What’s An Ad In Your Social Media Stream Worth?

It’s a Friday today, and for a few of my colleagues here at work, that means free coffee.
Let me explain.
Vida e Caffé is part of a chain of coffee shops, one of whose branches is placed right opposite the front door to our office. People here are as addicted to coffee as people everywhere. What’s more, our coffee machine is currently out of order.
To get your free coffee, you have to say something nice about Vida e Caffé on a social network site like Twitter. Prove that you’ve done it instore, and they’ll give you a free coffee worth somewhere around £2.50.
In fact, they use quite a relaxed mechanism to get people talking about their store. But you are effectively placing an ad in your Twitter or Facebook stream to get something free.
In this instance, assuming that the raw costs to Vida e Caffé are pretty low, this promotion is probably only costing them a few pence to drive some footfall. It probably helps promote loyalty – would you be willing to just go for the free drinks and never otherwise buy a paid for beverage?
But I’d love to know what people are and are not willing to do in their social media networks for free goods.
A more common way of giving away products is to get people to, say, Tweet a particular message. The winner tends to be drawn from those who either mentioned the “phrase that pays” or retweeted the original message.
In either case, you’re basically placing an advertisment in your social media network which your friends or followers will see. To what extent are people prepared to do this? Are some more likely than others to do it?
I don’t drink coffee, but even if I did, I don’t think I’d participate in the scheme above. If there was something I really wanted, but couldn’t afford, perhaps I would. If you got through my Twitter stream, I can’t say that you won’t find an occassional example. But for the most part, you won’t.
There’s almost certainly an experiment to be done to test how small a perceived value you have to give away before you lose take-up.

1 Comment

  1. I would. I think its a superb way for individuals to capitalise, tax free (unless I’m very wrong!) on their own intellectual property. It excited me that tech has made this sort of thing possible in such a nice ‘bitesize’ form.
    Its certainly more appealing than having to tattoo my local radio station’s logo on my arse to possibly win £1000…

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