On Monday, Brian Morrissey at Ad Week put out an article about Twitter’s impending advertising platform and what features from various external satellite technologies it will likely integrate into its own program. Morrissey thinks the popularity both search and trending topics will be heavily featured in the new program, and he also sees increasing value in companies who’ve found a way to flow ad-copy into twitter streams or place units on various Readers such as HootSuite or UberTwitter.
While we think these are all accurate assessments of ways Twitter can retool traditional advertising models, we hope that one thing missing from Morrissey’s musing makes it into the final rollout of the program.
As a search engine marketing company we see the high value and transaction rate of geography-driven searches. Combined with the real-time expectations of Twitter users , there could be a really great opportunity to connect people with the most relevant information, products and services for their immediate surroundings.
So when the Twitter Google Groups API Blog announced that there are big upgrades in the hopper for the geotagging segment of Twitter, we couldn’t help but cheer!
According to the Daily Galaxy, the new geo-features will supposedly let you “find events, businesses, or even friends” in your immediate surrounding area using “human readable” information (read: not the currently required Latitude and Longitude Line data coordinates from a device but simple text interface) and a linked tag of tweets in or around your current location.
With daily stories about Twitter bridging the geographic jump to offline – see how tweeting affected the real ground searches for earthquake victims in Chile and abducted San Diego teenager Chelsea King — and as more people rely on Twitter to inform them of whats happening in their adjacent blocks, marketers might be being handed a golden ticket.
Envisioning the Possibilties…
With a linkable geo-tag, local business could tweet about last-minute sales to nearby shoppers. An artist with an upcoming concert could offer free song downloads to local laptop users at a coffee shop. National brands can offer promotional codes targeted to geo-locations, see direct correlations in sales of their product with distributors, and take note of their geo strongholds. Geo-tagging twitter ads would be the digital equivalent of the street-corner, sandwich board campaign “This Way to the Open House –> “
Will it happen?
Well, for users to demand it would require the one-two combo of truly valuable, relevant information from advertisers within a non-invasive interface. It still remains to be seen if Twitter users will appreciate #ads flowed directly into their feeds, or if the message needs a new real estate space entirely. Also, what will the specs be for ranking? Solely cost or will a user’s favorite advertisers get some sort of preferential treatment? This is where some sort of cross-partnership with a Twitter reader like Hoot Suite or Tweet Dek that allows a sub-stream to immediately popup when location is tweeted but doesn’t influence a users “Following” stream might be helpful.
As Twitter is expected to launch its new advertising platform later this month, fingers crossed that timing of this geo-tagging announcement is indication that it will feature prominently in their plans.
Lauren Salazar is a Social Media & SEO Strategist at Path Interactive, a NYC-based Search Engine & Social Media marketing firm.