How much are your random thoughts on Twitter worth? Well, if you are Kim Kardashian, the answer is ten grand. Earlier this week, Advertising Age reported that the zaftig star commanded the staggering amount for daily sponsored tweets on her twitter feed, which is seen by approximately two and a half million followers. Kardashian is not alone in that many celebrities as-well-as major Twitter stars are starting to turn their social media currency into cold hard cash.
Kardashian’s $10,000 dollar tweet figure is based on the rate paid by Ad.ly, an advertising service that sends out daily sponsored tweets. The way the system works, advertisers on the site chose which Twitter users they wish to pitch their advertisement and submit bids. Users then decide to either approve or deny the bid. If the bid is accepted, the ad messages appear automatically in the user’s Twitter feed, usually four times over the course of a week. The amount paid to the user depends on several factors including the number of and type of followers. For instance, a user with 10,000 loyal followers can command a higher rate than one with 100,000 spambot accounts. Also, users have the option of setting their own rate if they disagree with the one suggested by Ad.ly.
Ad.ly’s website list its top users, which in addition to Kardashian include Dr. Drew, Greg Grunberg, and Newsweek. Several of the top celebrity users actually donate their proceeds to charity, an option which the company automates based on user preferences. Furthermore, all tweets from the company carry a “from Ad.ly Network” tag to clearly identify them as a sponsored tweet. An active user with a substantial or loyal follower base could make serious money for very little work. Based on the $10,000 dollar a tweet price, Kardashian could bank an estimated $3.5 million dollars a year from Twitter ads alone. However, unless one has at least 5000 followers do not bother signing up for the site. Out of curiosity I signed up only to discover that my tweets are worth nothing, which I must admit, I already knew.
Nevertheless, anyone can sign up for Ad.ly or one of the similar services, which are popping up now. The advertising deals that these sites create are not limited to established stars, but are open to anyone who has a substantial Twitter following. In this instance, new media personalities are on an equal footing with the established celebrities and, in fact, have the home field advantage. Imagine the possibility of partially funding a webseries simply by having fans follow a Twitter account! Such an endeavor would require a substantial fan base; however, it is not outside the realm of possibility.