In an effort to turn Twitter’s captive audience into dollars, Twitter has launched @earlybird, a new account that give followers exclusive deals from a variety of sponsors. Up first is Disney Pictures and a Buy 1 Get 1 Free deal on tickets to “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice.”
The account has only been live for a week and this is the first deal to be sent through, but already they’ve picked up nearly 50,000 followers. The irony is, these same 50,000 people were probably the ones complaining about Twitter’s decision to add sponsored tweets to their feeds earlier this year. Now they’re paying (granted, not in cash) for the privilege of having ads sent their way.
But just because a 50,000 tweeters clicked the follow button, doesn’t mean that @earlybird will be a success. That will depend on two factors:
1. Frequency – Twitter’s blog post says that @earlybird deals will be sent out several times a week. Does that mean, one pitch and it’s done? Or am I going to get multiple reminders ‘not to miss’ this fantastic offer. I could tolerate a daily post. More than that and I’m probably going to sign off unless. . .
2. Value of the Deals – . . . the deals are too good to miss. There are already hundreds of excellent websites and Twitter accounts that offer great deals, so for @earlybird to stand out, they’ll have to have something really special.
Looking at the debut deal, it’s a pretty good one if you’re interested in seeing that movie. With ticket prices in the $10 to $15 dollar range in most places, it’s a tidy savings, especially if you can use it to buy multiple tickets for a family.
Since the deal works off a coupon code and not a sophisticated Twitter Followers Only link, the deal has already been posted to dozens of websites with no mention of @earlybird as the source. Disney probably doesn’t care. They just want the ticket sales, and maybe Twitter doesn’t care either since the success of the program can be measured in sales not click-throughs.
With holiday shopping already on my mind, I hit the follow button and as a die-hard coupon user, I’m more likely than most to act on the deals. But how long will it be before I see one enticing enough to click?
Are you one of the 50,000 @earlybird followers?