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Twitter Advertisements

I bumped into an old friend Kim on the way to work, we got to talking about social media advertising, and Twitter came up. She was telling me about people getting paid to post ads on twitter and it reminded me of John Mayer’s Campbell soup deal(Seriously, what a bad move). Ben Rowe posted something interesting that I thought I’d share with you. I completely agree with him and I’m spreading the word(albeit being 2 years late).

Try as I may, I fail to see how ads on twitter will work. Here’s why:

  • Every tweet is limited to 140 characters – There’s only so much you can say. Nobody wants to read a tweet about how yummy your Campbell soup was.
  • Spam – Everybody hates spam. Even spammers hate getting spammed. Just don’t do it.
  • History has shown that this approach won’t work – Learn from history, it is a good teacher.
  • People follow you for a reason – If you tweet about ads, there won’t be any space for real content, just ads.

Each tweet is a separate entity, a post of its own. A tweet is supposed to be condensed, concise, and it is supposed to be useful information you want to share with your network. Advertisements should not be the main reason you tweet. We have to understand that Twitter works off a completely different model because of how compact each tweet is. You can post ads on your blog or website because ads are not the main attraction. Ads can be placed at the top, sides, bottom of your page, but it doesn’t defeat the purpose of visiting your site in the first place. Ads are secondary in these settings, but not on Twitter. When I log on to Twitter, I expect to see content posted by the people I follow and look up to. If I wanted to see ads, I’d pick up a brochure or an adlet.

I don’t know about you but the first thing that comes to mind when I see advertising in my inbox is – SPAM. What do you do when you get spam? You block the spammer. What do you do when the platform is infested with spam? You stop using the platform altogether. Think Hotmail, there was a time when everyone used Hotmail. What happened there? Spammers. When Gmail came along, I jumped ship. Seeing twitter ads on my feed gives me the same feeling. Spamming is frowned upon, and it’s not worth losing followers over a few bucks, it just isn’t.

I guess you just have to remember why your platform worked in the first place. I joined Twitter to connect with like-minded people, to exchange ideas and to be inspired. If you lose focus on why your business worked in the first place, you’ll lose your following, and your business will follow suit.

Remember why things worked in your favour and stand for it, because if you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything.



2 thoughts on “Twitter Advertisements

  1. True, I agree but also depends on the number of people you follow. My attention span of Twitter is this much |——| and I’m following a few hundred people, half of my followers out of courtesy and also relevance of topic – tweets I do check out and respond to. I might stumble upon an ad only once a week.

    Every tweet in my opinion is somewhat an advertisement. eg. I talked abt how awesome my Jamie Oliver grill pan is, but AS IF Jamie Oliver sponsored me, or someone’s tweeting abt how awesome AFL was last weekend. Twitter is an ad on its own. Being paid to tweet and tweet on something not relevant to personal topics, would be a question of the tweeter’s tweet credibility. But the opportunity now is then – if there is a paid opportunity, why not? Hence twitter ad companies encourage or even enforce upon tweeters to add – “Ad: ” or a similar disclosure of the ad.

    But, you could write about a whole new blog entry altogether abt Twitter bots – oh so annoying. Every other line is a #hashtag and a link. When Twitter is not personal / real – you might as well just click “Unfollow”.

    Posted by Kim Ong | 22/02/2011, 9:59 PM
  2. I like your take on it. But I also think that there’s a difference between all out shameless advertising and marketing. I am all for businesses using Twitter as a tool to connect with customers and get feedback or provide better service, I just don’t agree with people who use twitter as a spamming tool to pump out ads 7 times a day.

    Posted by Alex Khor | 22/02/2011, 10:09 PM

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