(one of our earlier ventures)
Click here to see our Plans.

NeedTagger is a simple social media monitoring tool that addresses an important challenge that every marketer faces today:

What is the best way to find and connect with customers and prospects in social media?   

Using advanced natural language processing technology, NeedTagger continuously sifts Twitter and detects people expressing needs you can meet.  Our Engagement panel eliminates noise and spam, making it easy to connect with prospects and to meet their needs quickly and efficiently.

In a few minutes per day, you can identify and connect with dozens to hundreds of potential customers. Follow them, message them or retweet them, the choice is yours. Every time you share a link, NeedTagger tracks the downstream reactions for you – so you can measure the ROI of your efforts (and of the content you share).

To learn more about what NeedTagger does, check out our Product Features and Needs We Detect (By Industry).

 

Reach Out And Help Someone

NeedTagger makes it easy for anyone to find and connect with people expressing a need they can meet and to satisfy that need in a respectful and courteous manner.  

NeedTagger works really well for consumer-facing companies. The benefits reported by NeedTagger’s private beta customers include the following:

  • build a large social network of customers and prospects. Some NeedTagger users are adding high-quality followers three times faster than without NeedTagger.
  • generate high quality traffic:  traffic coming from NeedTagger posts result in longer dwell times and lower bounce rates
  • very high engagement rates:  the average click through rate on messages shared from NeedTagger is 5% to 80% per campaign.  That’s 5x-20x better than sponsored tweets or other types of messaging on Twitter.
  • spend less time sifting through streams for actionable signals: most customers spend just a few minutes per day

In case you are wondering, NeedTagger is not for spammers. We have a strict anti-spam policy.

 

For Busy Professionals

NeedTagger is designed for consumer-facing product and service professionals who want to build a larger, more vibrant network of customers and prospects on Twitter.  It’s ideal for service-minded marketers who believe the best way to build a brand in social media is to offer help, advice and useful content to people in need.

Right now, we detect dozens of needs in a variety of industries, and we’re adding more every month. NeedTagger detects English language needs in the United States market.

We’ve also tested NeedTagger in several business-to-business sectors, and it works fine – but the volume of needs expressed on Twitter tends to be much lower for most B2B industries, with the exception of some technology sectors. So far, anyway. We haven’t tested them all.  We plan to add Facebook, LinkedIn, blogs and discussion forums in the near future, which may improve the quality of B2B streams.

NeedTagger can also be used for important non-commercial purposes, for example, non-profit community outreach, fund raising and other “needs-based” marketing programs.  These need types are on our roadmap, as well.

We can’t wait to see where our customers take us next.

 

Our Story: A Pivot

We started this journey a little over a year ago, when we developed a consumer tablet app that filtered the real-time web for interesting content and posts related to automobiles and the enthusiasts who love them.  It was a labor of love for me, because I am a bit of a car nut.

As we got deep into building our app, the market quickly flooded with excellent, free “media aggregation” apps.  It became clear that building an automotive enthusiast app wasn’t gonna be a great business.

We weren’t happy, but we’d proven that our technology was really good at separating meaningful, non-ambiguous posts from noise in a social media niche.

Our team also knew from personal experience that public social networks like Twitter are excellent at introducing two strangers who share a common interest. Sometimes they meet because one person needed information and the other shared an answer.

Most of the time, when someone helps another person on Twitter, it’s almost by chance – there is a lot of noise to sift through. In short, Twitter is great for communicating and staying current on news and events, but we knew that it could be used to do much more than that.

The question we asked ourselves was:

How can Twitter be used to efficiently connect people in need with those who could help them – right now?

We felt that social networking platforms like Twitter would do much more for society if people knew they could get help simply by expressing a need or asking a question “in public”; likewise, businesses would connect with more prospective customers if they could quickly identify and offer assistance to people who needed their help. We knew from our prior work that people ask questions “in the open” on public networks like Twitter.  Millions of times a day, in fact.  Most of the time, their questions go unanswered.

Sensing an opportunity to do something important with our technology, we turned our energy towards adapting our platform to help reputable organizations connect with people around needs that can be met with the organization’s existing content, people, services and products. We knew that our focus should be on connecting accounts who don’t already follow each other online, because the vast majority of customer-brand connections have not yet been made. Because Twitter represents 80% of public comments, we focused there first. Finally, we thought the best place to start would be to provide tools for businesses to help them find and connect with consumers in need.

The technical challenges we faced were substantial: the solution had to filter-out a majority of noise and spam; it had to unambiguously detect human expressions of need in social media posts and relate them to the products, services and content that the organization provides; it had to do this in real time; it had to allow for simple customization of a “needs stream” for a company’s industry, sector, content and marketing objective. And it had to be affordable.

The toughest challenges – filtering-out spam and finding unambiguous posts in a haystack of noise – was the thing our platform was already good at. So, we got to work on the rest.

After a few months of work, NeedTagger was born.

We spent the past three months in private beta, tweaking and testing NeedTagger in a dozen industries to learn where it works best.

Now, we’re open for business.

 

Some folks have asked us to provide more detail about what we actually do – especially the types of “needs” we detect on Twitter. We thought the best way to answer that question would be to share some of the filtered “need feeds” we are tracking right now.

Our first example is in the Post-Secondary Education industry.   

Prospective Students Seeking Help and Advice” is a pre-filtered Twitter feed that contains a live stream of people discussing issues and needs related to applying for and obtaining a post-secondary degree in the US. We detect a few thousand relevant Education needs every day on Twitter. The snapshot below was taken last night:

If you are an education marketer, how might you engage with these people to help them? 

NeedTagger makes it easy for your organization to detect needs like these and meet them with your content – with detailed analytics to measure the ROI of your outreach marketing effort.  We call our approach, “outreach marketing”, because most of the people in the feed above probably don’t follow you online (yet) – you are literally “reaching out” to help them.

Outreach marketing delivers high engagement levels when it’s done right. This means applying social engagement best practices rigorously, such as staying on-topic, offering meaningful assistance and avoiding hard sells/spam at all costs.

Why Filter for Intent? Aren’t Keywords Enough?

Intent-filtered streams help you quickly find and connect with people who need your products, services and assistance right now.  Compared with keyword-based search tools, NeedTagger streams contain fewer, more relevant and actionable posts.

NeedTagger streams look like the example above and share these characteristics:

  1. The posts are from potential customers – not influencers, advocates or marketers.  Our approach isolates people who are discussing products, services, seeking advice & complaining out loud about the products and services you offer.
  2. Most of these people don’t follow your account (yet).  They are prospects, not fans.
  3. Noticeable lack of news, media sharing and promotional links. NeedTagger filters-out the media-sharing part of Twitter and isolates the conversations, public statements, questions, complaints and implied needs that you can act on.
  4. Very little spam. Due to the high-quality filtering approach we use, NeedTagger streams are much more on-topic and almost completely spam-free. This saves you time.
  5. Popular hash tags and keywords don’t dominate.  Popular tags and terms quickly get overrun with spam, so we use a more sophisticated approach.

Our approach compliments popular social media monitoring tools like Tweetdeck, Hootsuite, Radian6.  In fact, we offer a version of our app inside of HootSuite.

Many of our customers start their day on NeedTagger looking for fresh lead capture opportunities.

Pre-Configured Streams That Are Easy To Customize

The pre-configured stream above is one of several Education industry filters that NeedTagger provides out of the box.

Each NeedTagger stream can be quickly customized by providing a link to the “degrees offered” section of an educator’s website.  NeedTagger will scan the link, and our natural language processing platform will identify the names of the degrees and programs currently offered by the university to tailor the campaign filter to include the specific programs/diplomas offered. A campaign specialist will review your campaign filter and adjust it (if necessary) to ensure it’s doing the job without too much noise.

During the past few weeks, we’ve developed dozens of pre-configured streams for industries that have a decent volume of relevant needs expressed on Twitter (not all do, sadly). If no pre-configured stream exists for your industry or requirement, then we can usually build one for you very quickly.

Benefits of Intent Marketing On Twitter

There are several benefits provided by this style of direct marketing on Twitter, including:

  1. Extend your reach by 10X: over 90% of your addressable market on Twitter probably doesn’t follow your account – and may never. By seeking them out proactively, you don’t have to wait for a connection that may never happen.
  2. High engagement rates:  click-through rates on outreach messages sent to individuals from NeedTagger currently range between 5% and 80%.  Almost all of these are directed @replies to people who do not follow their Twitter account.  The secret is to be helpful – not spammy.
  3. Measure the ROI of your content:  NeedTagger tracks the number of opportunities on a daily basis for your custom prospecting stream.  We also track the clicks and shares generated by every outreach message individually.
  4. Manage compliance: many companies now have policies in place that govern what they can say and share online, especially with new contacts. We offer you the ability to save and reuse messages and URLs (landing pages, content, etc) in our web app, which is a great way to ensure compliance.

Not For Spamming

In case you are wondering: NeedTagger is NOT designed to spam people. If you spam for a living, then look for another tool. Besides being a really dumb thing to do on social media, if you spam using our platform we will ban you faster than you can say, “limited time offer!”.  If you are an educator, then you must also respect federal advertising regulations which clearly prohibit most types of spam.  Our stored message templates can help keep you compliant.

We hope this post helps to answer the question, “What Do You Guys Do?”, a little better.

NeedTagger connects you with people who need your products, services and content – right now.