Google Adwords makes the bulk of Google’s $21 billion annual revenues. Its success lies on the fact that it’s capturing current intent, i.e. Internet visitors looking for something at one precise moment. Intent is the keyword here; this is what differs a Google search from a visit to a media site, a blog or a social network, where people are looking for entertainment or for hanging out, and not necessarily looking to buy a product or a service.
Nobody does it better than Google currently. They deliver the best search results, getting thus repeated visits, and they also focus on delivering the most relevant ads, thanks to a unique and intelligent PPC algorithm.
Google’s Adwords efficiency beats then other Internet marketing tools, such as newsletters, direct mailings, or “classical” advertising such as banners.
Surprisingly, Twitter Search might be the next holy grail for Internet marketers, and for Twitter and its investors too. Beyond customer service, or beyond brand tracking in the social media space, Twitter Search can be used as a powerful sales tool.
For instance, the TweetDeck screenshot has a panel dedicated to Twitter users writing about “dedicated server” (panel 2). This goes from troubles about setting up a dedicated server, to those looking for recommendations, or those micro-blogging about their software stack. If one sells then dedicated servers, it’s straightforward to initiate a contact with a reply, and acquire a customer.
This is powerful, as it goes in the same spirit of Google Adwords: Twitter Search surfaces the intention of Twitter users, with people looking for answers NOW, and receptive to feedback. It shows the most recent results in the panel, similar to Google’s most relevant results listed first in a web search page. It’s even more powerful, since you can put a name to each result, and have access to the user’s bio and network.
This is just an example, and it’s easy to see how you can integrate it too in your customer acquisition tools. You could track
if you are a wordpress developer based in that city, and want to offer your services. You can even track keywords related to similar products (Drupal, Joomla, Tikwiki) in case you are also able to manage those leads. Twitter Search has more features, worth the look
As any new tool usage, a company or a service provider has to be very careful with Twitter Search, since it’s akin to say… hitting strangers in a bar. There is a fine line between authentic conversation and advice (which is what Twitter is meant to be), and spamming random users about your products. Twitter (or a third-party tool TweetDeck) also lacks tools to manage threads and conversations, which would allow a sales team or a customer service team to “assign” a Twitter user to a representative. Alerts, notifications, user tagging, flagging a few users, those are power features that Twitter would need to implement and make it a competitor (or a compliment) to Google Adwords, and ultimately transforming Twitter into an Internet giant.