To outsiders, Twitter can seem like a big waste of time; a bunch of egomaniacs telling the world what they ate for lunch or what they think of the latest contestant on “The Bachelor.” But to those who use it and love it, it’s an invaluable resource. I’ve used Twitter to find new jobs, locate sources for articles, and gather information on a variety of topics.
There are many ways to use Twitter for business and personal success. However, until recently, I couldn’t put a dollar amount on Twitter. Then I discovered Sponsored Tweets, an advertising platform that connects companies with tweeters.
How Sponsored Tweets Works
Sponsored Tweets allows brands to tap into a Twitter user’s followers to reach new customers. By giving companies access to your Twitter stream, tweeters are compensated for each advertisement they accept.
The only thing tweeters need to do is write a tweet based on some simple guidelines provided by the advertiser. Sponsored Tweets takes care of the rest, and will even tweet it out for you. Companies choose Twitter followers they like based on a variety of factors, including how many followers you have and how much influence you have over those followers.
1.Tweeters Sign Up
Setting up your account will only take a couple of minutes. To be eligible, an account must be at least 60 days old with 50 followers and 100 tweets sent. Sponsored Tweets will review your application, and once you’re approved you can start earning money.
2. Tweeters Promote a Brand on Their Own Terms
The great thing about Sponsored Tweets is that the tweeter is in complete control. If an advertiser is intrigued by the influence you have on your followers, then they present you with an opportunity through your Sponsored Tweets account. They will inform you of what your tweet needs to say and what link must be embedded in the message.
If you don’t like a company that approaches you, you can simply turn down the offer. If you want to move forward with the opportunity, however, simply write the tweet using the guidelines provided by the advertiser, and the advertiser will approve the final text.
All tweets carry full disclosure, which means they must include hash tagged text such as “#sponsored” or “#ad.” Since you’re writing the tweet, you can create a message you’re comfortable with. Once it’s approved, the tweet is sent out and you receive payment in your Sponsored Tweets account.
3. Tweeters Get Paid
With a typical Sponsored Tweets account, you must earn $50 before you can withdraw funds from your account. However, if you sign up for a “Pro” account, you only need to have $25 in your account before you’re eligible for withdrawal.
You can upgrade your account to Pro status for free for one month, and cancel at any time. After one month you will be charged a monthly fee of $1.99. According to Sponsored Tweets, having a Pro account will move you to the top of the list among available tweeters, which could result in increased offers from advertisers.
Earning Money With Sponsored Tweets
There are many ways to earn extra money online, but few are as simple as using Sponsored Tweets. Fitness cover model and two-time pro bikini world champion Chady Dunmore joined Sponsored Tweets a few months ago and already earns between $75 and $150 for every ad she sends out to her 57,425 followers. The experience has been rewarding for Dunmore, who says she has a loyal fan base of women who are inspired by her journey of losing 70 pounds, as well as the fact that she began an athletic career after having a child and beating kidney disease.
“I have been very happy with the results and I will continue to be a part of Sponsored Tweets because of the quality advertisers I get asking for me to send out their message,” Dunmore says. “That is an important factor because I would never want to endorse something I don’t feel is worthy of my followers.”
I’ve earned as much as $6 for a tweet, which seems pretty good to me. I have around 2,200 Twitter followers and the thought of earning enough to buy a venti mocha at Starbucks just for writing a tweet and making a few clicks feels like a good deal. But when I start to see how much reality stars, actors, and TV personalities are making I realize there is a much greater earning potential.
Take a look at what these celebs are earning from advertisers:
- Khloe Kardashian, E! reality star, makes $9,100 per tweet.
- Audrina Patridge, reality star from MTV’s “The Hills,” makes $2,600 per tweet.
- Jackee Harry, actress and star of “227,” “Sister, Sister,” and “Everybody Hates Chris,” makes $325 per tweet.
- Boston Rob, reality star from “Survivor” and “Amazing Race,” makes $149.50 per tweet.
How to Improve Your Sponsored Tweets Income
Once you sign up for Sponsored Tweets, look for ways to make it a more lucrative experience. There are several factors that can boost your Sponsored Tweets cash flow:
1. Choose Keywords Wisely
When establishing your Sponsored Tweets profile, you must choose keywords for yourself. These keywords help advertisers pinpoint tweeters who are a good fit to send their message – this means keywords are incredibly important if you want to receive as many opportunities as possible.
According to Sponsored Tweets, you should choose broad keywords and tweet about popular topics like food, music, food, and family. The most popular tags include entertainment, technology, and music.
2. Boost Your Klout Score
Your Klout Score is the number that relates to the size and strength of your sphere of influence on Twitter. It indicates how likely it is that someone will listen to what you have to say or act on a message you provide, and is based on the following categories: engagement, reach, velocity, demand, network strength, and activity. Your Klout Score can be anywhere from 1 to 100, and the higher your score, the more influential you are.
3. Improve Your Follower Activation Rate
One of the ways Sponsored Tweets judges the quality of a Twitter user is by their follower activation rate, or FAR. FAR is a measure of a tweeter’s influence with their followers based on the percentage of people who click-through when the tweeter posts links. The scale is 0 to 10, with 5 being the system-wide average; the higher the number, the better.
Dunmore says it’s not always about the number of followers you have, but instead, the influence you have on them. “I also try to tell people useful, interesting, or funny info,” she says. “You want to have interaction and conversations with people and be able to contribute something useful to them for free as much as possible.”
Not Everyone Loves Sponsored Tweets
Some people argue that flooding your Twitter stream with advertisements will upset your followers. And even companies aren’t necessarily sold on the results.
Companies Experience Varied Results
Leslie Nuccio, VP of marketing with GoPhoto, tried Sponsored Tweets with hopes of raising awareness about the importance of digitizing photos, slides, negatives, and videos. But the clicks she did get were not quality.
“The bounce rate on those clicks was extremely high,” she says. Bounce rate is the level at which visitors leave a website from the landing page, without clicking around. “Of course, there is always the chance that one of those visitors will, eventually, decide that they need to scan photos and will then remember the GoPhoto name. But with that bounce rate, and especially with the quality of the tweets, I felt that I’d be more successful using other avenues for brand discovery.”
Additionally, for an emerging company, she says using celebrities to announce their brand was far too expensive.
Sponsored Tweets Can Annoy Your Followers
Sponsored Tweets suggests sending out a minimum of three non-ad tweets for every ad you send out, which will limit the chances that you’ll get on your followers’ nerves. Regardless, some followers could get upset that you’re using your Twitter stream as yet another way to bombard them with ads. But as long as you’re selective about the ads you choose and pay attention to your ratio of ads verses regular tweets, you shouldn’t lose too many followers.
As of late 2011, 100 million people actively use Twitter, and experts are predicting that the social media giant will hit 500 million registered accounts within the next year. With social media marketing becoming increasingly popular, there is no reason why normal Twitter users can’t turn this popular site into a way to make a little extra cash – even if it does result in losing a follower or two.
Have you tried Sponsored Tweets? Have you had success, either has a tweeter or an advertiser?
(photo credit: Helga Esteb, Annette Shaff, Shutterstock)