Twitter Proves Its Worth as a Killer App for Local Businesses

New Orleans Pizza Joint, Chicago Yogurt Chain See Results From Promos on Microblogging Service

NEW YORK (AdAge.com) — All those brands trying to figure the ROI of Twitter? They might do well to follow the lead of the local pizza joint.

Naked Pizza, a New Orleans healthful-pizza shop that’s hoping to go national — Mark Cuban is a backer — has been marketing itself via the microblogging service. And recently it has started to track Twitter-spurred sales at the register. In a test run April 23, an exclusive-to-Twitter promotion brought in 15% of the day’s business.  

“Every phone call was tracked, every order was measured by where it came from, and it told us very quickly that Twitter is useful,” said Jeff Leach, the restaurant’s co-founder. “Sure, there’s the brand marketing and getting-to-know-you stuff. … But we wanted to know: Can it make the cash register ring?”

Mr. Leach is one of many small businesses using Twitter as a marketing tool — and his group could turn out to be a lucrative market for the fast-growing site if other local entrepreneurs have similar experiences.

Twitter’s real-time messaging service is turning out to be a boon to local establishments, who are starting to get onboard — mostly because the message pops into users’ Twitter feeds and they’re close enough to act on it. For Mr. Leach, who is targeting people within a three-mile radius of his store, that’s key. He’s gone so far as to erect a billboard outside his store publicizing Naked Pizza’s Twitter handle (which got him written up in TechCrunch). After that, Twitter contacted him; he’s going to be working with the company to beta test some applications for small businesses.

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