How Twitter Will Win Local Search


(This post was originally published on Local Search News)

Almost everything on Twitter is inherently local. The simple question “What are you doing?” implies that because, unless you are at home watching TV, you are doing something that is local, whether that is local to you or to someone else.

The obvious example of this is when you go out to a restaurant and write about that on Twitter, whether you say “Going out to [insert name here] with @stevemcstud” or “Just had a great dinner with @stevemcstud at [insert name here]”.

Search Twitter for “restaurant in”; you can see that with just that one phrasing there are tons of results of people talking about local restaurants. With restaurants being one of the biggest categories in local search as far as traffic and advertisers, it would be easy to roll out a beta test.

So how do I propose Twitter take advantage of this? Create Business Twitter pages. Just like Facebook, where the page does not have as much functionality as a real Facebook but simply serves the purpose of people being able to connect and talk about a subject. Twitter can simply buy the data of all the restaurants in San Franscico and publish them with static pages so that people can actually say “I just ate @lunchbox with @stevemcstud and it was great!” instead of actual tweets like this:


@dudeman718 could of actually told @SoulPSuperstar where he went rather than a “sushi restaurant in Maple Shade, NJ” and they could of actually clicked on @[restaurant name] and gone and looked at a Business Twitter page. What would a Business Twitter page look like you might say. Like this:

With this type of page it requires no action by the restaurant owner or anyone at the restaurant. Twitter would be able to kill it in the SERPs [search engine results pages] if they structured the business pages into a well done SEO-friendly directory which would help users find restaurants in their city. Sooner rather than later you would see Twitter showing up for searches like “Restaurants in San Francisco.” This would drive an amazing amount of traffic to Twitter —  about 4-6 million more visits via search engine traffic with this fully deployed.

Small Business Accounts
Besides the new traffic this would allow business owners who don’t know about Twitter to sign up for it. Business owners always at some point perform vanity searches for their business name, in which Twitter would show up in the results in Google and then they would sign up after seeing all the reviews people are writing about their business. Twitter then could charge for business accounts and then monetise the business account that are not claimed by featuring claimed businesses on other related business accounts that are not claimed, something like a “You Might Also Like” type feature.

User Experience and Advertising
By implementing this you get a huge double benefit. You get to charge businesses for accounts which would generate revenue. Then you also get to rank the directory by Twitter buzz, allow users to tell other users what they are doing more accurately and with less characters, and create more user generated content overall. With people doing nothing but saying what is on there mind on Twitter, they can easily pass Yelp! as far as content is concerned while keeping their original model as a web app intact and not selling out but rather adding a needed feature, the website.

Partnerships will come flooding in with the likes of, City Search, and others. Twitter will not have to complicate their business with a sales force, but just partner with the giants in the local industry who already have the customers, their credit cards, and revenue coming from what exactly small businesses want, more customers. With traffic coming in from local searches, reviews, and buzz, companies with have to partner with Twitter just to keep up with the industry.

All and all this is what you get:

  • A better user experience where you will see tweets like “Just had lunch @LunchBox with @SteveMcStud” rather than “Just had lunch with @SteveMcstud at that one cafe at Google next to the main campus”
  • They will increase there traffic generated by search engines by at least 4-6 million per month.
  • Business owners will find there pre-made Twitter accounts, take them over, and interact with the Twitter community
  • Partnerships will follow with companies that already have the very businesses that people on Twitter are talking about actually paying them money. No sales force required.
  • Revenue. You actually have a profitable revenue source that may not be the end all be all model, but will be a huge chuck of revenue that does not interrupt the user experience but actually makes it better.
  • A big increase in valuation due to increased revenue, increased user base, and increased market share.

(This post was originally published on Local Search News)


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