If you’ve used Twitter recently, then you’ve probably noticed an influx of promoted tweets popping up on your timeline. Often times, these tweets seem to end up on your timeline completely at random, with no sort of relation to anything you’re posting.
Twitter defines these tweets as, “…ordinary Tweets purchased by advertisers who want to reach a wider group of users or to spark engagement from their existing followers.” Basically, they’re tweets that were invested in. The investment leads to the tweet reaching a larger audience, including those that had no sort of interest in what the tweet’s offering.
You’ll run across some quality promoted tweets, one that states its purpose and provides clear and concise copy to a targeted audience, but you’ll also run into promoted tweets that are just plain strange and cryptic. It’s obvious to tell the difference between a promoted tweet that had some thinking behind it, and a tweet that was seemingly written up by someone with no sort of knowledge of how to create a promoted tweet that won’t be ridiculed and questioned.
Since these tweets have been drawing the ire of users who simply want to scroll through their timeline without having to see advertisements to a product or service they never considered, we dedicate a post to these tweets. Besides being unintentionally hilarious, they also serve as lessons as to how not to run a promoted tweet campaign on Twitter.
1. Redskins Facts is not well-received by anyone outside of Washington
Tough crowd, and that’s just only one of the avalanche of comments this promoted tweet was buried under on account of the controversy it has caused.
2. Who are you?
Elizabeth Raflowitz’ heart is in the right place, but she’s going about this promoted tweet campaign all wrong. It’s a good idea to get your name out there when you’re first starting out, but this tweet is cryptic and doesn’t entice you to follow. I know a lot of wine drinkers and people that like adventures, so should I follow them on Twitter, too?
There needs to be greater urgency in this tweet. Telling people to follow you because you like to drink and go on adventures doesn’t give anybody the incentive to follow you, even with an avatar that features the girl of any guy’s dreams.
3. Follow through on your copy
Bruh, Edy Maldonado has a great point about social media marketing on Twitter there. If you’re going to promote yourself, be consistent and follow through with it. If you’ve got “tips, tricks & hacks about Miami”, then people are going to expect that.
This tweet is a bait-and-switch, but because the internet is a social platform for everyone, comments from the common man allow us to pry into a product or service before hitting that follow button.
4. Corporate Q&A’s are never a good idea
Poor Grant Imahara. The former star of Mythbusters partnered with McDonalds to sponsor a corporate Twitter Q&A, where anybody on Twitter could ask McDonalds anything. That includes questions about the process it takes to make the food ingested by hundreds of millions of people from all over the world.
As you would expect, it wasn’t a great idea:
Not only is McDonalds going to get bombarded with criticism from those who are aware of its business practices, as well as what it takes to make a standard burger, but it wouldn’t surprise me if Grant loses some fans. He was a respected scientist and engineer on the show he used to work for, but selling out for a company like McDonalds will hurt his reputation among his fanbase.
5. Whatever is going on here.
What am I even looking at here? It’s a mess. Why is his face upside-down in his avatar? Why is his face there instead of an ‘O’ in the word ‘more’? What’s “FlashBoys” and why should I care about it? What is this tweet even promoting? Why are you wasting valuable Twitter space with this?
If the point of it was to attract attention, then I suppose it succeeded. But what’s the point when nobody has any idea what you’re even trying to say?
6. Duly noted
Investing in a promoted tweet and then begging people not to follow you on Twitter? I’m onto you 106 Baker St. Your reverse psychology won’t work on me because I have absolutely no idea what you’re talking about and why you hate chicken nuggets so much.
Does anybody really care why this company in particular hates chicken nuggets anyway? They’re not a commercial, well-known brand. It’s a street name with a dinner plate for an avatar, so not only is the tweet extremely vague and cryptic, the username and avatar is, too.
If you go to their actual page, you’ll see that they’re actually a bakery of some sort. I say some sort because there is no clear description as to what they do, with their bio stating: “GOOD STUFF FRESHLY MADE EVERY DAY ALL DAY.”
If you’re a bakery, then why wouldn’t you just put visually appealing pictures of the food you make and not try to entice people into following you through tweets that have nothing to do with your business?
7. Unidentifiable Mascots
Here’s a great way to alienate yourself on Twitter from your fanbase: Use an amorphous, questionable-looking mascot to get your point across!
Did Cricket Wireless put any thought into their mascot? While the colors are certainly visually appealing and catch your eye, the subject of the image is just strange and commenters took notice. Because of the image, the copy goes unnoticed as those who come across this promoted tweet just question what exactly they’re looking at.
But not all promoted tweets are vague, cryptic, and indecipherable messages appealing to nobody in particular. In fact, this promoted tweet may just be the best tweet I’ve ever seen on Twitter:
Hey, we don’t like to admit we need products as inappropriately named as Analcare Cream, but there’s a market for pretty much everything. Analcare Cream has a visually interesting image, featuring a girl grabbing her rear, caps lock in the right places, and a clear message that gets right to the point.
This is how Twitter advertising should be performed. Well done, Analcare Cream.