Advertising for Real-Time Search (aka Twitter)

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Real-time search is going to change things up on the web. To me, real-time search is essentially “conversational search” — what are people talking about right now? What events, what trips they are planning at this moment, what answers they are trying to find to looming questions, etc.

Twitter is all about conversation and what people are doing now. Twitter has real-time search, but hasn’t made it widely available yet — imagine when Twitter puts this search box at the top of every Twitter page; it’s going to be a game changer.

Some companies have been trying various methods of helping users of Twitter make some money, but generally putting ads in their feeds. I think this will work if they insert a link that is 100% relevant to what ever the person is tweeting about.

But what really needs to happen is another Google AdWords, but for real-time search. Text ads to people doing real-time search queries, are going to read/look different than search queries at a search engine. Some company needs to start figuring out what these ads are going to read/look like — and also how people will be searching the real-time web, because it’s going to look much different than their search habits on Google. People will use different keywords/phrases and ways of phrasing their queries.

Some searches will stay the same (i.e. “tickets for Purdue Ohio State game”), but others will change (i.e. instead of “hotel recommendations in Buffalo NY”, they might search on how others would be saying it, “hotel great Buffalo NY” — to get people twittering ‘The Mansion Hotel has been great in Buffalo NY!’).

Etailers – What To Use Twitter For

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Attention Etailers: Here are some simple/quick ideas for how to use Twitter and increase sales…

  1. Why not post a new Twitter “tweet” every 30 mins or 60 mins, posting the hottest selling item of the hour? Or which item(s) are trending with number of views, or number of sales?
  2. Why not post a deal every hour? “This hour’s deal — Sony Digital Camera for $69! While Supplies Last – 10 available”. Woot is huge and fun — it’s an addiciton — you never know what they are going to post and they are usually great deals. So clear out your excess inventory or clearance items with vast discounts on some things — heck, don’t even make a profit on the items you post here — because you’ll start getting new customers, as word of mouth start telling their friends about these crazy hourly deals you have going on. And really, how hard is it to have a coupon/discount code created ‘on the fly’ each hour [or have the whole week planned, but only allow the coupons to work for 1-hour]?
  3. Post favorable feedback testimonials from customers — and/or reviews they just posted to your website about a product; …START A CONVERSATION!
  4. Post a daily tip, and/or article related to your niche.

Everything I’ve mentioned above could simply be done with a free WordPress blog, which you can time when the items will post to your blog [change the date/time stamp]. And then use the Twitter plugin for WordPress that will auto-publish your blog posts to your Twitter account.

Twitter Syntax for Twitter Bots

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Fred Wilson just featured a twitter bot for stock quotes. I was also just chatting with Andrew Parker (Fred’s associate) at USV about Twitter syntax. I think we came up with a pretty good idea for it — although needs to be panned out likely. I’ve mentioned my thoughts on this topic in July 2007 as well.

I still hate the direct messaging syntax (i.e. “d mytrade AAPL GOOG AMZN”). I wish it’d be like “@mytrade AAPL GOOG AMZN” — and allow the twitter username account holder (i.e. “mytrade” in this case) to specify if their account is a ‘bot’, then that syntax would be a direct message (“command”) to that bot. If the user screws up and does like “@mytrade1 AAPL GOOG AMZN” which isn’t designated as a bot, then it gives an error to the user and doesn’t post to their twitter account.