Shweet: Free stuff!

Shweet is one of the few sites to say goodbye. Per their site, “Effective April 19, 2012 it is with sadness that we announce Shweet contests are suspended. Check back for further updates.”

Everybody loves getting something for free. People go crazy at the rumor of a free giveaway. If you are giving out t-shirts on the street people will hoard around you. If you announce you have free pizza crowds will come in droves. They will wait around for hours, tell all their friends- anything to get a simple, no cost gift.

Online there are many offers for free things. We see them every day, in our spam folder. Promises abound for free shares of an inheritance, or any number of other gifts that will come to us at no charge. We’ve been conditioned to ignore these, sticking to the well known adage of things not being true if they seem too good to be. I do remember one coworker who found a way to make money online. He signed into an ad clicking program where he could click on ads and get a few pennies each time. This is of course stealing and breaking the terms of the advertiser’s network, but he proceeded none the less. It was kind of odd seeing a highly paid engineer stoop to an ad clicking scheme.

So what would you tell me if I told you there’s a way to get free stuff, completely legitimately, just by clicking on some buttons on the web? I know what you’d say- Shweet! Which also happens to be the name of today’s feature.

Shweet is a crowdsharing site that helps people promote their products, services, or media online. The product placement is handled offline so by the time you get to it all you see are the advertisement and a prize. Next to the product being promoted are two familiar buttons, one for Facebook and the other for Twitter. To get a shot at the prize all you do is share the message on Facebook or Twitter. Each contest has an upper limit for how many times it can be shweeted and once that allotment has been met, a random winner is selected. To participate all you need is to register and link your Facebook or Twitter account.

Not wanting to miss out on the fun I gave it a shot. Upon tweeting my first item it prompted me to grant Shweet access to my Twitter account. Once I clicked the allow button it sent out a tweet to my followers, and that was that. I pressed another one, and it sent it out. And another. And then one more. In a few minutes I reached my five contests per shweeting day limit. What the heck right? Might as well improve my chances of winning something. Once the initial account is set up it sends the messages directly out to your followers, taking no time at all. It also allows you to edit the messages prior to sending, giving you the chance to personalize the message.

The prizes are often related to the item you’re shweeting. So if you promote Magellan’s Travel Supplies a travel shoulder bag is the prize. Not a bad take for sending out a simple tweet. Of course, at the end of the day this isn’t just a button clicking game. It’s to promote real products. To learn more about the offer you can click on each item and view the Shweet page that promotes it. This is what your followers and friends will see when they click the link.

Shweet Home

As we all know, sometimes you may not get the prize. In fact as hundreds of shweeters begin to line up the chances may become even less. There are two remedies for this. First is that you can promote the item on both Facebook and Twitter, which gives you a double vote. (We checked; it’s in their FAQ.) The other option is to cash in on their consolation prize. Each time you Shweet you’re awarded some Shweet Points. They even give you Shweet Points just for registering. What these points can be used for it’s too soon to say. Shweet was recently launched and they haven’t divulged their secret on this yet. Given how successful I expect Shweet will become, I think the points will be meaningfully worthwhile. Note that I base my prediction of Shweet’s success not on a desire to fill a page with pandering rhetoric. Their entire business model is a marketing bonanza, with users rabidly tweeting and posting messages about their site. This is a marketing strategy we encourage all sites implement.

Shweet, which is masterminded by Kibboko, is a new fun way to get free stuff. For those who are consistent with it they’re bound to come up with something good. The prizes are generally in the $50 range, and the contests I looked at accepted around 500 shweets. If you post on both Facebook and Twitter that puts your chances of winning at .4%. Given that you can enter multiple contests each day you are able to increase your odds. Shweeting is without a doubt one of the cleverest ways to get people to promote a product, all the while being an easy way to win free stuff. Perhaps their tag line describes them the best- Sharing with benefits. I’ll be sure to update this post if I win.