Twitter's New Ad Format: Pandora's Box Or Real-Time Revenue Machine?

Last week, Twitter announced a new ad formatKeyword Targeting in Timelines, which means brands can now find potential customers in real-time when purchase intent appears. Here’s an example from

“Let’s say a user tweets about enjoying the latest album from their favorite band, and it so happens that band is due to play a concert at a local venue. That venue could now run a geo-targeted campaign using keywords for that band with a Tweet containing a link to buy the tickets.”

Real-Time Competition for Customer Attention

This new ad format will open a Pandora’s box. If brands can chase down customers in real-time, customers will expect brands to be there at the exact time when they are in need. Whoever steps up to the plate to turn social data into actionable insightswins.

Learning to Drive Real-Time Results

I recently had a “real-time run-in” when I had to renew my driver’s license. It was the perfect time to update my contact details with my new address. First, I visited California DMV’s website to update my address. I was told the new address would be updated within three business days. To be on the safe side, I waited one week before I renewed my license online.

And the new license was still sent to my old address. So I tweeted the following:

To my surprise, the DMV responded within a few hours:

After I DM’ed my contact information, they followed up and said an in-person visit was required.  The first available appointment was a month later, but at least the appointment was made over the phone within a few minutes. So far, so good.

Don’t Lose in the Last Mile

Stepping into the DMV office, however, felt like traveling back in time. Endless waiting, crowds, desperation… I could have avoided all of this. When my number finally was called, they wanted to charge me $24 for a new card with the new address.This was not going to happen.

I explained the situation to the DMV clerk assuring her I wasn’t a ‘customer from hell’ trying to make her job difficult. But why should I pay for a screw-up caused by DMV’s broken database and operations system?

This inconsistent customer experience revealed to me that some DMV departments were moving a lot faster than the others. What if the DMV representative I spoke to on the phone was able to:

  • Capture a complete history of the social interactions with me
  • Combine my data with social and enterprise data for and extended 360 view
  • Determine the appropriate next steps in the pipeline
  • Measure the DMV team’s performance and impact with built-in KPIs

I definitely would have given the DMV some social media love if they hit these important customer service steps. But they didn’t.

Turn Social Data into Actionable Insights

“Social CRM” is not fad, or just a fancy term for social monitoring, because responding to tweets online is no longer enough, if no further actions are taken.

In my case, DMV failed to impress because they were not able to deliver service I expected. Almost every link in the process was broken. The data I provided was not saved in their database. My complaint was handled well online but the DMV clerk had no idea of the transaction. Sales, social marketing and customer service can no longer work in these types of silos.

Originally Appeared on Forbes.