If you are a twitter-addict, with an ability to tweet by the minute, and have garnered a large number of followers on the website, a social media marketing company is on the lookout for you
So, your identity on the social networking website, Twitter, has got you a few friends and a huge list of followers and you love bombarding them with a tweet every other minute. Now, that's an achievement by itself, but here's a way to make a sweet deal for yourself while you tweet. UTV has tied up with US-based IZEA Holdings Inc that specialises in social media marketing and have introduced www.sponsoredtweets.com, an advertising platform on Twitter, to India. All you have to do is signup on the site and then the advertisers registered on the site will view your profile and get in touch with you if it suits their profile. Then you get paid to tweet about them through your profile according to their guidelines.
"We have started marketing on Twitter since 2009 and have companies listed in Fortune 50 to celebrities like 50 Cent and Kim Kardashian. It was about time we entered the Indian market as it has a huge potential for social media advertising," said Ted Murphy, founder and chief executive officer of IZEA. In India, stars like Lara Dutta, Mahesh Bhupati and Anurag Kashyap are already on board.
Statistics also apparently support Murphy's views. According to a study conducted by Nielson in May 2011, social networking sites in India have about 30 million users, 60 percent of whom were open to being approached by brands online.
"Twitter is one of the top ten most-visited websites in the country other than being a platform where a large number of celebrities interact directly with the users. The area of Twitter as an advertising platform had not yet been used in India and that's how we decided to collaborate with IZEA," says Sameer Pitalwalla, senior vice president, Interactive-UTV.
Yet, the question is: Will this work? Nikhil Pahwa, editor of Medianama, a website that gives information and analysis of digital media in India says, "Twitter had its own advertising section in India where companies that had signed up featured in the trending topics or were promoted through search results. However the concept of tweet sponsorship has not been used much in India, yet. The best part about sponsored tweets is that it is completely transparent where the person tweeting will disclose that it's an ad, hence the followers are not cheated unlike undisclosed promotions. It now depends how the advertisers use it because companies might be open to the subject but advertising agencies work in a different way and convincing them to have a marketing plan solely for social media will be a different case." He also says that it can work as an extended platform for brands who can get their celebrity endorsers to tweet and advertise through social media.
It all depends on the users in the end, whether they accept advertisements gobbling another medium of expression or if they feel abused as followers.
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