Many magazine publishers have asked me about the rules of engagement when it comes to selling Tweets or updates to their Facebook fans. The FTC is clear about parts of this question. But, not about other parts of this revenue strategy. One thing I am very clear on is how to treat your online readers if you want to make the most of selling social media.
The current FTC laws and guidelines in place are primarily to guard against commercial spammers and paid bloggers. Most magazine publishers will not have or even need to worry about these guidelines when dealing with your advertisers. NOTE: Consult your attorney if you have further questions. I advise clients to keep their commercial posts on their magazine FB Fan Page very non-commercial by design. (A) FB fans will be more receptive when the "tone" is non-commercial, (B) it makes the advertiser look better to the FB fan and (C) you appear to be providing a service or information rather than a commercial message. For example, Mike's Bike Shop is offering 50% off mountain bikes. Mike is a big advertiser and has bought 2 Twitter and FB updates from your magazine. The tweet/FB Update should look like..."Thought you guys might want to know that Mike's Bikes is offering 50% off mountain bikes this week. If interested, his web site is mikesbikes.com. Happy riding!" With this said, NEVER EVER sell social updates to non-relevant advertisers. You will ruin the whole idea. Keep it topical, keep it simple and keep the tone as non-commercial as you can. I have publishing clients selling $3,000 a month in FB updates and their FB fans/readers LOVE IT! The question is...do you need to put "paid endorsement" after the post? If you are on the fence here...perhaps you need to rewrite the post like this..."Thought you guys might want to know that Mikes Bikes, an advertiser in our mag, is offering 50% off mountain bikes this week. If interested, his website is mikesbikes.com. Happy riding!"
So, how do you price it? Your FB fans are a valuable commodity. Do not sell this aspect of your multimedia plan cheap. I would advise that you start at $100 per thousand fans you have in your community. A $100 CPM means that if you have 3,000 fans you would charge $300 to push commercial mentions to the group. You should work from there and see what your market will accept. Part of selling social media is in how it is presented. So, you may need to change your pitch and one sheet to help advertisers better understand this new media.
Need help with social media planning or sales? Visit with myself and my team at Brain Swell Media for more. Coaching/consulting starts at only $225 per month.
Link to FTC site: http://www.ftc.gov/opa/2009/10/endortest.shtm
Facebook examples of commercial FB ventures: (These may change so look often.)
Social media is HOT! Take advantage of the heat and bake some cash cookies!