With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility: Marketing through Twitter

13 Feb

Twitter started in 2006, and since then, 300 million users have joined the craze, creating a bevy of opportunities for those trying to target the masses.  Twitter, if used correctly, can act as a free advertising medium for a firm, giving it the chance to connect with its followers on a unique, personal level.  As firms work to master the craft of the 140-character tweet, they have met with both successes and failures.

Tweets have caused a number of problems in the lives of many famous people, often due to lack of consideration of content, or simply from the need to stir the pot of controversy and gossip.  Consider each Twitter embarrassment that makes news as a case study; with the world still incredibly new to Twitter, the way in which people react to tweets is still uncertain. At this time, no formula exists to guarantee a positive public response to a company’s management of its Twitter account. Consequently, firms are investing millions of dollars into social media sectors to try and create the most effective Twitter page.  But what really is a social media expert?  The answer: a social media expert does not exist. A historian is a historian because he spent years studying their craft, understanding the ins and outs of every war, each battle, several revolutions, and so on. For people who work in social media, the problem is not that they have not put in the hours, or did their research, the problem is that there isn’t enough information on the table right now to truly consider oneself as a master.

This lack of knowledge creates continuous blunders seen day in and day out on Twitter.  Consider McDonald’s, a marketing empire, which dominates the fast food industry from year to year, a company who has mastered its craft.  Even juggernauts like McDonald’s display the world’s immature understanding of the potential of social media.  Its #McDStories brought on embarrassment it never could have predicted.  Customers began using the hashtag as a chance to tell fake horror stories they had had at McDonald’s restaurants, a result completely contradictory from the emotion McDonald’s had hoped to evoke.  In theory, the hashtag slogan should have worked. However, McDonald’s overlooked one key issue. The true difficulty in advertising on Twitter is that the firm isn’t the only one with a voice; everyone can enter his or her own input, thus contributing to how the public actually views the company and not just how the company intends to be seen by the public. In addition, the company must judge not only how people will react to its tweets, but also anticipate the unexpected in receiving feedback about its performance at large.

The Twitter age is still young.  Clearly it will take time, and other firms mistakes, to derive a way to consistently succeed on Twitter. However, as blunders are seen, while others thrive, this experimental time will shape what Twitter can ultimately be, and what it can do for business as a whole.

by Oliver Lowry

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/mcdonalds-twitter-campaign-goes-horribly-wrong-mcdstories-2012-1?utm_source=twbutton&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=warroom


One Response to “With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility: Marketing through Twitter”

  1. Eric Daginella April 24, 2012 at 4:20 pm #


    Great blog, very insightful close study of Twitter. I thought the comparison of a Twitter mess up as a case study, very interesting way to look at such a situation. I also liked the specific McDonald’s example you provided. Overall a great summary and outlook of where Twitter is right now and addressing that it is still very young with room for much improvement.

    Eric Daginella

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