The last election popularized the idea of donating your presence in social media to a candidate. Since then, Causes and other sites have been using this practice to spread the word about various charitable campaigns. To support a particular cause, you simply allow the Facebook application to post a message on your behalf to your personal network. The idea is that access to your social network and chance to post something as if it were from you is an incredibly valuable thing.
A friend of mine told me about something that seems to be catching on among artists looking for buzz for their music and it works on that notion that your personal network is worth something. A site called Pay With A Tweet is helping people who want your tweets to get them in exchange for something you want, their music. They realize the power in posting to your network and artists are willing to sell those songs for your tweets.
Essentially its a way to buy word of mouth marketing or at least jump start it. It seems like a fair trade, you give up a tweet which are free to you and you get the song you want. They get the benefit of posting on your network, which depending on the power of your social network, could be huge for them.
Pay With A Tweet isn’t just limited to bands and songs though, they are working with people in all kinds of industries to connect your tweets and now Facebook statuses to the people that are essentially willing to pay for them. Authors are selling books or previews of their books for tweets, experts from various types of firms offer white pages or other exclusive content for them, and even the movie industry is selling special content for your tweets or updates.
Pay With A Tweet believes that the “value of people talking about your product is sometimes higher than the money you would get for it.” It is a fact that consumers trust recommendations from their peers way more than regular advertisements. Trading the value of your social network for the small product they are giving you is a significantly lower cost for that great exposure than trying to acquire new customers through traditional means and then somehow trying to get them to spread the good word after the purchase.
It’s being called a ‘social payment system’ and its the first of its kind. As more people start to realize that their network is immensely valuable, the offers for tweets and updates will only get better. Remember those free iPod surveys that promised you a brand new iPod in exchange for completing a certain number of offers from advertisers? This idea isn’t new. People are willing to pay you for exposure, applying that idea to social media and getting that exposure in such a valuable, network heavy place is pure genius.