Twitter Location-based advertising coming soon, but will it be enough?

Twitter has finally decided that it’s going to roll out location-based advertising early next year. Dick Costolo, the new Twitter CEO, announced in his interview with The Telegraph that Twitter will soon be able to serve location-based advertising through its “Promoted tweets” and “Promoted Trends” products.

My views on this are two-fold and I’m completely undecided (yet starting to lean slightly towards the negative) as to how effective this may be in South Africa just yet.

Will it be worth it?

No. Thats the short answer. Heres the long: Location-based advertising is probably one of the most rewarding forms of marketing in terms of ROI. However, I don’t feel that the way Twitter is using its platform to deliver its advertisements is appealing enough for online marketers and businesses. For example, how often do you actually look at the trending topics? What are the CTR’s going to be like? Yeah you may get 1 000 000 impressions in a day, but whats the point if your CTR is going to be 0.0001% (“guestimation”) ?

My next question would be how many searches are actually performed on Twitter per day, per country? I might use the search functionality once a day. It hardly seems worth targeting users through this functionality either as I don’t believe the numbers are there just yet.

Give us what we want!

As an online marketer, I feel that giving companies and individuals the ability to create text-based ads around certain keywords or #hashtags would be a good start. I would then like to see these ads being displayed on the user’s sidebar depending what he/she has tweeted in the last 24-48 hours. For example, if you had to tweet “my mother-in-law just came to visit without forewarning. wish I had a hammer“, then Twitter would serve Bob’s Hardware Store’s advertisement in the advertising slot on your sidebar the next time the sidebar gets re-queried. This way, your chances of creating slightly relevant advertisements are higher than the current model.

In short, I believe Twitter is still miles behind Facebook (who is still light years behind Google, in terms of functionality) in this regard. It really would be nice to see a quality advertising platform come out of Twitter.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this.

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