Twitter’s NYC Targeting Tribulations: Dunkin’ Donuts Edition

img_6945As usual this morning, I was blocking brands on Twitter that had the temerity to target me in a poor fashion. Meaning all of them. However, this ad from Dunkin’ Donuts of NY, NJ and Southern CT caught my eye.

Forget for minute that they have only 9,258 followers out of the millions of customers they have in the New York Tri-State area. Or that they only average 5.4 followers for each of the 1,700+ locations. Or that they’ve only received 1,545 “likes” for their Twitter efforts.

The problem with this effort starts with location. I’m not remotely near metro NYC and therefore had zero chance of buying breakfast this morning at Dunkin’ Donuts. But wait, it gets better.

You see, Twitter got Dunkin’ Donuts (or their local franchisee group) to pay for this ad when they knew I was not in the target audience. When I checked my logins for Twitter, I had zero, none, zip IP addresses located in New York State, New Jersey or Connecticut over the last 30 days and had logged in multiple times on each day in the preceding month from Virginia IP addresses.

How in the world did Twitter think that I was in New York City today? I haven’t even been in NYC since September. I was logged in from a Virginia IP address this morning. In other words, Twitter’s algorithms made an intentional decision to allow a bum impression to run for Dunkin’ Donuts or their local franchisee group. Abominable.

I can hear it now: “Don’t get upset about one impression. These things happen when you’re running billions of online ads.” Bunk. We all know know that I wasn’t the only one to get those ads. Something’s fishy in Twitter-land.

img_6944How do I know something is amiss? Check out this ad from Capalino+Company that showed up in my Twitter feed at the same time. Apparently, they have an app that helps minority and women-owned businesses find opportunities to do work with the New York City government. I certainly support governments soliciting more RFP responses from MWBEs.

But in what world does Capalino+Company get benefit from running an ad to a Virginia resident with a clear male first name, and a buy-a-vowel Eastern European last name? Who hasn’t been in NYC for months? Further, any basic check of multiple B2B databases would find that I’m not related in any way to an MWBE.

To recap, all of a sudden this morning, I got a bunch of ads that would be far better targeted toward inhabitants of the New York City DMA. Maybe Twitter decided to muck with their targeting algorithm because Q1 revenue isn’t looking strong? Nah, couldn’t be that. After all, Q4 2016 was great, right?

Finally, when you play the social media marketing game, sometimes the results are unintentionally hilarious. Check out what the interns didn’t catch on the Dunkin’ Donuts@DunkinNYTri tweet wall.Screen Shot 2017-02-21 at 1.43.26 PM.jpgTakeaway: If you don’t know exactly what you are buying in social media, don’t run the impression. Never, ever, trust the algorithm. And if you’re using your social media feedback on your website, train your agency or their interns really well. Or don’t bother with social media marketing. And win.

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