(the power of ad-hoc markets on Twitter)
There’s a stir going on in the UK right now about the London 2012 Olympic committee shutting down a Twitter-based ticket availability alert service called @ticketalert.
As the Techcrunch article explains,
Adam Naisbitt created on Twitter and deep-linked into the Olympics ticket site to allow people to find out about tickets as they became available. It garnered over 11,000 followers this week. A London 2012 spokesman has said its ticket agent had now blocked the feed. Naisbitt is trying to re-start the service.
Cool idea. Luckily, they got it up again.
Ad-hoc markets like this pop up all the time on Twitter. Sometimes they resemble spam, but in other cases (like this one) they provide an incredibly valuable service to consumers. For almost zero cost.
This type of social marketing has many of the attributes of a “home run” in advertising, for example:
- customers opt-in
- people share the offer with others
- it’s really inexpensive
- results are measurable
- it meets a real need efficiently and quickly (thank you!)
A big part of the reason ad hoc markets work well on Twitter is because unlike Facebook, forums and LinkedIn, Twitter is a completely public network. It is also really simple to use and was purpose built to operate over mobile devices. It’s convenient.
The products and services that seem best suited for marketing via ad-hoc markets share the following attributes:
- there’s limited supply vs. demand (imagined or real)
- the product is transient or time-sensitive (tickets, travel, meals, car shows, events, etc.)
- is easy to purchase online
- a value of a few hundred $ or less
- solves a personal need (vs. business solutions)
- implies social status (popular brand, meme, product; or, recently endorsed by celebrity, etc.)… this gets the viral heat going
Do any of your products or services fit the bill? If so, your business can probably harness Twitter’s frictionless marketplace to stimulate ad-hoc demand for your goods and services, too.