Twitter is reportedly working on geolocated promoted tweets to help retailers target specifically consumers within spitting distance of their stores, according to AdAge. The location-based ads might be ready to launch as soon as later this year, the report claims, and would be the perfect means of delivery for spot deals designed to drive foot traffic to brick-and-mortar retailers and other businesses to nearby shoppers.
This is an area where Twitter lags behind Facebook in terms of giving its advertisers access to targeting tools. Facebook has been doing zip code targeting for a couple of years now, while Twitter has yet to introduce anything along those lines. Lately, the 140 character-based social network has been rolling out a lot of new ad programs, however, and geo-targeted tweets are a natural fit for Twitter, which has an incredibly strong mobile user base and which already displays trending topics based on broad geographic categories.
More companies are looking around for a why to take the rising interest in mobile devices and ecommerce to drive business back to traditional brick-and-mortar businesses. eBay just launched its own inaugural window shopping project in NYC, for instance. Location-based offers are something that a few different companies have been trying for years now, too, so it’s hardly risky territory for Twitter to enter.
Twitter doing more hyperlocal targeting has potential beyond just bringing more foot traffic to stores, however. For a company with strong mobile traction, it’s a way to make discovery even more relevant, by surfacing trending topics at the level of the neighborhood for instance. That could offer even more refinement to tailored trends, which offers different tags based on a user’s habits and general location, to surface not only relevant ad content but things like relevant events as well. Specificity can only help with recommended content when it comes to location, across all verticals.
Still, the appeal for advertisers will likely be the biggest part of the puzzle, especially as Twitter continues to grow its revenue engine. The question will be whether tweets or FB ads prove a better sales conversion tool for brands to leverage when it comes to getting people into local shops and stores.