WHAT: Crowdbooster does the "listening" for social media managers by determining the best time to tweet or post and suggests content for followers in addition to tracking the stream. Receive notifications when influencers, based on their Klout score, follow the company/brand so you don't miss engagement opportunities.
LAUNCHERS: Stanford science and computer science grads Ricky Yean (CEO), David Tran, Mark Linsey.
WHY: Dashboards don't provide enough guidance and can be overwhelming. Social media moves so fast that a social media manager doesn't have time to make sense of everything and can miss things. Companies spend $4B on social media tools.
WHEN/WHERE: 2011 / Palo Alto.
BACKSTORY: Ricky and David had been building projects on Twitter for years before they met Mark, who joined their team in 2010. None of their projects gained traction, so they became social media consultants at Palo Alto's Coupa Cafe, tweeting for free food and coffee.
"We started out acting as social media managers for different businesses, and building analytics, and then we realized, 'Hey, most people just kind of stop there.' They look at the numbers, but it's not easy for them to go from there to actions." Ricky says.
[ Crowdbooster founders (from left) David Tran, Ricky Yean and Mark Linsey. ]
BUSINESS MODEL: Freemium with monthly subscriptions. Up to three Twitter and Facebook accounts is free. Business with up to 10 accounts: $20/month. Agencies: call for price.
COMPETITION: SocialEngine is doing the same thing [ see our profile ]. Dashboards: TweetDeck, HootSuite, Metricly. For enterprise clients: Radian6, Simplify360, Brandwatch.
ON SUCCESSFUL SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGEMENT: "There is no trick," Ricky says. "I think it's basically like a big cocktail party, you just have to be human and you have to be interesting. Be interested in what people are saying and be a real person. A lot of the best connections on social media are made offline, this is just another way for people to get together. There are tricks to automate your connections and content, but at the end of the day what has worked for us is authentic connections."
CLIENTS: Lil' Wayne, Britney Spears, LA Times, jetBlue, Ben & Jerry's, Wieden+Kennedy.
WHAT A CROWBOOSTER CLIENT SAYS: Robin Sloan Bechtel, founder of Silicon.Wood and digital media strategist for Britney Spears, had Facebook Insights for her celebrity clients and wanted to compare that data to Twitter impressions, but she had no easy way to do so.
"Crowdbooster was first to give us impressions on Twitter. Before them, we were sort of trying to do the math in our head, if we have this many impressions on Facebook, and we have X fans, then we must have X many on Twitter, totally caveman carving and crossing out ones with a stick!" Robin told LAUNCH via email.
WHO BACKED IT: Y Combinator, StartupAngel, Charles River Ventures, Quest Venture Partners, Steven Chen, Esther Dyson, Nils Johnson, Royce Disini, Tony Pham, Brian Shire, Adora Cheung, Jonathan Pines.
TOTAL RAISED: Not disclosed.
On the main Crowdbooster dashboard, recommendations tell you the best time to schedule your tweet to reach the most followers and sites you should tweet links from. Recommendations also include prompts for interaction with top influencers, based on Klout score, and people to follow.
From the main dashboard you can schedule tweets and connect to your Bit.ly account.
1. How Social Can Improve Customer Service: Expert Advice (Brainyard, Sept. 1, 2011)
2. How Social Media Can Mesh with Traditional Corporate IT (Forbes, Sept. 1, 2011)
CONTACTS & LINKS
Email: Ricky at crowdbooster dot com
Email: David at crowdbooster dot com
Email: Mark at crowdbooster dot com