Young Upstarts

All about entrepreneurship, intrapreneurship, ideas, innovation, and small business. – A Twitter Stream Of Consciousness

San Francisco, California-based InboxQ ( is a web browser extension – and a “social lead generation” startup of the same name – that sends a real-time stream of Twitter questions related to specific subject – a business, brand, product or point of interest – directly to your browser. Available on Chrome and Firefox, InboxQ makes it easier for you to monitor and answer directly from your Twitter account. It’s a good way for a business to engage consumers in conversations, help solve customer problems and build online engagement.

“There are tons of questions being asked by Tweeters, but we realized very few get helpful answers, or even a response,” says Joe Fahrner, InboxQ‘s co-founder and CEO. “At the same time, you’ve got businesses looking to talk to customers on Twitter, but not knowing what to say. InboxQ solves both problems, matching people with specific inquiries to experts who can help them. Askers get great answers, and marketers get meaningful dialogue with people who are predisposed to their product.”

Once installed, you can create a “Campaign” using keywords, phrases or other terms – like brand or product names, for example – that define your search parameters. Relevant tweets are then routed to your inbox for action.

InboxQ is a great customer acquisition tool,” Fahrner notes. “It’s like someone is walking up to the information booth and saying, ‘Please help me.’ By focusing on questions, you can directly engage with potential patrons and solve their problems. “It’s a great way to build relationships.”

InboxQ – founded in 2009 – plans to expand their service beyond Twitter, with a goal to one day mining questions from every major social network on the web. They are also developing software that will go beyond keywords to anticipate topics relevant to a business.

“Companies are already spending money to engage with people through social media,” says co-founder and CTO Jason Konrad. “We can help them make more actionable connections in much less time.”

InboxQ is funded by Y Combinator, SoftTechVC, Lowercase Capital, Trinity Ventures and others.

Daniel Goh is the founder and chief editor of Young | Upstarts, as well as an F&B entrepreneur. Daniel has a background in public relations, and is interested in issues in entrepreneurship, small business, marketing, public relations and the online space. He can be reached at daniel [at] youngupstarts [dot] com.

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