Verizon Takes a Big Twitter Shot for March Madness

Verizon Wireless appears to have quickly become one of Twitter’s chief customers, running six Promoted Trend ads for a NCAA March Madness campaign in the last three weeks. Overall, the telecommunications company has shown one of the bigger commitments yet to testing promotions on the micro-blogging site.

Speaking with ClickZ, a Verizon Wireless spokesperson on Monday declined to comment about the Promoted Trend ads. And while Twitter has attempted to keep their pricing structure for Promoted Trends under wraps, industry sources say the San Francisco-based company is trying to demand as much as $120,000 per day for the global ads.

Therefore, since purchasing its first basketball-related Promoted Trend on March 16, Verizon has spent as much as $600,000 to $700,000 on Twitter. According to Twittercounter.com stats, the @VWOffers account that’s been featured in the ads has increased followers by 25,400, growing to 103,200.

Verizon has also employed the ads to guarantee a strong Twitter presence for the last three days of the NCAA men’s basketball season, which ends tonight with the championship game. The first four ads used the hash-tag, “#MM2011”, while the Promoted Trends for Sunday and Monday have utilized “#MM2011 Finals.”

People who clicked on the Promoted Trend ad arrived on a landing page containing a Promoted Tweet with a shortened link. The link in turn pointed to an ESPN.com page for Verizon’s “Tournament of Tweets” effort. It encouraged participants to tweet their favorite team’s hash-tag to their Twitter audiences while essentially casting a vote for the school in a social media tournament.

Below are examples of the Promoted Tweet copy used on the six dates:

March 16: Every game, the final min can feel like a lifetime. In a min, Verizon 4G LTE can download 20 photos. Join #MM2011 http://pub.vitrue.com/We6

March 19: The Tournament of Tweets is heating up. Get in on the messaging mania & help vote your team to the top at http://pub.vitrue.com/L4i #MM2011

March 26: Every second counts. So does every Tweet. Join the messaging mania now in a competition like no other. #MM2011 http://pub.vitrue.com/9YN

April 2: The top 4 remain. Who do you want to win the Tournament of Tweets? Get in on the messaging mania at http://pub.vitrue.com/k7J #MM2011

April 3 and 4: Cinderella stories are written in 140 characters or less. Have you mentioned your fav team yet? #MM2011 Finals http://pub.vitrue.com/mgO

Kate Kaye contributed to this report.

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