How do we measure social media? That question may seem simple, but startup ThoughtBuzz was founded just to answer that question.
Singapore-based ThoughtBuzz was originally conceived in February 2009 by three guys – all with IT experience and with ages ranging from 25 to 29 – with the aim of providing users with a way to manage their profiles on multiple social networks. However, as co-founder Anshul Jain admitted, he and his partner Ashok Patro soon realized that such tools were already available and many were actually pretty good. “So we decided that this wasn’t the right way to go,” he remembers. “We then decided to shift focus to social media measurement when during our research we came across how increasingly important social media is to brands and companies.”
Measuring Online Buzz
According to its website ThoughtBuzz provides social media intelligence services through its flexible dashboard – with a list of features such as automatic sentiment analysis and demographic analysis – that allows marketing and communications professionals to monitor social media in real-time. “We help companies in discovering trends so that they can make use of them for their brands. Our user is anyone who wants to know what’s being said and written about them on social media.”
“Almost all companies make use of social media some way or the other, and they have no certain way to measure their ROI (return on investment),” he adds. “This is where we believe we can help them and provide them with a platform to measure the impact and success of their social media campaigns.” I’m not sure if I agree that all companies should engage in social media, but of course any tool that allows its accurate measurement is sorely needed.
Anshul says ThoughtBuzz‘s key USP is that it provides speed and relevancy of results. “We believe that though social media is an extremely good channel for connecting with consumers, it has its pitfalls. How do you identify spammers or collect only relevant data? These are some questions that we had to answer in order to differentiate our product,” he elaborates.
Anshul says to date they have slowly but steadily cultivated a group of interested clients who are beta testing their product and waiting for its launch. “Our product has also undergone significant changes since February 2009 based on the feedback received and we are hoping that we are our building a solid and relevant product in the market.”
He says that their main challenge is identifying the relevant factors for measuring social media. “Should we try to include everything or give what’s most important to our customers? How much customization to offer, how to present the data so that it’s useful are some of the questions that we face on an everyday basis.”
Starting up in Singapore
The founders decided to base its operations in Singapore because, as Anshul puts it, the country ‘greatly encourages entrepreneurship’. “People here are very forthcoming towards new ideas. Also this being a developed market, the quality of feedback is very high and this helps us in building a solid product.”
“The best part about entrepreneurship is you get to do what you want and how you want,” says Ashok. “You handle real clients and have real deadlines. If you win all credits to you and if you lose then also you are responsible. But the satisfaction you get after fulfilling the market needs and meeting the expectations of your clients is something which always pushes you forward.”
“We have made many business plans, financial projections and strategies as an assignment during our student life. Buts it’s real fun and challenging to actually execute them. After our MBA we were all charged up to do something of our own and try out the various skills and tools we have learnt during our professional and academic life.”
“ThoughtBuzz is the outcome of all these and our successful execution towards our dream of doing something good and useful.”
“Starting something is not easy. There is a lot to think about and it does take its toll on you. But there is nothing more rewarding than to see your own enterprise take shape.”