Publetariat Dispatch: Pay With A Tweet

Publetariat: For People Who Publish!In today’s Publetariat Dispatch, indie author Virginia Ripple takes a look at using Twitter for crowdfunding.

I find a lot of interesting marketing ploys during my research times. Most of them are schemes or ideas that make a highly sensitive person such as myself shudder. However, there are a few I find intriguing. One such idea is called Pay with a Tweet.

What is Pay with a Tweet?

Simply put, this site allows you to create a button you can put on your web site that allows people to download whatever you choose (music, ebooks, movie trailers, etc.) and pay for it by tweeting or posting to their Facebook wall.

Essentially it’s a way to get followers and FB friends to use their social contacts to advertise your product and in turn receive a freebie from you.

Is it worth it?

According to the Pay with a Tweet web site it is, but I’m not one to accept a sales pitch without checking out what others have to say about it.  There have only been a few reviews, but considering PWT was released in June 2010 a few is still better than leaping into the dark without a flashlight.

Paul Marsden’s review, Pay with a Tweet, Pay with a Like: New Social Payments Platforms, was more or less a reiteration of the Pay with a Tweet web site, minus the short video about PWT and including The Teenagers PWT promotional video. What makes this review worth mentioning is the comments, especially deb’s who took issue with the phrase “tweet like hell” in the PWT instructions given to potential buyers.

I may not be one to cringe at the use of this particular phrase, but I know many who would be. I’m also not convinced using language of that kind is particularly professional, especially for someone like me who writes Christian books. It gives me second thoughts about using Pay with a Tweet.

Aaron Poeze’s review, Pay With a Tweet, points out two possible negatives:

  1. The “seller” isn’t making any money, so there’s a higher need to take advantage of the exposure PWT gives.
  2. If the product is terrible, then PWT becomes socially expensive. (think Jacqueline Howett)

Laura Fitton of oneforty thought the idea was great and had no problems as a customer paying with a tweet, which speaks well of the site’s ability to create what it advertises.

The verdict is…

I’m still on the fence with this one only because everything I’ve read thus far has been from the customer end. I think it’s great that people are willing to use social payment to get a free download. Going viral could be a real blessing, but it could also be a nightmare.

True, just being in business is risky. As independent authors we deal with that risk all the time. The issue as I see it with Pay with a Tweet, though, is that you absolutely have to have a great download that makes people want more or it just won’t work. In fact, it could backfire big time.

Maybe it’s just me, but I want to see some results before I leap into this. When social media works, it’s great, but when things go bad…

I’d love to hear from anyone who has used Pay with a Tweet, with good or bad results, from the seller’s point of view. What did you think of the experience? Would you recommend it?


This is a reprint from Virigina Ripple‘s The Road to Writing.

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2 Responses to Publetariat Dispatch: Pay With A Tweet

  1. Doug Lance November 1, 2011 at 4:53 pm #

    For me, if my readers aren’t willing to spread my message then I don’t want them in my community. I want engagement, not passive consumption. For that reason, I think Pay with a Tweet is awesome. Not only does it condition your audience to help promote you, it sets up a value to your free products. When you charge for a product down the road, there is already an established value exchange relationship between you and your audience. That means more conversions, more sales.

    When I first used it, some people were upset at the change. They said the usual line “I don’t want to get a twitter account to download this!” I usually sent those people an email with the files attached (they seemed to ignore the fact that they were getting it for free).

    Pay with a Tweet is awesome. I’d highly recommend it.

    • Doug Lance November 1, 2011 at 4:56 pm #

      And by the way, the Facebook post feature of the service never worked right for me so I switched to which is a similar service except the Facebook function works properly.

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