@FXCM and @Wendys Make a Mess of Promoted Tweets on 9/11

Promoted tweets on Twitter are an unfortunately problematic marketing tool for many brands. I have featured posts about brands making a mess of them. It seems many brands are unsure how to manage them, and rather than connect with the right target audience and surround themselves with relevant content, they instead are interested in increasing their end numbers. In terms of numbers, they’re interested in the number of shares, replies, and clicks on their promoted tweets- even if it’s not a relevant term. This is problematic. It goes against the core of social media. It goes against the core of marketing. And, often, it becomes a PR disaster.

Take today, September 11th. What do we have? FXCM promoting a tweet off of the “World Trade Center” hashtag. Wendy’s promoting a tweet off the “New York” trend.

Coincidence? No. Bad taste? Yes. PR disaster? Yes.

What can we learn from this? Brands and those managing promoted opportunities on Twitter: be smart. Don’t promote your tweet off of a trend just for the sake of numbers. Make sure your strategy makes sense. Don’t get so worked up about stats. While you may have a ton of clicks on your tweet, they might not be relevant clicks. They could be clicks from people astounded that you’re even promoting off that trend. Be sensitive to the news around you, and realize that Twitter is a real-time environment. Any brand who claims they weren’t anticipating 9/11 terms to trend on Twitter on 9/11 needs to stop, think, and realize it probably wasn’t worth it.

-Bryan Nagy


Note: This post does not reflect my opinion of the mentioned companies or their agencies.