I joined SocialFlow this week as VP, Marketing.
For me, the story of SocialFlow is a mix of, “wow, that’s genius and it makes a lot of sense to do,” and “you can do what?!” But, the more meaningful story to me began five years ago when I moved to New York City (it’s quite a long one, so bear with me or just skip to the bottom to find out more about SocialFlow).
One of the first things I did when I moved to New York was to find a Muay Thai gym. Muay Thai is a huge passion of mine. Over the years it has become a big part of my life. When I moved here I asked my friends and trainers at Fairtex, my gym in San Francisco, where I should train in New York. Everyone told me I needed to find Phil Nurse at The Wat.
Frank Speiser was one of the first people I met when I started training at The Wat. For the first few months I don’t think we talked about work or our careers. We’d train and most of the time not really say that much to each other. I even got to meet and work out with his wife, Kelly, a few times (I have to admit, it was a bit strange kicking her).
We did end up talking about what we did for work and it was a nice coincidence that we’re both in the technology industry. When we’d talk about the industry and what we did, it became apparent to me very quickly that Frank is quite simply one of the smartest people I’ve ever met. Smart in a way that he would talk about problems and solutions with logic and a mathematical mind that is quite foreign to my own thought process as a marketer. But, he’s also extremely grounded in the real world and business. That had been really rare in my experience.
Over the years we’d meet up and talk about our new jobs and ventures (oddly enough, he told me about an idea he had to provide water to developing nations for farming at the same time I was thinking about the feasibility of creating a network of farms around the world to produce high quality, organic produce). We had explored working together on a couple of projects but things didn’t work out for one reason or another. He became CTO at a few start ups and I went on to head up marketing at KickApps, and after that, did a brief stint back in the marketing agency world.
A little over a year ago we had dinner and he told me about his latest project, SocialFlow. He explained that by analyzing language that people were using in Tweets, he could help people construct Tweets that are more likely to get people’s attention and thus they’re more like to do something with it, and that he thought he could figure out a way to pick the right time to send out that Tweet that’s based on when topics and conversations peak on Twitter. OK…
Next thing you know, he tells me that he’s built the prototype and has a paying customer. Then, he’s gotten funding from Betaworks (a remarkable company itself, here’s an overview of Betaworks), proven his theory with a real product and has a bunch of customers.
When I realized it was time for me leave my job, Frank asked if I’d join him. This is one of the easiest business decisions I’ve ever made. I can’t be more excited.
What is SocialFlow?
SocialFlow helps companies communicate better on the social web. Its software marries science, etiquette and social convention to produce audience engagement on services such as Twitter, Facebook and Google Buzz. With SocialFlow, messages go out at the right time, using language that’s most likely to produce desired responses.
How does SocialFlow work?
SocialFlow listens carefully to the natural flow of conversations on the social web to help you craft conversational Tweets and posts that are then released at the right moment to get people’s attention (an impossible task these days) and produce desired responses (e.g. clickthroughs, RT, follow, mention, etc.).
In short, it removes the guesswork out of constructing a Tweet or post and when to send it out. Rather, the release of the Tweet or post is timed to fit within the natural flow of conversations on the social web. By doing so, you’ll be more relevant to conversations and people will be more likely to click on your links or share your messages.
Oh ya, and it works.
I’m sure you’ll be hearing more about SocialFlow and the adventures we’ll have along the way. In the meantime, here’s an interview Frank did with Robert Scoble a few weeks ago about the company.