Magpie – the fact that non-users of the service can’t opt out of seeing the ads in their Twitter stream.
Which triggered douche bags who apparently didn’t read Danny’s article terribly closely or wanted other people to think that Danny really did think Sponsored Tweets were bad, even though he never said that in the article if you discount his negative tone throughout. . .
IZEA and Sponsored Tweets – Will In-Stream Advertising Jeopardize Twitter? – that by the way shows up on a site with ads EVERYWHERE!
For the record I don’t know Danny but I can tell that he shares something in common with Ted.
Maybe its an Irish thing . . .
My Experience with Sponsored Tweets
I tried the Sponsored Tweets platform and as platforms go, this is pretty damn solid. First, you don’t have to give up your username or password for twitter, you log into twitter to get into this sytem.
There are some campaigns where you can be paid either
- a fixed fee for the single tweet agreed in advance and typically based on your number of followers, or
- paid based on the number of clicks the link you include gets clicked on, essentially a Google Model applied to twitter.
The only real issue I noticed came from twitter itself.
A couple days before I tried Sponsored Tweets, I got this message from twitter saying that my twitter account had been suspended for potential spam reasons.
As it turns out, my account had zero spam in it. A real live person at twitter, flipped a switch and suspended a whole bunch of twitter accounts by accident.
The thing is, that type of OOPS! could make someone think that maybe a service like SponsoredTweets is dangerous or something and if supported with a bunch of non-analysis and negative commentary from Social Media Types that are trying to keep the pitch forks and torches happy, then people might get the wrong idea. In many ways, that’s kind of what happened to Be-A-Magpie. (a separate sponsored tweet company that set up shop a long time ago). Their issue imho was simply that they were a little too early for their time, and twitter was not an effective medium of communication yet. Twitter is a lot more effective today (in other words, not completely worthless all the time, but some times it is useful).
Izea also has a massive amount of experience in building, running, designing, managing social media marketing campaigns, managing payments to massive amounts of people all around the world and holding the hands of fortune 500 companies as they navigate the waters of Social Media where you might be just as likely to get a big boost out of an article on a blog or get blown out of the water by an article on a blog or suffer from a huge expensive click fraud fiasco on Google PPC or Facebook for that matter.
Izea’s working with ClickForensics to custom build algorithms to handle the type of traffic that specifically clicks through Twitter. Its not the same type of traffic that you might see elsewhere, and Izea had experience with this through sponsored tweets from their blog platform at SocialSpark.
Below are some screen shots of the SponsoredTweets System
What’s My Prognosis on SponsoredTwts or Sponsored Tweets for that matter?
I for one will tell you the same thing I would tell anyone, even at a social media event. Its just a technology, a tool to be used for what ever purpose a person applies it for. It has potential for good and maybe even bad, and as people first learn to use it, I suspect they will break a few more eggs than they successfully turn into cheese and bacon omelets. But ultimately, it will make people money, it will provide ROI to advertisers and it might even help keep twitter viable and relevant for all those fanboys that can’t live with out it.
If you use SponsoredTwts entirely based on my recommendation, analysis, or lack there of, you are a damn fool. Please do not follow me. If you are already following me, please un-follow me, so I’m not tempted to tempt you some more you weak brained fool.
Instead go make up your own mind about SponsoredTwts and for that matter make up your own mind about following me or Britney Spears or Trent Reznor or Scobleizer or Ted Murphy. Make that decision based on how useful, entertaining, fulfilling or whatever criteria you want to set for yourself works. Don’t do it because some social media douche bag makes you feel pompous, superior and self righteous. Don’t throw an extra torch at the witch on the pire, don’t follow the Nazi’s orders and get on the train, question what you are reading, use that brain muscle and don’t be a cow following the heard. Because if you do follow the heard, if you do what the latest social media douche bag says is cool, well then twitter and the world has a lot bigger problems than some advertising showing up in the stream.
Hey for the record, this is not a sponsored article, nor a sponsored anything. I do advertise through Izea from time to time, and occasionally, I have written sponsored articles for them in the past. I will likely do both in the future. My years of experience with Izea on both fronts prompted me to become an IzeaInsider last fall, and I will be moderating an advertising panel at IzeaFest this year for which I will not be paid, but I get a free trip out of the deal.
I do a lot of other things as well including work teaching people and businesses how to use WordPress as a CMS, Theme Design, blogging, and social media marketing, which is why I keep a uniform or two at the house.
PS I included the words White Paper in the title for no apparent reason. Your screen should have a white background. Don’t assume everyone that says something is a white paper really means that their textual printing on a media surface actually has any more or less merit than anything else you read.
That last paragraph, plus this sentence, enabled this article to come in at about 3,000 words give or take a word or two.
Oh and btw I think Izea owns both sponsoredtweets.com and sponsoredtwts.com so go to either one.
You know, these days I don’t sweat it much when I don’t get something just perfect in the first go around. I realized this evening that I forgot to mention a couple things that were on my mind about SponsoredTweets.
I know, I know, you are probably reading this saying WTH? This has to be one of the least concise bloggers on the planet!
Anyway here they are
Future Features Needed
1. The ability to manage a sponsored Tweet account from a mobile device. Preferably any mobile phone, but at a minimum the social media douche bag tool of choice . . . the iphone of course, and my own personal renegade (douche bag tool of choice) the Palm Pre.
Hey, I’m kind of old school that Palm way, besides at&t stole $1,000 from me back in 2000 when they slammed me into a $2.50 per minute calling plan with out telling me, just because I updated my billing address to reflect the fact that I no longer lived in Peoria, Illinois and that I did live instead in Boca Raton. I lost that argument with at&t over why I shouldn’t be billed that much, despite 4 months of phone calls through call center hell and back, but you can bet your sweat ass that I haven’t missed an opportunity to tell everyone I met over the last 9 years just how badly at&t screwed me over. You can have your iphone on at&t if you must, apple fanboy or girl or not, but I’d rather weave burkas for the Taliban than do business with at&t again.
Actually, that’s not true. The Taliban can stick it. In fact the Taliban and at&t kind of deserve each other. Now what was I saying about being concise . . .
2. Scheduling Sponsored Tweets. It would be a great advertising thing if advertisers could schedule when a sponsored tweet would hit. Say something like, “at&t would like to humbly apologize to Brett Bumeter @brettbum for stealing $1,000 from him through a devious ploy.” tweeted out across 1 million twitter accounts on 4/1/2010. That would be really cool, but instead we’ll probably see simpleton messages like calls from Doritos during half time of the Superbowl.
3. Managing Multiple Twitter Accounts in your Sponsored Tweet account. OK, so there are some of you fine social media types out there that have more than one twitter account. Maybe you do it for work, maybe you do it because you want to be the next great fake steve jobs, or maybe you do it for, well hell, I don’t know why you do it. But if you have multiple accounts, might as well be able to load them into SponsoredTweets for those advertisers that might be interested in that demographic. Even better if you could categorize your faux twitter account as say, satire, or faux account or something like that. Then say, if PETA wanted to sponsor a tweet for @Michael_Vick they could! Who knows that might even become some new PETA Past time. Donate a buck and tweet as if you are Michael Vick! All bucks will be donated to rescue animal shelters or vegan cuisine testing labs or something.
Other Related Articles that I didn’t even write
Will Pay Per Tweet Ruin Twitter? – lol look at this btw
Tweets for Hire: Are Advertorial Content, Social Media a Good Match?
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