It was reported last year that promoted trends were selling for
between $100,000 and $120,000; that 's still in the ballpark,
according to Twitter's political sales director Peter Greenberger.
Due to the national scale of the buy, it's unlikely that campaigns
outside of national ones would buy one, he said, and the Obama camp
has yet to buy one.
Zac Moffatt, digital director for the Romney campaign, said that
Thursday's promoted trends generated 47 million impressions on
Twitter, but that engagement by users who clicked on the hashtag or
tweeted it out was the more significant metric. That said, he won't
necessarily purchase another promoted trend, since the value last
week of the buy derived from the fact that a huge national audience
was going to be glued to their TV screen to watch Mr. Romney's
Mr. Moffatt added that he was undaunted by the volume of tweets
that appropriated the hashtag to bash the candidate.
"It's a challenge on social media that you have to be prepared
for not getting 100% feedback, because people are having
conversations," he said.
Twitter's Mr. Greenberger noted that the campaigns and political
organizations interested in promoted trends understand that the
sentiment in the tweets they generate will be a mixed bag, and he
pointed to today's Americans for Prosperity buy as an example of
how they might look to thwart negativity. Clicking on the
#FailingAgenda hashtag takes users to a page where a tweet reading
"Obama's Agenda has brought us 43 straight months of unemployment
over 8%. Are you #DoingFine or #NotDoingFine?" sits on top of
results. But the group also bought promoted tweets that surface
when a user clicks on either option, so that even if they click
#DoingFine and essentially seek to reject the message, they'll view
another tweet that says, "Even if
you're #DoingFine, 13 million Americans are currently
"What they're doing is using the platform very well to guide the
conversation they want to have," said Mr. Greenberger.
However, underneath the Americans For Prosperity tweet that
appears at the top of results for #FailingAgenda sits a stream of
tweets mocking it, including one by actor Mark Ruffalo. But
according to Tim Schigel, founder of the social-sharing and data
company ShareThis and who's a top digital strategist for the RNC
(which bought yesterday's #AreYouBetterOff hashtag), the short
shelf life of political news makes the peril of Twitter
hashtag-hijacking less severe for campaigns than for brands.
"The news cycle moves so fast that whether something worked well
or didn't work well, the world will be on to something new next
week," he said. "This is much less true in the world of brand