Earshot has unveiled a social customer relationship management platform that allows social media managers to discover tweets, check-ins and Instagram posts made by people nearby and then respond accordingly.
The platform, which uses geo-fencing technology (by monitoring GPS, Wi-Fi, cell towers to define a geographical boundary), helps businesses target potential customers through Twitter, text message or the private conversation channel in Earshot’s mobile app.
For example, a business could send someone a digital coupon, a notification of new sales items, or reply to a post or tweet to engage with potential customers.
According to David Rush, CEO of Earshot, Earshot evolved from Evzdrop, a location-based social network that allowed people to connect with places, such as restaurants, stadiums, or hotels, in real time.
“We were essentially creating an interest graph for places with common connections,” David told SocialTimes, adding that he saw some growth with Evzdrop; however, he was also interested in developing a platform to help brands communicate in real time with people who were in the midst of an experience – in a particular location.
The idea is, businesses would see an increase in transaction size, conversion and engagement rates, and improve customer service.
“As we started talking to more and more businesses, we realized that we were going to be able to accomplish that more effectively by accessing the other social networks that made their APIs available – Twitter, Foursquare, Instagram all allowed us to access their networks as a starting point for this,” he said.
Earshot creates a geofence for a company, defining the proximity to which it wants to tap into social media channels. The platform then filters social media signals, whether it’s Instagram posts, Foursquare check-ins, or tweets, and allows social media managers, business owners, etc., to respond to those posts.
The dashboard prioritizes social media messages by location, time, source, and other factors. Earshot also includes a business mobile app, an analytics dashboard, and a private communication channel that lets customers who download the Earshot app send messages privately to the company.
Rush provided an example using Macy’s.
He said, if someone sends a tweet: “Looking for a great outfit for tonight’s event. #cantfindadress,” and Macy’s has a geofence set up for three blocks in all directions, its social media manager would pick up that tweet and could respond appropriately, offering to help find the right outfit for the occasion.
“Macy’s would have typically missed that tweet entirely through a traditional social media management platform. They didn’t have the Macy’s Twitter handle, maybe didn’t have a keyword that they were tracking, and they wouldn’t otherwise have even known it was a social media signal that was created,” he said. Macy’s could interact with that person through the Macy’s app, if it has that functionality, the Wi-Fi that Macy’s is providing, or through the Earshot app, if the person has downloaded it.
“The opportunity is to engage in a more contextual way, more relevant way, to meet customers’ requests through not a traditional location-based ad that’s just bombarding them with brand awareness, but really engaging them in a way that’s more welcomed by the customer that has something to do with the content of their social media,” said Rush.
Cost depends on number of site licenses and geofences set up.