Interview with a Twitter User who runs Ad Tweets

The rise of paid advertising on Twitter streams has been controversial in some areas online. Back in April 2009 I ran an experiment of placing Twitter ads through one Twitter advertising service (see post) but I’ve never known what it was like if you were running those sorts of ads on your Twitter account.

I’ve not signed up to run ads in my Twitter account, but I found someone who is. The person, who will remain anonymous, agreed to the following interview.

What motivated you to try Twitter advertising?

I will admit at first I was totally against the idea of ads in the Twitter stream but being a blogger I can’t really come out against something if I am not willing to at least try it and see if it is as bad as I imagined or as other people have. So I signed up for both Magpie and SponsoredTweets as an experiment to see what kind of reaction I would get from my followers and to see just what kind of money could be made.

What was the experience like in terms of sign up, ease of use? Do they automatically post tweets, or do you post them?

Signing up in both cases was incredibly easy. Under five minutes for both and you are away to the races. With Magpie there are some adjustments you can make as to how often ( 5 Tweets per ad is the default) and you can select which type of ad actions you can utilize, for example PPC ads. SponsoredTweets was far more basic with just a sign up and nothing more.

The tweets are published automatically. With Magpie if you go with the default after every 5 tweets the ad (if you have any in the queue) will automatically post itself. I believe it is the same with SponsoredTweets.

What sort of money do you get for the ad tweets?

Magpie is making me more money than AdSense from all my blogs combined. Even at my low follower count I am seeing a good return and that is only with my current ad rate of 60 cents per tweet. I know of a friends who is getting about a $1.50 per ad published to his Twitter stream. Then you have someone like Jeremy Shoemaker who is getting ridiculous rates of 4,500 for one tweet ad. Apparently he made around $75,000 from ads in his Twitter stream last month. So like anything on the web … your reputation and popularity will greatly affect what you make.

Has there been any negative reaction from your followers?

The only flack I received was when my Twitter stream was automatically getting pushed to Facebook. More than a few people made sarcastic comments regarding them. Since then I’ve stopped the auto publish of Twitter to Facebook and let my Twitter client handle it. As far as my Twitter followers, I can’t say that I lost any of them over doing this nor has there really been any verbal bugging about it.

Would you recommend it to others?

I think it boils down to the same question you have to ask when you are writing a blog. If you are doing it just for fun and to share stuff then no I don’t think it is worth it because you won’t be making serious money. You also run the risk of pissing off your followers because they are use to you doing this for fun and might think you are just trying to cash in for spare change.

However if you are utilizing Twitter as a part of your business then yes I would say it might very well be worth it but be careful and don’t get greedy by trying to push out the ads at a more frequent rate. I know with Magpie the minimum is 5 Tweets – 1 ad, and it goes up from there to a maximum of 200 tweets – 1 Ad. I would imagine that when your ad rate goes up to a nice figure you could always increase the number of tweets to be posted before the ad – giving your followers a break.

In perspective I have been using Magpie for almost two months but for the first month I was too restrictive on which type of ads would get pushed out and didn’t make a penny. Then after a chat with a friend using Magpie I made some adjustments and that is when I started seeing some money being made.

One point to remember – for people like myself with a combination of low follower count and lack of a “name” the ads I get are very similar in quality to AdSense ads or remnant ads that you get when you belong to an ad network. So for the most part don’t expect quality ads and don’t expect to make a lot of money. For most people it should be considered as just another slice of the pie not the whole thing.

To sign up to Be-A-Magpie, click here.