Musings: Could you leverage Twitter to make some money this holiday season?

A few days ago, I was browsing my Feedly dashboard and ran across this AdWeek post describing how big retailers are gearing up to poach their competitors customers this holiday season. The article goes into some specifics, but the idea is basically that brands are planning to monitor Twitter for relevant conversations and then “at” message potential customers with special offers, product details, or even local store inventory information.

So imagine @MikeBruins65 from Boston tweeting “Wtf! @BestBuy offering 25% off all 4K TVs in-store…except nothing in stock.” and then @target replying “Cheer up @MikeBruins65! We have 4K TVs in-stock in Everett, MA! Grab coupons at http://bit.ly/target-4k-ma”. Since these brands are certainly leveraging powerful tools like Radian6 or even the full Twitter Firehose, it seems like it would be straightforward for them to execute strategies like this around high value markets. But what about as an individual, could you employ a similar strategy to make a few bucks?

Amazon Associates Links

The most obvious, least risky, and least lucrative approach would be to monitor Twitter for tweets that sounded like they were from frustrated buyers and then message them Amazon associates links for the product they’re looking for. Looking at Amazon’s fee structure, you’d want to target high margin categories with moderately expensive products and then hopefully end up doing a decent amount of volume. So imagine searching for Tweets from users frustrated that they can’t checkout on a small eCommerce site, finding the product they’re searching for on Amazon, and then Tweeting them the link to buy with your Associates link.

Dropshipping

More risky and potentially more upside. I’m not entirely sure how feasible this would be, but I think the idea would be to use a SaaS eCommerce platform like Shopify to setup an eCommerce shop and then dynamically list items which you’ll later dropship. The challenge would be two fold, using Twitter to identify which previously obscure items are starting to trend and then figuring out how to introduce enough margin so that you end up profiting on the sale. It might be feasible though, with the explosion of small, boutique eCommerce sites it might be possible to negotiate a “I’ll buy 400 for 50% off!” type deal quickly enough to introduce a profitable sale. The bigger challenge would probably be identifying these items as they start trending, but that could be solved by….

Pinterest

Recent member of the billion dollar boys club and frequent target of “haters”, it’s current traction and latent purchase intent potentially make it the perfect place for affiliate marketing. Beyond that, the wealth of potential gift pins and the follower/repin graph might hold the key to identifying relatively obscure products right before they begin to go viral. Anyway, I don’t have any concrete ideas on how you could leverage Pinterest but it definitely seems like the ingredients for success are there.

Totally coincidentally, this article just came across TechCrunch – A Pin On Pinterest Is Worth 25% More In Sales Than Last Year, Can Drive Visits & Orders For Months

Anyway, are any of these actually feasible? Who knows, but I’d love to hear any other ideas.

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