Glass Houses, Public Shaming, and Twitter Ads

Posted By Debbie on July 1, 2015

We’ve been running Twitter ads. Interestingly, they seem to do the best out of all the ads. We’re able to target them well, we have a specific message, and we’re happy with the number of clicks and engagements. This sounds like success.

But something interesting about human behavior has popped up. People unhappy about having ads in their feed tweet back something angry or grumpy. Oddly, their tweet makes it seem like they are not angry that they’re looking at an ad. They seem to try to find something they don’t like or can’t believe about our company, and publicly tweet THAT.

What Is The Point?

What is the point of doing that? Is it to publicly shame us for running Twitter ads?

The last guy who did that tweeted a mistake in the mobile responsive phone version of our website that is only on the home page. It made me wonder what sort of person takes the time to see a Twitter ad, follow the link to the website, screen shot it, and publicly tweet a claim that our website isn’t mobile responsive at all. It is completely mobile responsive with different phone and tablet versions. We had a mistake on the home page, which has since been fixed.

That seems like a rather aggressive move for a guy who saw a Twitter ad, especially to claim that our site isn’t mobile responsive at all.

Even stranger is that when I pulled up his website on my tablet, his home page had a similar mistake. I guess it’s common in mobile responsive design to have a mistake like this at one or more breakpoints.

People in glass houses, as they say. And perhaps this last guy noticed that since his tweet seems to have been deleted.

Is It All Good PR?

I wonder if grumpy people tweeting grumpy things at us helps us. That last guy has 446 followers. They might see a grumpy tweet and check us out wondering who this guy is talking to or about.

So… thanks! (?)

Twitter Is A Conversation

When I see an insane ad on Facebook or any website, I have no way to immediately connect with the person or company who wrote the ad and privately or publicly pick on them for something the ad said, something I don’t like about them, or something I’m not sure about in their ad copy.

We’ve also run Facebook ads that have been seen by tens of thousands of people. We never received a private message or even a post on our Facebook page wall from someone who had something to say in response to our ad.

We HAVE seen LinkedIn ads go wrong (and blogged about it) when a sponsored post got some hateful replies. In that case, some of the responses were grumpy about the company or their pricing. Some of the responses were just that they were tired of seeing the same ad so often from a company they already knew they didn’t like.

Twitter is a public conversation. If people want to respond to our ads, sure go ahead! I would prefer responses with questions rather than strange accusations or false statements about our company. Is it even legal to publicly tweet false statements about our company?

Twitter Ads Work For Us

So far, Twitter is where we get the most immediate responses to seeing our ads. A few have been grumpy. But all responses are from people I would want to be targeting. We see a lot of follows, retweets, and some favorite-ing of our (ad) tweets.

This tells me that for us, Twitter ads work. They reach the people we want to reach.

Contrast this with Facebook. When we run ads, the people who then “like” our company page appear to be fake accounts. I check them out. They appear to not be in the US and have nothing to do with UX, design, product, or any of the areas I would like to target. That gets us nowhere, and feels like a waste of money.

Our LinkedIn ads got some nice immediate responses, though they were mostly from people who wanted to work for us. Nice to tuck away for the future just in case, but I was hoping the ad would reach people who might hire us!

So far this year, we’ve spent about $500 on Twitter ads.

ScreenHunter_557 Jun. 14 09.47

We’ve spent just under 42 cents per “engagement” with someone on Twitter. Compare this with the $6 per click LinkedIn and Google Adwords tends to want, and this feels like a pretty cost effective way to get a message out.