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Paid Social Media Campaigns: The Rest Of The Story

Let’s take a real look at whether or not Twitter promoted ad campaigns can help your business.

In a tribute to Paul Harvey, I wanted to take a look at something that has probably been popping out at many social media users these days – paid / targeted social media ad campaigns. You know, the ones you see when you log into Twitter on the traditional web-based app and you think – “hmmmm, I know I’m not really following @walgreens or @mcdonalds, but they seem to be showing up in my list of recent posts as a follower…with one slight difference. The word “promoted” with an arrow icon shows up.


How does this happen? Well, in short, Twitter has become such a brute force for marketing (which was one of it’s primary origins by the way) that they’re able to now go out and sell high dollar campaigns giving up precious real estate on their user homepages or “news feed” equivalent.

I believe – unlike this social media report published by – that it’s still way too early to tell the real effect that campaigns like these will have for your brand, company or organization.

While it’s certainly and interesting read, the report really only analyzes the positive and negative response ratio to a recent “promoted” Twitter campaign by McDonalds. What this fails to address is the simple awareness and opportunity that McDonalds created by engaging their customer base in a real discussion about them.

Any good customer service person understands that your strongest advocates were very likely at one point your staunchest critics. Responsiveness, care and tactical branding efforts can squelch the negativity that exists surrounding your brand and open your organizations eyes to a very simple way to respond to and deal with real issues surrounding your product.

McDonalds being exposed to negative comments on Twitter may have actually been exactly what the company wanted! What better market research than a huge sample size of people coming directly to you electronically and posting real life quick snippets about your products and services and how you can do it better.

Think about how much money your company spends in market research studies and surveys every few years or even every year…the traditional old fashioned way. Are those really the best results, and what can you actually do with them quickly and effectively anyway?

Would a promoted or even organic strategic Twitter campaign not be a better use of your time and money? Sure, it might expose you a bit, but it will be in how you respond that you’re judged. And being on social media will allow you to respond quickly and effectively.

So maybe deems this one a failure, but was it really? I see it as a brilliant marketing and branding tactic in many ways with huge potential.

Let’s talk more @cabedge or @atibamarketing

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