in Marketing

Word-of-mouth as a form of Payment

This evening I stumbled across what I think is one of the simplest and yet most brilliant ideas I have seen in years. The name of the service is “Pay with a Tweet”. I own a few web properties on which I give away open source products for free. Giving away my wares for free is not completely altruistic. While I am happy to contribute to the web design and development communities, my goal is to build my web traffic to be able to sell advertising and useful web-related products on my sites.

Typically I let users download the wares with no strings attached but beg ask them to donate or share my site(s) via Twitter, Facebook, and other social networks. Pay With a Tweet allows me to request payment up front so-to-speak by making a tweet the a condition for download. It costs the user nothing and only requires 1 additional click to get to the download. So in exchange for the download, I get advertising to a few hundred to several thousand people and the user still gets the product for free.

That would be cool enough but the idea doesn’t end there. The most brilliant part of their service is that when you create your unique URL to hook into the service, the site also generates a CRQ Code that you can use offline. So for instance, if you won a small brick-and-mortar store, you could offer a 5% discount to anyone who scans the code with their iPhone. So in exchange for giving me some immediate word-of-mouth advertising, I’ll give you 5% off of you purchase.

I think this is a truly exciting word-of-mouth advertising idea. The service appears to be fairly new but I am excited to follow their progress. I think Pay With a Tweet is going to do very well. It has all the markings of an idea that could be huge. It is really simple to explain, anyone can understand it, it is very easy for end users to do and it couldn’t be simpler to implement into a web site.