A few weeks ago, I started following DVD Quotes on Twitter. Who ever is running the account will send out a Tweet beginning with "WMITF?" (short for "What Movie Is This From?") followed by a quote. The first person to reply via Twitter has a chance to win a free DVD. Sometimes instead of a quote, they'll send a link to an image from a film. When someone wins, they'll congratulate them publicly, ensuring that the winner gets their own 140 characters of Twitter fame.
When I first started following them, they had around 3,000 followers. Now, they've already got over 5,000. These aren't just 5,000 people putting their business cards in the fishbowl on the counter of a Subway restaurant in the hopes of winning a free lunch for their office. These are 5,000 people who are actively reading the Tweets that DVD Quotes is putting out there.
Just yesterday, I noticed that they sent out a Tweet alerting their followers that the winner of the next round would win an Iron Man DVD courtesy of linkbee, a service that purports to earn you money for sharing your links on social media sites.
Now, I'm not quite sure if linkbee is advertising on DVD Quotes or if linkbee is actually behind DVD Quotes but either way it is a great approach to marketing via Twitter. I know that I won't mind reading a bit of marketing text for the chance of winning a DVD. If its well targeted and doesn't become spammy, I can see this sort of thing working well.
Whether people eventually get sick of this kind of advertising, or whether other companies adopt this method remains to be seen. What matter is that linkbee seems to be one of the first to do it, and I applaud the move.