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A Magpie No More

For the last couple of weeks I’ve been running a test campaign with Be-A-Magpie.  Using my own Twitter account, which has approximately 1700 followers, I’ve been allowing Be-A-Magpie to insert advertisements into my feed every 10 tweets. For every 10 updates I do, Be-A-Magpie gets to place an ad. My goal was to learn whether my followers would click through on the links in those advertisements.  If they did, I reasoned, then Be-A-Magpie might be a viable way for us to promote Calliflower conference calls, and Calliflower conference call services.  

I was reasonably careful to make sure that the advertisements that Be-A-Magpie put into my twitter stream were appropriate to my followers — not inconsistent with what I might write about, and no products or services that I definitely wouldn’t endorse.  I also labelled the advertisement with the words “advert:” before each one.

The results?  Dreadful.  

  • Not a single click, and therefore no money earned.  
  • Several individuals said derisive things about the service, and by extension me. 

My conclusion?  Conversational marketing via Twitter definitely works.  I can see the click throughs on any tweet I put out and track via bit.ly.  Be-A-Magpie, however, looks to be a little too contrived for most users to act on the message.  

10 minutes ago I deleted my account.  I’m a Magpie no more.  

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{ 4 comments… add one }

  • Jason April 11, 2009, 10:06 am

    Hmm. Sorry to hear that your Magpie campaign (I have no association with them, but I have used them on a few occasions with success).

    There is a learning curve associated with this kind of marketing. Did you have an effective call to action? Did you state the benefits (or better yet, the results)? Were your keywords broad based or targeted (long tail)? Where on the purchase cycle were you targeting: awareness? interest? intent?

    Professional internet marketers (at least the good ones) have spent years studying this stuff, and the learning never ends. Give yourself some time to learn what works and to iron out the kinks.

  • Carl Tyler April 11, 2009, 10:40 am

    Perhaps you needed two magpies? you know, one for sorrow, two for joy, three for a girl etc. :-)

  • Ruben Olsen April 12, 2009, 3:58 am

    @Jason, I am not sure if Alec run a campaign or was just the transport medium for the Magpie messages. As stated in his blog, and discussion on Twitter between the two of us, I know that he signed up.

    In other fora I have expressed my doubt that Be-A-Magpie kind of services is the right thing to do if you are serious about your usage of Twitter. As Alec found out – even if you carefully select just the right kind of service to Tweet about – people will get annoyed. They will even get so annoyed that they simply will unfollow you.

    The net effect is that you will loose followers – and more importantly, you will loose credibility.

    As someone who follows Alec I was never bothered by his Be-A-Magpie tweets since I did know that he was testing out the medium. However, if someone was not aware that Alec was testing things – the sudden advert-kind-of-tweets could be seen very inappropriate.

    Services like Be-A-Magpie will die out by them self. The reason is very simple: When people lose followers due to these services – they will stop using said services. The net result being that the services them self loses their transport medium. An to be honest: If I want to run a campaign – would I really spend my marketing money on a system where the distribution channels of my ads where minuscle?

  • Money-Era June 11, 2009, 12:53 pm

    Few words on Mapgie on http://www.money-era.com/tag/magpie/

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