Audience & Engagement

Is "Pay With a Tweet" an Ethical Marketing Practice?
Is "Pay With a Tweet" an Ethical Marketing Practice?

Note from Megan: You may remember a few months ago we ran an “ask the reader” guest post by Fiona TankardIt was a huge success. Tons of people offered amazing insight and value- the comments section just lit up like a city at night. So instead of writing a long detailed post about an interesting topic, I’m going to ask *you* to do it.

(This is a new feature we’re trying out, so give it a shot and let me know what you think.)

You’ve seen it.

Someone’s got a cool piece of content available, totally for free… just so long as you tweet, like or otherwise promote it first.

There are a few ways this can be done; Content can be protected until an individual has shared it. We’ve done this several times, most recently with the Naked Marketing Manifesto. (And we think it went pretty well!)

Another method is that the owner can decide to release a piece of content if a certain number of social interactions are achieved. Olga Astakhova wrote about a bad experience she had with this in her post Get Vaccinated against the Viral Marketing Virus.

Obviously, people have a variety of feelings about this (and we’re not saying one method is definitely better than the other – not yet anyway!) – Some consider it a great exchange: share a link or like something and get free stuff. Other people have more of a problem with it: promoting something you haven’t seen yet? Risky. We’ve established that paid email (as in pay real money to send one!) isn’t the way to go – but is paying with a little bit of social juice as terrible?

So the ask the reader question of the month is:

  • Do you think it’s a good idea to ask your readers to pay with a tweet and other social shares?
  • If yes: why is it a good idea, and how would you go about it?
  • If no, why not? What might a good alternative be?

Please leave a comment and let us know what you think!

If you’ve got an awesome idea for an “Ask the Reader” topic (or a problem you’d like to have solved by the wisdom of crowds) shoot me an email at megan (at) firepolemarketing (dot) com.