It’s a strange day in TwitterLand when the most vocal battles on the social media mecca aren’t coming from politicians or celebrities but from brands. Must be the holidays. In fact, it is Black Friday itself at the center of this brand bickering and the year’s most unsavory shopping day is getting even uglier on Twitter.
According to ClickZ, JCPenney and Target are among the chain stores duking it out for sponsored tweet dominance. In one corner we have Target, that online-marketing-savvy store that seems to have mastered both hipster and grandparent appeal with Twitter marketing and Facebook finesse. In the other corner is JCPenney, that once tragically un-hip brand that (thanks to some well-played social media marketing) has made a colossal comeback. ClickZ is reporting that good old Penney’s threw a wrench in Target’s plot for a Black Friday tweet takeover by hijacking promoted tweets featuring the word Target. Talk about ballsy! JCPenney bought the following sponsored tweets: “Target,” “Target stores,” “Target gifts,” “Target deals” and “Target holidays.” The tweets featuring the words are a winking nod to JCPenney’s president Michael Francis, who was the head of advertising at Target until last month. ClickZ points out that Target has a, well, target on its back — other brands like HP, Gap and Neiman Marcus have also bought “@target”-promoted tweets.
But the Twitter tussling doesn’t end with sponsored tweets. Wal-Mart and Toys ‘R’ Us appear to be in a one-up contest over who tweets the best deals for Black Friday. Meanwhile, Best Buy is tweeting like mad to help shoppers find out about sales, hours and breaking news. Again, it’s the holidays, so naturally tension is going to be high. You still have to worry about whether your drunk aunt is going to throw cranberries at the table like last year, but be thankful you’re not a brand manager, as brands have to worry that one of their competitors might be outsmarting them at Twitter marketing for Black Friday.