Chris Pirillo and Robert Scoble are being paid to tweet periodic product endorsements. The question is: Are sponsored tweets worth it? ReadWriteWeb caught up with Likes.com co-founders Bindu Reddy and Arvind Sundararajan as they made the case for conversational advertising and the sponsored tweets landscape.Social media is likely to be factored into your ad budget for the new year, but the problem is deciding which format best suits you. Highly controversial, tech influencers like
Similar to Ad.ly and Sponsored Tweets, MyLikes is a service that pays influencers to Tweet about specific products. In what resembles an AdWords-style dashboard, advertisers create a budget for their campaign and set the parameters and URL for where they'd like endorsers to redirect their friends.
This month, Moo created a campaign in the hopes of selling business card packages to U.S.-based users. Rather than being forced to endorse Moo, MyLikes members could chose to endorse them from a long list of companies. From there the endorser creates a short line of text about why they like a particular company, with a link to pre-populated images, video and the campaign URL from their blogs and Twitter accounts. Bindu believes that because the network gives users options in who to endorse, the sponsored tweets become more authentic and are better targeted to the user base. On a cost-per-click basis, campaigns range between $0.20 and $0.60 cents per click based on the influence of the endorser. If you compare this against some of the higher-priced AdWords keyword campaigns, Twitter sponsorship is quite reasonable.
While a budget analysis is an obvious indicator of whether or not you should sponsor tweets, another factor to consider is your company culture. When Izea's sponsored tweets program launched in late June, many questioned the process of disclosure and the role of a social media influencer. While the FTC Act revisions make the space more regulated, they don't change the fact that your stakeholders may simply be put off by the practice.
I'm going to answer your question about sponsored tweets with another question, "Are sponsored tweets more cost effective than your current click-thru campaigns and will your audience embrace it?"