Twittermethis (as in, "Riddle me this") is a new Twitter marketing experiment from blogger Jim Kukral. The idea is simple: Everyday Kukral asks his followers on @twittermethis a question. The first correct response to come back to him is awarded $5 via PayPal. Why? Jim's motivation for the project was to see how successful he could be at using Twitter as a marketing vehicle. So far, about two weeks after launching, he has just over 300 followers. But Twittermethis is an excellent example of the kind of marketing Twitter is perfect for.
Last month Alex Iskold suggested that there are 3 basic types of Twitter users. There are listeners, who pull in a lot of information but don't send much out. Talkers, who push information out to a lot of users, but don't take much in. And there are hubs, people who both follow and are followed. "Think of Twitter as a large network for information dissemination," wrote Iskold. "It typically starts with talkers, flows through the hubs and ends up at listeners."
Iskold's idea provides a pretty good way to visualize how information flows on Twitter. With that in mind, it is easy to see why the most successful marketing done via Twitter is of the "push" variety. Bloggers do this a lot when we tweet about posts we've just published. The hope is that the link will spread virally through the hubs and reach as many listeners as possible.
The key to successful push marketing on Twitter is to attract the right followers (people who have a lot of followers of their own and will retweet your message), and to make sure you don't do it too often. Unless, like the most popular person Twitter, your account is set up specifically for push marketing.
Twittermethis adds a layer of interactivity to push marketing that takes the idea to a new level. By including a call for response with his push marketing message, Kukral has created the building blocks for a potential community. It is easy to see how this type of push marketing could be big on a Twitter. Could this be a possible source of revenue for Twitter? Or could a smart marketing firm perhaps start selling clients on push campaigns via the service?
Even though Kukral says he has no expectations of making money on Twittermethis, there certainly is a potential to do so if he can grow his community large enough. How about sponsored questions, for example? That could be done subtley (i.e., "In what year was Tide Bleach introduced?") without harming the integrity of the game. Very clever indeed.