Apr 14 2010
By Priya Ramesh
It’s about time Twitter started monetizing. In my opinion yesterday’s official announcement to draw money from ads is not such a bad thing for companies already engaged on Twitter.
I have repeatedly said this and will say it again, while Twitter is considered the ultimate viral machine to get your message out faster and is very successful especially in cause-related campaigns, case in point, Haiti fund raising; it has also become the first stop for customers to post their complaints and grievances. I see how companies like @WellsFargo, @ComcastCares and @Netsolcares handle customer complaints on Twitter and kudos to them for taking customer service to a whole new level with 140 characters. Having said that, when you do a simple Twitter search on specific products/services, chances are you see a stream of “I am having an issue with this,” or “I am tired of waiting on the phone with company X’s tech support.” Think about a prospect looking at a stream of negative tweets? Yeah, you guessed it, chances are they are now considering my competition.
With promoted tweets, companies can now join a conversation when it turns negative. Let me explain. Right now without the ads, businesses have no effective way to neutralize negative tweets. Traditionally businesses that do engage actively on Twitter respond one-on-one to negative tweets, and when an issue becomes a crisis they’ll write a blog response. Both these tactics can easily get lost in the Twitter stream. Quoting Anamitra Banerji, who manages commercial products at Twitter, “Companies will be able to increase awareness in that instance when the iron is most malleable.”
The biggest benefit of the Twitter ads in my mind is that now you have an opportunity to better manage your company’s image online. When someone does a search on a keyword that you bought, the promoted message will show up at the top of the results along with all the not so positive tweets. See examples of Starbucks and Bravo’s Twitter ads here. I am sure these socially engaged brands must see some value in Twitter ads! What about you?
Image Courtesy: Lori Gama (http://lorigama.wordpress.com/2009/08/24/did-you-know-youre-naked-your-online-reputation-is-showing/)
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