I’ve long said that Twitter is not an eCommerce tool. When i see artists tweeting links to their youtube videos everyday i get confused and baffled at what they’re doing, and why they persist with this redundant form of “PROMOTION”. The truth is they know no better, and thus cannot even think of a better way to spend their time than ask people to retweet and watch something they have no interest in viewing again.
I will now say to artists that the best way to utilise twitter maybe explained to you below.
Green Day are estimated to have made up to $4k in gross revenue from selling a new song direct to fans via Twitter-commerce startup Chirpify.
The band are the first major-label act to use the e-commerce service, taking advantage of a performance at the MTV VMA’s last week to tweet: “#VMA special! Love the new song? Get it now + all 3 new GD albums, deal ends tmrw Reply “buy” for $29.99 via @Chirpify”.
Fans on Twitter who have a Chirpify account connected to PayPal will have been able to take Green Day up on the offer by following the band’s instructions.
Using a Twitter search to bring up all the “buy” responses, Music Ally reports that Green Day will have made around $4k in gross revenue assuming that all those who took the offer had Chirpify accounts.
126 people took advantage of the £29.99 offer on the day it was tweeted along with six the next day.
Amanda Palmer, VH1 and Fueled By Ramen Records are some of the other music names currently using the Chirpify service.
Amanda Palmer used Chirpify–a venture-backed mobile-payments start-up that launched in April–to tweet the design and invited people to buy it by responding “buy” within the Twitter stream. Interest exploded, with people plunking down $20 every 30 seconds at one point, and Palmer ultimately selling north of $5,000 in merchandise she created on a lark.
Chirpify took a 4% share from Palmer. While flash sales are nice–it’s Chirpify’s largest to date–the chimp shirt sale is chump change compared to the gold mine that could lie ahead.
By allowing artists, musicians, politicians, writers and others to create a direct sales channel to the Twitter following they’ve each cultivated, Chirpify has made sales easier and followers a whole lot more valuable. Gathering stats–in the Palmer case, 259 people, or 4% of the followers involved in the conversation, actually bought the shirt within the first 12 hours–also means that Chirpify may help people finally answer the question: What is a Twitter follow worth?
Even though the initial sign in process takes about a minute, it’s still faster and contains fewer steps then the de facto method: linking from a tweet to a website, finding and selecting the merchandise, then going through the checkout process through sometimes yet another site. If you have a Chirpify account, you simply reply to a tweet promoting an item, with “buy” and the deal is done. Oh, and it works on every mobile platform too.
To be sure, not everyone liked using Chirpify, which @AmandaPalmer said she chose because it was the fastest way to sell. Follower @katalyze asked Palmer to sell directly through her website next time because he found the process “confusing” and didn’t like linking his Twitter and PayPal accounts. Another follower, @L1ttleBastard, tweeted his frustrations several times over a five-hour period, noting he couldn’t see a payment noted on his PayPal account and had already responded “buy” three times.
One of the most common problems though, according to Chirpify founder Chris Teso, was imprecise wording ignited by extreme enthusiasm.
“They would respond “Buy” with too many exclamation points. We allow for up to two,” he said, noting other variants beyond the basic “buy” response and failure to properly configure PayPal and bank accounts also resulted in a failure message.
Teso said the Chirpify team, which expanded from two to eight employees after raising a $1.3 million Series A round in April, has a hefty to-do list. The company, which has also worked with ProPublica, VH1 Save The Music, PowerBar and Hewlett-Packard, is pursuing major brands and celebrities as customers. The Portland, Ore.-based company is continuing to build the platform to allow linking to debit and credit as well as expanding beyond the Twitter platform.
WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON TWITTER USAGE FOR ARTISTS?
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