In the past, websites would force you to provide an email address and sign up for a newsletter before receiving content such as an ebook, whitepaper or access to a protected website.
Now, there are several services that instead force users to send a tweet or facebook status update before receiving content.
Should you use one of these services?
- Compared to signing up for a newsletter, users cannot then immediately unsubscribe, receiving your content for free with no obligation on their part.
- It can seem faster for the user, no waiting for an email and clicking a link, no typing in their email address.
- You can get more traffic to your website and to your offer from the updates users send.
- By implementing one of these systems, you give yourself the option to offer users a choice of sending an update or providing an email address. You can test which meets your goals best.
- Users cannot see your content before tweeting or sending an update about it, in effect being forced to give a blind recommendation.
- You build no further relationship with the person consuming your content, unless you have an additional system that tracks the tweets or Facebook status updates sent, and makes a record of the user sending them.
- Users can provide an inactive or little-followed account that the tweet or update goes out from, such that no one may see it.
- You are using a third-party system which may end or break at an inconvenient time for you.
Know of any similar services? Leave a comment and I’ll add to this list:
- Cloud:Flood: Facebook or Twitter
- Pay with a Tweet: The first social payment system
- Tweet And Get it: WordPress plugin
- Tweet per view: Video-only service
- You can do both, for example offering your key content in exchange for a subscription, and then offering upgraded or additional content or benefits in exchange for sending a tweet or Facebook update.
- You can ask for both an email address and social media username, and then send a thank you to the social media account hinting that you would appreciate a tweet if they find the content valuable.
- You can instead have a contest, where everyone who sends a tweet is entered to win something in addition to the initial content.
- You can always encourage users to provide a thank-you update after receiving your content, either on the download page, in the content, or both. You can provide a link in the content that creates a tweet to sent, for example. (Here’s a sample tool that creates a tweet to send.)