If you saw Chevy at the top of Twitter’s recommended accounts to follow list last week, you weren’t hallucinating: GM’s bow tie brand used Twitter’s recently-unveiled Promoted Accounts platform to get on the recommended user list, joining a growing list of brands that have used the service, including Xbox and Rock Star Games.
Contrary to previous assumptions, last week’s Chevrolet ad on Twitter was not an instance of promoted tweets/promoted trends that are served to all viewers. Instead, the targeted – and paid – Twitter promotion recommends accounts to follow based on users’ individual interests using an algorithm.
Here’s an excerpt from Twitter’s blog on how the targeting works:
“Promoted Accounts are suggested based on a user’s public list of whom they follow. When an advertiser promotes an account, Twitter’s algorithm looks at that account’s followers and determines other accounts that those users tend to follow. If a user follows some of those accounts, but not the advertiser’s account, then Twitter may recommend the advertiser’s Promoted Account to that user. For example, a lot of people who follow several gaming-related accounts also follow @xbox. If someone follows gaming-related accounts, but not @xbox, Twitter may recommend @xbox to that person.”
The GM Authority Take
Advertising on Twitter is as close to the venerable cutting edge marketing as one gets. Whether these ads were effective, however, is a completely different story. It’s still unclear whether the effort was part of GM’s social media strategy or simply a launch partnership (read: beta test) with Twitter. It’s also unknown how much – if anything – the ads cost Chevrolet.
As you read this, the GM Authority crew is having an interesting debate about these ads and whether they’ll result in 1) selling Chevrolets, 2) establishing a relationship with a prospective customer, or 3) improving Chevy’s long-term brand image.
Stay tuned as we learn more.