Saving Twitter from Oblivion
I don't do LinkedIn or Facebook. Don't have the time. Don't like 'em. Don't trust 'em. Don't understand 'em.
Tweeting, however, I do.
I did not want to tweet, but Peggy (who is the president of this publication) told me to tweet.
"Tweet a message that relates to your blog," she said, "and give the link. This brings new readers to the Target Marketing website. Plus you'll get some retweets. That's viral and a good thing."
So I started Tweeting. My promise:
You are invited to follow me on Twitter.
I promise no waste of your time.
Astonishingly, as of this writing I have 746 followers. Peanuts compared to singer Katy Perry who has 60 million followers. But I like having 746 friends.
Shares of Twitter are off 20 percent. Investors are looking for profits through advertising.
Investors don't matter.
Twitter is emphatically NOT an advertising medium. Its business is instant communications sent and received by busy people. My tweets are quick, down-'n'-dirty messages to engaged followers whom I know are tuned in. When creating a tweet, I am not interested in an ad. The same thing is true when reading tweets.
Stick ads in the middle of these conversations and the entire purpose—the Unique Selling Proposition (USP)—is trashed. Quite simply, ads muck up the business model.
How to Make Twitter Profitable
In my opinion, here is how Twitter could start to turn a profit:
- Turn Twitter into a membership organization.
- Dues: 5¢ a year.
- Fees: 1¢ per Tweet sent.
- Fee to receive a tweet: Zip. Nada. Free! No matter how many followers a member has, all can be contacted for a penny a tweet.
Twitter handles 500 million tweets per day. A penny a tweet would be $5 million a day. $150 million a month. $450 million a quarter.
Twitter revenue for 3Q 2014 was $361 million. Add the $450 million penny revenue to the existing $361 million and you get a total of $811 million per quarter—or $3.2 billion a year.
"Wait, There's More!" —Ron Popeil
Twitter has 284 million active users. They have computers, cellphones and tablets. Plus (presumably) disposable income and a love of toys, travel, stuff to wear, etc.
A seasoned direct marketer should be able to figure out a series of yummy offers that would pry a buck a month out of this gorgeous 284 million upmarket database. A buck a month would mean another $3.4 billion a year, for a total of $6.6 billion a year.
Charge 3¢ a tweet and you're looking at a Wall Street-inspired national holiday.
How well I remember Henry Kissinger's homily at Nelson Rockefeller's funeral in 1979, which I watched on TV. Kissinger's family emigrated to the U.S. in 1938—76 years ago. He still has a nearly indecipherable German accent. Why? Probably because he discovered talking funny forces people to listen to him more intently. At Rockefeller's rite Kissinger started one sentence with, "Duh qvintessential qvestion is ..."
Duh qvintessential qvestion here is: Vill Tvitter members spring for a penny a Tveet?
Or will they quit in a huff?
I can sure as hell can afford a penny a tweet. Cost is not an issue.
And I certainly don't want to kiss off my 746 Twitter friends and go through the horrors of 1) trying to reassemble them, and 2) figuring out a way to reach them with another system as user friendly as Twitter.
Twitter's announcement of the new fee structure should be something like this:
Dear Denny Hatch,
Twitter was launched as a free experiment in 2006. It cost a ton of money to set up and took off like an Atlas rocket.
Today Twitter has 284 million active users who send 500 million tweets every day. Who knew? So far it's all FREE!
According to our records, Denny Hatch, you have 746 followers. If you were to contact those 746 followers by snail mail—at 50¢ a pop—your cost would be $373 each time. To email them individually would cost you valuable time. With Twitter, you simply bang out your short item and click "TWEET."
To make Twitter financially viable for the future, I am asking you become a lifetime member for a nickel and to pay a just penny a tweet. Incidentally, the folks who receive your tweets pay nothing.
Nothing like this has ever existed in the history of communications—from the days of smoke signals to the present.
Don't take a chance on losing your loyal claque of 746 followers.
P.S. So long as I am CEO, you have my personal guarantee the price-per-tweet will never be raised over 1¢. What's more, no matter how many followers you have, they will pay nothing to hear from you.
Takeaways to Consider
- At last we have a medium (the Internet) where it's possible to charge pennies for services, receive payment instantly and make a lot of money.
- In June 2012, I wrote a Famous Last Words titled, "I'll Happily Pay for Email." It generated more comments (both pro and con) retweets and thumbs-ups than any column before or since. Click here to see it.
- Will the penny-a-tweet idea generate as much response?
- While I'm at it, let's make traders on the 31 U.S. financial exchanges—stock, bond, commodity, etc.—pay 1¢ a trade and use the money to clean up the nation's infrastructure. For example, 63,000 bridges are in desperate need of repair. Without sound infrastructure the economy (and the stock markets) will collapse. And think of the jobs this would create!
Denny Hatch's new book is Write Everything Right!
***** Five Stars The best part is that this book is not just for authors, journalists, and other professional writers, it is for everyone. After all, everyone uses writing in some part of their lives and the way that you write reflects you as a person. Hatch provides you with a ton of tips that will help you turn your writing into something that people will be sure to read —Scott
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
CLICK HERE to read the first 3 Chapters FREE.
No cost. No Risk. No obligation.
For Kindle Edition information, CLICK HERE.