There are plenty of social media monitoring tools out there, including Hootsuite, Radian6 and more. But Florida-based NeedTagger hopes to help companies not just find customers mentioning them on social networks, but also provide some additional direction by identifying their specific needs using natural language processing technology. NeedTagger hopes to help brands connect directly with the customers that need their services the most thanks to this pre-filtering of the immense tide of social media noise out there.
The site had previously offered a private beta to select customers, but now it’s opening the doors wide to public beta testers in order to help it scale and prepare for a full-scale launch. NeedTagger CEO and founder Vernon Niven told BetaKit in an interview that the technology the company uses, which takes social media information sourced from firehose provider DataSift and applies language recognition technology to help identify specific needs that can be satisfied by companies. Corporate customers don’t even have to use keyword filters like they do with other monitoring services; they can choose from one of NeedTagger’s 30+ industry verticals and Niven says more are coming.
Niven explained to BetaKit that unlike some others in the space, NeedTagger’s goal is to make things as fast and easy to set up as possible.”A need might be a question, a strong opinion, advice, it might be an explicit declaration of a need,” he said. “Then we relate them to our clients’ products and services and content. The unique thing about us is that we can take a link to their content, scan it, and automatically customize their feed for them, and have it online almost immediately.”
The idea isn’t necessarily to target influencers (although they do provide access to Klout scores), but to allow companies to connect directly with customers who represent sales opportunities. The entire platform is designed to be an end-to-end solution, so users can see and respond to tweets (Facebook and blog connections are coming soon) directly within NeedTagger. Adminstrators can also set pre-defined responses if a company wants to maintain tight control over its messaging, making it relatively easy to deploy NeedTagger with a large number of customer service professionals without requiring them to all operate autonomously. The company’s paid plans start at $99 per month, and range up to $1600 per month, and a $1 monthly trial offer.
So far, NeedTagger has been funded wholly by Niven, who has founded a number of startups before. He said that he’s happy with how the company is progressing in terms of attracting paid customers at this point, and isn’t looking around for any external funding so far. Niven also said that NeedTagger generates about a 20 percent clickthrough rate on average for social media posts originating from its tool, which he points out is five to 20 times what most users can expect from a sponsored or non-targeted tweet.
NeedTagger is entering a busy market, where companies like Hootsuite and others already have a strong foothold with major brand buy-in, but more and more, companies are realizing that a multifaceted approach to social media management is better than just using a single tool alone, so we’ve yet to really see how big this market can be.