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Geo Targeting  with Twitter: Location-Aware is Here!

Location and location-based tweeting is one of the most interesting subjects that Twitter users and developers have been exploring.  Geo location is very important to the future of Twitter. You will be happy to know that Twitter recently announced a set of features and APIs (application programming interfaces) that will make “Twitter truly location-aware.” So when you opt-in, the new features willattach a longitude and latitude to all of your tweets, making Twitter more local than ever!

So what exactly is going to happen? Twitter Co-Founder Biz Stoneexplains on the Twitter Blog:

“We’re gearing up to launch a new feature which makes Twitter truly location-aware. A new API will allow developers to add latitude and longitude to any tweet. Folks will need to activate this new feature by choice because it will be off by default and the exact location data won’t be stored for an extended period of time. However, if people do opt-in to sharing location on a tweet-by-tweet basis, compelling context will be added to each burst of information.”

Now you might be asking: “how is this going to work?” Well, Twitter’s Ryan Sarver gave a bit of an overview in Twitter’s Development Talk Google Group:

“The geo location API will give us the ability to attach geographic meta data to tweets to provide additional context with your update. Along with the option to tag updates, we will be able to search for nearby tweets and view the geo meta data in user timelines. The additional context allows for us to deliver more meaningful and localized experiences to users.

Location-aware tweets are a monumental development for Twitter and could position it as THE location-based social network, because each tweet will be like a check-in at your location. The volume of data around locations, places, and tweets will be incredibly powerful. The wait for location-aware tweets shouldn’t be much longer as the developer preview is already out in the wild. In the meantime, you can check out GeoMeme, Schmap.com, and Tweetmondo, for a preview of Twitter apps already toying with Twitter and location.

Better Twitter Analytics

BGG agrees that as Twitter matures, so too does the audience who uses it. Now more than ever social brands need to demonstrate more than just Twitter ROI, which means they’re going to be demanding more than quantitative data.  Happily Twitter has a wealth of data – it’s a global thought-stream on every topic imaginable.

But how do we convert that raw data into insights, trends and actionable information? How can we find the signal in all that noise?

Enterprise level Twitter analysis tools are certainly out there. To name a few, there’s Techrigy, andNeilsen products, however most of them have tacked Twitter analytics on as an after-the-fact tweet stats measurement extra. Twitter tools come in handy for measuring change in tweet fluctuations, charting follower count numbers, finding out hash tag frequency, and quantifying Twitter activity.  But now that these tools have arrived, you can expect heightened competition between toolsets to arise, and even more demand from consumers and professionals hoping to understand what’s being said on Twitter. Twitter research is only growing, and there are many more tools than the ones listed here. Innovation will breed even more useful Twitter analysis tools that can help us better understand not only social media, but how we function as a society. We know there are more great Twitter tools, so if you have one you want to share, be sure to include it in the comments.

Why Is Twitter Feared? If the relationship between sports—like the NFL and social media has taught us anything, it’s that Twitter is feared. The medium can be used to share bite size news to a public audience practically in real-time, and that can be scary for all types of businesses. Twitter has also already forced the hand of ESPN, the NFL, the SEC, and the US Open, all of whom have created social media policies with brazen Twitter clauses. It’s just the beginning.   We agree that there’s nothing wrong with having Twitter policies, in fact, we have some great tips to keep in mind should you be writing a social media policy for your company. But hopefully we’ll see reason prevail as it pertains to Twitter guidelines in the future. For now, though, you can expect Twitter to be enemy number one in many social media policies.