The social marketing wave is hitting hard and only the strong will survive. In an effort to "fish where the fish are," a number of companies have launched social marketing platforms to tailor customer acquisition to the Facebook era, and it seems like a new one crops up each day. Hearsay recently launched Hearsay Social, a product that allows major enterprises and franchises with individual locations scattered across the country to unify their social marketing efforts and allow employees to connect with customers. Additionally, companies like Syncapse, Extole, and Mass Relevance have made big funding announcements in recent weeks.
But Roost is looking to provide a product that will help the small- to medium-sized business owner tackle the daunting task of social marketing, which can be particularly problematic when you don't have the funds to pay a person to spend 20 hours a week updating your business's Twitter and Facebook page. To help SMBs from restaurants to personal trainers build up their social media presence without having to spend hours online, Roost is launching its new social marketing platform, which will provide content suggestions to streamline the business owner's social marketing campaign.
The process is quick and painless. To create a full social marketing campaign, the user selects what kind of time frame they want (five days, seven days, etc.), and what kind of content they want to post. The content is selected from a list of suggested content in several categories, including links, questions, quotes, and status updates, as well as from categories and sites users can add themselves. Roost provides the personalized content recommendations based on the user's interests, type of business, and more.
The user then wraps up each post up with a personal touch such as a comment or observation, and Roost creates an automatic posting schedule for the length of the campaign so that the user need not worry about remembering to post every day.
"We're trying to answer question 'what do I post and when?' We're trying to help people build social campaigns, not just a tool that helps you post simultaneously to multiple networks," said Roost's VP of marketing Chris Brubaker in a phone interview. "What we’re trying to do is suggest types of content to post and take the guess work out of it for small businesses."
The platform has been in private beta for the last several weeks, but Brubaker told me that the company is already hearing great feedback from users.
"These are people who are saying 'I’m not a social marketer, I’m a restaurant-owner, or I'm a personal trainer, I don’t want to spend 10 hours on Facebook,'" he said.
The company, which has been around since 2007 and has raised $13.5 million to date, originally began as a real estate search engine and has over 20,000 users, all of whom were invited to try out the company's beta testing of its new social marketing platform, which also lets users invite friends into a select circle of colleagues and contacts known as Roost Circles. Users can then ask those contacts in their Roost Circle to help support their social marketing campaign by reposting content on their own sites.
Additionally, in the next 30-60 days, the company plans to release an analytics feature that will allow them to measure how well a certain post performs, such as whether users are reposting or retweeting it, or if they're hiding it.