16th May 2016

Twitter is like a pub. Brands need to earn their place at the table.

Extracted from the original post on Medium by Josh Dipple, Digital Marketing Executive

A few weeks ago I was sat in a pub with a friend, as a greasy looking man in a bad shirt arrived to talk to the girls at the table next to us. It soon became clear that he’d never met the group he was interrupting before, but that didn’t matter because, as it turned out, he was a magician.

The sweaty-faced man proceeded to subject his targets to a series of excruciating card tricks, which they greeted with frankly heroic politeness. Eventually, upon realising that his captive audience were not going to reward him with anything more than an uncomfortable smile, he slithered away to pick on somebody else.

The reason I bring this up is that Twitter is a often described as being a bit like being in a pub full of interesting people — where you can choose to join in, or to just sit back and listen in while inspiring conversations happen around you. Sounds good, right? Now imagine that you’re enjoying a pleasant evening in that pub, maybe listening in on a stimulating conversation between two of your favourite musicians or journalists, when our friend from paragraph one arrives and insists on showing you a magic trick.

I think you can tell where I’m going with this.

The point is, as advertisers, we have a responsibility to either contribute positively or stay out of the way. Yes, we’ve paid for the right to be involved, but that doesn’t give us the automatic right to be tolerated. The onus is on us to demonstrate that what we have to say is worth being interrupted for. After all, the success of our campaigns is going to be judged not on how many people our content was served to, but how much meaningful engagement they create. Who knows — if you really manage to capture the attention of your audience, they might even invite you to join them at the table.

The right to advertise within people’s carefully curated feed is a privilege that we rightly pay for — don’t waste it by being an irritant. There’s nothing worse than an uninvited magician.

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