Shoutlet CEO Jason Weaver likes to say that his company works in dog years. “Everything we do, we do at seven times the speed of other companies,” he notes. That’s important, since its social media management platform is now being used by companies that have to make split-second marketing decisions around their social efforts.
Shoutlet’s software-as-a-service platform can be used to create, publish and measure social marketing campaigns and activities on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and other social sites. Through a fully integrated dashboard, brands and agencies can design Facebook pages, manage social CRM or run ROI analytics from a single screen. Shoutlet has a roster of more than 500 customers, including global brands such as Nokia, Canon, NASCAR and Burger King.
One of the key tools of the system is Social Switchboard, which can publish marketing messages when triggered by milestones, such as when a YouTube video gets a certain number of views, instead of only on date or time.
“Most companies operate on a platform that’s time-based,” Weaver explains. “We built an API that allows for scheduling but also works based on triggering events.”
This is particularly important since Shoutlet has found that many companies are mapping out their social media strategies in advance, and need to be sure that different segments of a campaign—often running on different platforms—go off seamlessly. It has become too difficult to set off this kind of marketing chain reaction manually, says Weaver. Marketers can also use triggers to do A/B testing on social, ensuring they’re able to support the content or offers that get the best consumer reaction.
Weaver explains a typical trigger-based scenario: “Suppose you create a Facebook contest, where, after there are 10,000 entries, you tweet a coupon. Then, after 2,500 coupon clicks, you announce a winner on YouTube. After you gain a couple hundred new YouTube subscribers, you drive that audience to Pinterest. The touchpoints are multiplying. And when you’re dealing with multiple touchpoints, it’s essential to have the capability to manage the message at scale.”
In its latest update, the Shoutlet platform will support Foursquare, allowing marketers to integrate location-based programs into a social media campaign. Via the dashboard, marketers will be able to monitor Foursquare locations, get access to check-in demographics and quickly schedule and manage specials. The Foursquare features are in beta.
“As a Shoutlet customer…it will allow us to more effectively manage our 500-plus Foursquare brand and hotel-level venues worldwide,” says Tiffany Strobel, social media & community manager at Fairmont Raffles Hotels International. “It’s nice to be able to do all of this from one dashboard, instead of logging in to multiple sites.”
As a self-service platform, Shoutlet lets clients shape their campaigns based on the needs of their target customers.
“For instance, International Trucks, one of our B2B clients, isn’t going to need an e-commerce site because nobody is going to log on to their website and buy an 18-wheeler,” Weaver says. “But they do have a real need to create interest within their industry, to facilitate cross-channel communication between dealers, manufacturers and other professionals.
“By contrast, a consumer company like Rayovac would need direct sales to the consumer as well as social,” he continues. “Facebook and Pinterest can build brand loyalty and foster community engagement for brands. And non-profit clients have still different needs—rather than e-commerce or B2B specialties, their emphasis is on creating awareness, recruiting volunteers and bringing in donations.”
According to Weaver, Shoutlet empowers brands and businesses to take charge of their own campaigns and manage their own brand messaging and content. Features like unlimited accounts, content libraries, permissioning and workflow management make the DIY platform scalable. A combination of sophisticated data capture, deep social profiles and influencer scoring allows for advanced market segmentation. Social Canvas, another tool on the Shoutlet platform, lets companies quickly create Facebook tabs and other graphical features.
“The advantage that we provide is that our platform includes everything you need,” Weaver says. “When social media becomes your job, you need an enterprise-level tool like Shoutlet to make it work effectively on a major scale.”