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Putting Craigslist on top of Twitter

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Monday, April 25, 2011

The Good, a 2-year-old creative agency located in NW Portland, recently released two services that could have implications for how marketers and promoters use Twitter.

The first project, RT2SEE, is a Twitter-based service that gives users the option of making access to their promotions contingent on the user spreading, or “retweeting” the same promotion. Say a store wants to promote gelato at 70 percent off. It can create an account, set a budget, and begin Tweeting—“bring in this coupon for half off gelato!” with a link to the coupon. If a user clicks on the link, RT2SEE requires he agree to Retweet the message before he can redeem his discounted gelato. Opting-in takes just one click.

The Good’s second recent rollout, SellSimply, allows users not only to manage promotions across Twitter, but also to sell products directly on the platform. SellSimply links users online store and Paypal account directly to their Twitter account.

No need to leave Twitter or enter shipping or credit card information. “The idea is you can sell anything with one tweet, and buy anything with a reply tweet,” says Chris Teso, founding partner of the firm, “This is kinda Craigslist moved on top of Twitter."

An individual or company creates an account, writes a short product description and links to a photo, SellSimply then formats the picture and description into a Tweet. If another user wants to buy the product, and already has a SellSimply account, they only have to reply with a “Yes.”

John MacDonald, founding partner, says The Good has been able to invest time in these projects because of its small, unconventional structure. All four employees are all also full time developers. “Our project managers know digital; they’re managing a project that they can also code,” says MacDonald, “In digital, you can do so much with a really small team if you’re really efficient about it.” 

These efficiencies have allowed The Good to devote resources to forward-thinking projects with little guarantee of immediate success. The first, stripped down version of SellSimply has been out for a few months and has garnered a few thousand users; RT2SEE has a few dozen. So while these services fit perfectly into the hottest trends of social commerce and peer-to-peer marketing, Teso says they have no intention of stepping away from their paying client work. What is clear is that the company has found a way to take risks with ambitious projects without actually risking much. If these projects don’t pan out immediately, says Teso, “We have a very successful services side as well.”

Ilie Mitaru is a contributor to Oregon Business.


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