As advertisers increasingly turn to social media, problems can arise, accidentally sending consumers unintended mixed messages.
A promoted Trend on Twitter reportedly cost $120,000 per day, and gets the advertiser the sponsored slot at the top of the trending topics list.
But as Ad Age points out in this article, sometimes these paid spots end up surrounded by unappealing Tweets or hashtags.
When Lexus had the paid spot on April 20, it was trending next to topics about events associated with that date including the Columbine Massacre, Hitler’s birthday, and marijuana (related hashtag #uknowurhigh).
A more recent paid spot advertising the Discovery Channel’s Shark Week was recently trending next to #reasonstobeatyourgirlfriend, with some Tweets yoking the hashtags together (“She won’t shut up during #sharkweek!!! #Reasonstobeatyourgirlfriend.”)
A Lexus spokeswoman told Ad Age, “We feel social-media users can distinguish between trending news topics and promoted topics. It’s not that much different than if we purchase an ad in a newspaper that is reporting about the day’s news, good and bad.”
Whether the trending topics are good or bad, Ad Age says Twitter is a crucial part of marketing campaigns. “Having a strategy for Twitter is more important than any run-of-the-mill banner ad placement that might net you a few cheaply-acquired eyeballs and little else. The platform enables water-cooler conversation being conducted by millions over some period of time and the clearest distillation of that is the trending topics list.”
Twitter execs are also planning stricter moderation in the near future.