04 May 2018 | 10.26 am
Managing Social Media With Warbble
It centralises all your social media activity
04 May 2018 | 10.26 am
Warbble co-founders Emmett Gallagher and Greg Furlong had their ‘aha moment’ in 2015 when they came across Lloyds Bank research that showed that over a million SMEs in the UK lacked basic digital skills. They were both working for Vodafone at the time, and decided they had spotted a gap in the market for social media assistance.
It was a brave move for Gallagher (44), who had previously jumped out of the corporate world for a startup venture that, in his own words, “failed miserably”. Gallagher (pictured) had spent six years with Ericsson in sales roles before founding Gosave.ie, which was designed to provide professional fundraising services for not-for-profit organisations such as charities, sports organisations and the arts. “I learned so much from that,” he says. “I would say to anyone starting their own company to make sure they really know what they are trying to achieve.”
Gallagher’s full-time involvement with GoSave was 16 months, and when it was clear the idea wasn’t going to work he secured employment with Vodafone as a product manager. The entrepreneurial bug still lingered, however, and after four years with the telco Gallagher got Warbble going in July 2015.
The idea behind Warbble is a single online platform that enables businesses to centralise management of their social media activity. If you have an idea for a post, you can post it to multiple social media channels with a single click. There’s a Content Wall, a repository for content you’ve spotted elsewhere that’s worth passing on. There’s a scheduling function for repeat messaging and an analytics feature too. What Warbble does is not unique, but it can ease the social media burden for small firms that want to up their social content game.
According to Gallagher: “We set up the company after we saw that so many companies didn’t know where to start when it came to simple things like online presence or gaining customers via social media channels, not just from a technology perspective, but from a delivery perspective too. We look at clients’ business strategies and this defines the engagement over the course of any contract.
“Some companies see social media as a necessary evil but it’s actually an opportunity to reach new customers and serve existing customers better. We have developed a smart social assistant called SAM, which helps users to source content, and we basically have your back when it comes to your brand online.”
Warbble’s pricing structure starts at €49 per month, which gives access to the platform for two users. Included in this standard package is three suggested posts per week. The premium package costs €399 per month, and gives platform access to five users.
“This is for clients who would like to be able to respond to customer queries and to be able to boost content on Facebook,” says Gallagher. “Our premium package is aimed at bigger companies who probably have a marketing manager but need help with social. This package has social listening and social CRM features where you can have all your social brand mentions in one central area.”
The Warbble custom package is priced at €999 per month. Basically this involves ongoing social media hand-holding for clients, and may be where the real market opportunity is. “This came about as we on-boarded our first set of clients and found that they needed assistance in social strategy, writing and designing content,” Gallagher explains. “This service is for marketing and business managers who need an extension of their team without adding the headcount costs. This is becoming more popular with our clients as they request us to assist them with campaigns across paid and organic.”
In this ‘custom’ space, Warbble is performing a role similar to a digital or PR agency, though the client also has the Warbble tools at their disposal to do what they want, when they want.
With Gallagher as COO and Greg Furlong looking after the tech end of the business as CTO, Warbble has four full-time employees and another 10 part-time contractors. “Like most businesses our initial traction was through referrals and we’re starting to come out of that phase now,” says Gallagher.
“Our focus has always been to look outward to foreign markets and we have customers in eight countries. Among them is UK property website Zoopla and Trend Media Group. Platform users are growing 30% month-on-month and our goal is to break even by Q3 this year.”
The venture has secured HPSU status from Enterprise Ireland and tapped supports from a number of organisations, including Dublin BIC and New Frontiers, EI’s national entrepreneur development programme. DIT Hothouse delivers the three-phased programme in partnership with IADT.
According to Gallagher: “The support we received from the mentoring team in DIT Hothouse was vital. After spending our first two years in the Guinness Enterprise Centre, we are currently working out of DIT’s Greenway Hub in Grangegorman. In the hub you get to meet other startups somewhere along the same path. It’s also great for networking and getting access to DIT’s excellent graduates.”
Other Tools To Manage Social Media
Social Media management tools make it easier for businesses to engage with their target audience across various social channels. These tools consolidate multiple accounts into a single dashboard, enabling small firms and big brands to manage their social media presence across multiple channels from one platform.
In their various guises, social media management platforms provide features such as monitoring for brand mentions or other keywords, posting to multiple channels, responding to inquiries, running marketing campaigns, managing paid advertising on social channels, and measuring the success of social media campaigns.
American website TrustRadius ranks Social Media management tools on the basis of user satisfaction scores. For 2018, their top picks are:
Sprinklr Favoured by enterprises, according to TrustRadius. Reviewers mention the robust reporting, analytics and customer service.
Spredfast Used mostly by large companies who require enterprise-level features around workflows and approval processes. The software suite handles presence across Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat and Tumblr.
AgoraPulse Popular with small businesses, this social media hub enables scheduling posts, moderating content, interacting, and tracking and reporting, across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Hootsuite There’s an entry-level free version and an Enterprise product for larger teams that includes personalised training and advanced analytics, in addition to the publishing, curation, monitoring, and team management features included in other Hootsuite packages. TrustRadius reports that HootSuite is deployed by companies of all sizes.
Sprout Social Used mostly by small businesses and mid-size companies, this platform facilitates publishing, analytics, engagement and customer service across Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook and Google Plus.