Six Steps For An Epic Promoted Tweet Fail

Marketers, if you're looking for tips on how to make the most of Twitter's new ad platform, skip this and harass your favorite Twitter guru. Heck, my cohort Cathy Taylor already gave a good taste of what's new about the ad model. There's enough sound advice out there.

Instead, here are six simple steps you can take to fail miserably with Promoted Tweets:

1) Treat it like any other media buy. If Twitter's calling it an ad platform, then just hand it over to your media buyers and they'll take care of everything. So what if Twitter's own executives glossed over all of the basic elements of what goes into a media buy? They barely discussed what Promoted Tweets costs, how you'll determine the reach of the keywords, and what targeting options will be available beyond the keyword itself. It's still an ad platform, so how hard can it be? Your media buyer will find a way to spend your money.



2) Write ad copy to run as promoted tweets. If you want to make sure to alienate as many Twitter users as possible in a short amount of time, make sure every tweet is talking at consumers, even yelling at them, ordering them to do your bidding. You have only 140 characters, so why beat around the bush with this fluffy relationship building and conversation stuff? Why respond to your customers when you know more than they do, anyway? This is your chance to promote, so don't blow it.

3) Invest as little time and energy as possible in the actual tweeting. One of the problems with Twitter is that it's a lot of work coming up with something interesting every single day, or even multiple times a day. Real marketers come up with one tagline and say it over and over again -- it's so easy, even a caveman can do it. Stop worrying about manning your Twitter account and turn all of your attention to promoting tweets. That's how you'll get rich off of Twitter.

4) Join Twitter just to use Promoted Tweets. You need to run your ads everywhere that'll accept them, and you can't possibly miss a social marketing opportunity. By running Promoted Tweets, you'll be able to cross another site off your checklist and show your boss how forward-thinking you are. It doesn't matter if you know anything about Twitter. If you've forgotten to do the Twitter thing already, now's the perfect time to jump on the bandwagon.

5) Stay laser-focused on the one account you manage. Sure, there may be other people tweeting across your organization, and even across your office. Ignore every single one of them. You've got a job to do, and it's not about following them when you have the chance to promote your tweets above everyone else's. That may mean you'll be bidding against others within your company. It may also mean you'll miss opportunities to cross-promote each other and gain visibility for multiple accounts at once. Your own blissful ignorance is worth it.

6) Plan the owned media and paid media elements separately. Hypothetically, say you acknowledge that multiple disciplines are at work with Promoted Tweets, where someone (or a whole team) manages the Twitter account or accounts, and then someone with media buying expertise manages the promotion. Don't let those groups talk to each other. They might start figuring out how to best include the kind of content that would work well as a promotion. Or they might learn from the resonance scores of the ads to make the day-to-day content more engaging. You'll be much better off keeping everyone totally separate to ensure no learning and optimization take place.

Be sure to let me know if you follow all of my advice, as you could earn a feature in a future column so thousands of marketers can learn from you. You'll undoubtedly be an #epic sensation.

3 comments about "Six Steps For An Epic Promoted Tweet Fail".
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  1. Daniel Redman from Evisibility, April 20, 2010 at 2:35 p.m.


    Very well done piece. I have a funny feeling promoted tweets will run a cycle much like you're alluding to; plenty will buy, very few will do so correctly. Then we'll be stuck with an industry/client based split on the necessity of the platform.

    Daniel Redman

  2. Lisa Foote from MixMobi, April 20, 2010 at 2:36 p.m.

    Great post - my favorite "don't" is #4. Why spend time learning about Twitter? Just jump into the deep end of the pool. Can't wait to hear who took your advice most to heart and will be appearing in a future #epic.

  3. Christopher Sanders, April 21, 2010 at 1:59 p.m.

    It'll be interesting to see how many "correctly" run twitter accounts will take a turn for the worse now that ad space is available. If it ain't broke....break it, right?

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