When Promoted Tweets Bite Back

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Promoted tweets are one of those things Twitter marketing specialists can never agree on. Some love the fact that promoted tweets can put a brand and its hashtags in front of the right audience, while others dismiss them as overpriced and not affective. Nevertheless, we believe the days of promoted tweets being only for the big boys may be over.

Twitter user Hasan Syed took promoted Tweets into his own hands after an allegedly terrible experience with British Airways. Syed was upset that the airline lost his father’s luggage and the way it handled the situation. So he used Twitter’s self-serve ad platform to buy a promoted tweet to vent his frustrations.”Don’t fly @BritishAirways,” he tweeted on Sunday night. “Their customer service is horrendous.” Under the Twitter handle @HVSVN, Syed’s promoted tweet secured a place atop Twitter’s list of trends and gained notice worldwide.

“Interesting; a disgruntled customer is buying a promoted tweet slamming a brand where they had a bad experience,” senior vice-president of marketing at JetBlue Airways, Marty St. George, tweeted. “That’s a new trend itself!”

Syed wouldn’t tell members of the media how much this promoted tweet set him back, but modern data would suggest that Syed will end up shelling out a least a couple of grand by the time all the CPE numbers are in. Maybe he didn’t know that the comment cards are free?

But seriously. This enforces what we’ve thought about promoted tweets for sometime: if you have an idea that folks will respond to and have the cash, they’re a good investment. Promoted Tweets can become smash hits in now time as long as the subject matter is hot button and easily tweetable. Readers, how do you feel about any old guy buying and having success with promoted Tweets? Does this give the power to Twitter users and consumers or could it turn into (perish the thought) a bitchier, paid version of Yelp?

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