Twitter Promoted Ads Show in HootSuite Timeline

Look what I found on HootSuite this morning.

It’s funny because I went there to get some information about the new Promoted Tweets program and lo and behold — I got one.

As of this morning, Twitter has begun inserting Promoted Tweets into the timeline of HootSuite users only. When I visit my Twitter home page directly, the ad is nowhere to be seen.

According to the Twitter Blog, the ads are targeted, only appearing in the timelines they deem relevant based on who you follow and what you talk about. Since I talk about movies and TV a lot, and I follow several studios, this particular Tweet makes sense and I don’t mind it. But I don’t think everyone is going to be as tolerant as I am about these ads. Depending on the frequency and how closely you follow your account, these could become annoying and fast.

Advertising Creep Takes Hold of Chicago Airport

When it comes to advertising, there’s nothing like a captive audience, like, for example, the people stuck in the security queue at the airport, or the person in the public bathroom stall. They can’t go anywhere, use a fast forward button or turn down the sound, so why not hit them with advertising!

The city of Chicago is doing just that. The Chicago Sun Times says that O’Hare airport will soon be plastered with ads on everything from the bathroom mirrors, to the escalator handrails, to the bins you put your shoes in when going through the metal detector. It’s part of the new “municipal marketing” plan and could bring in $750,000 in revenue next year.

To keep people from balking at idea of being force-fed advertising, airport officials say that the ads actually serve a dual-purpose.

Facebook Ad Patent Targets Blank Profile Users

When you see an ad on Facebook, it’s likely that it’s being served to you because of something you wrote in your profile. But what if you didn’t fill out your favorite movies, your hometown or the quote that inspires you? Facebook has an app for that.

As noted by CNET, Facebook has applied for a patent on a new type of ad-targeting system that will better serve ads to those who don’t fill in the blanks.

The system, which they refer to as inferential, assumes that a good portion of your Facebook friends are into the same things you are. So an ad that the systems deems appropriate for you, would also be served to your friends.

Foursquare’s Crowley Gets Undeserved Ribbing

Foursquare founder Dennis Crowley took a lot of ribbing yesterday for a comment he made to a blogger at an NYU panel discussion. The panel was called “The Case for Media Optimism,” and Crowley stated that he thought referral fees would be the next big thing in social media marketing.

For example, if someone Tweets about a new movie and 500 of his friends follow a link to buy a ticket for the movie, then the original referrer gets a kickback for each ticket. When asked if Foursquare was working on this idea, Crowley said it was on a long list of ideas under consideration.

Here’s where it gets sticky. Jeff Bercovici from Forbes.com asked Crowley how he would get around the FTC ruling that required full disclosure when an endorsement was offered on social media in return for payment of some kind (cash, product or service.)

A Sticker For Your Thoughts

There was a time when a glittery, gold star sticker was all the praise you needed for doing your homework or making your bed. There was something about that tiny spot of color that made going that extra mile worth it and that mentality holds true today — with a twist. These days, the prize is a virtual sticker or badge that shows your social media buddies that you’ve done something special.

Online communities such as FourSquare, GetGlue and CBS.com all offer virtual sticker incentives for performing a series of actions on the site. They have no monetary value and yet people will go out of their way to earn them. Why?

StumbleUpon Video: This Time It’s Personal

Nothing on TV tonight? Fear not, StumbleUpon can fill your evening with personally selected videos covering everything from cats playing the piano to entire episodes of The Dresden Files, to cooking lessons by a master chef. It’s all here – accessible from one “theater-like interface.”

What’s really new about StumbleUpon Video is that it’s not all about the most popular videos. The idea here is to present a custom list of videos perfectly suited to each person who logs on.

The system begins by connecting you to videos that fit into your chosen list of topics. From there, you can refine your stumbling to a particular source, or take only videos that were favorited by your friends.

Walmart Does Groupon Without Groupon

They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but I’m not sure Groupon felt the love when they saw Walmart’s new marketing plan on Facebook.

They call it the “CrowdSaver,” and guess how it works. When a deal reaches a certain customer threshold, the deal is unlocked and everyone gets to buy in for a discounted price. The only difference between Walmart’s CrowdSaver and Groupon (and it’s a big one) is the upfront money.

When you choose a deal on Groupon, you’re committed to buy provided that the deal hits the threshold. (I’ve always wondered what percentage of deals never hit the mark. . .. ) Walmart isn’t looking for your credit card info or a purchase promise. All you have to do to join the deal on their Facebook page is “like” the deal.