Should Twitter Users Advertise to Their Followers?

I’m all about increasing our income. When you’re trying to make a budget work, you only have two options: decrease expenses or increase income.  We’ve cut our budget over and over again, but the bottom line is that there’s only so much room to cut. With income, though, the only limit is your motivation.  So, when I come across interesting ways to make money, I usually do a little bit of research to see if it will be something that’s right for me.

 

This was an interesting one.  It’s called “Sponsored Tweets” and you basically become an advertiser for different brands, and earn income (somehow) when you tweet for the advertiser.  You’re using your personal Twitter account, tweeting to your followers, but you’re doing it for an advertiser and for the sole purpose of earning money.

 

This irritates me and worries me.  It irritates me because I choose to follow people on Twitter because I want to read their unique thoughts and perspectives, see what they’re thinking, or hear what’s going on in their lives. The thought that someone might be taking advantage of that in order to make money bothers me – I guess because it’s under the guise of being a “normal” Twitter account. If I know I’m being marketed to (ads on websites, TV commercials, etc.), then I can be prepared to deal with those ads, but when it’s a friend (or even someone I’m following on Twitter), my mindset is different. I’m sure that this is why advertisers are using this tactic.

 

It worries me because it seems that once Twitter starts doing it, all other social media sites start to follow suit.  Will we see our friends on Facebook advertising for Coca Cola next month? Will my News Feed be filled with advertisements from all kinds of other marketing departments? It will be hard to tell the difference between “real” status updates and marketing tactics.

 

But maybe I’m overreacting. What do you think? In any case, be careful when you read tweets from people you follow.  They may just be trying to make a buck.

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One Response to “Should Twitter Users Advertise to Their Followers?”

  1. Well, most of my friends on Twitter and on Facebook are other writers, so a lot of the time, we're out to promote our latest books. It's a fine line when who you are is so intimately connected to the product you produce. I try not to be too commercial, though. I try to share a lot of things on Twitter that I think my friends will genuinely find interesting, because I find them interesting.

    I'm stopping by from the 100 Comments on My Blog Event.

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