San Francisco-based advertising company PaperG has announced the launch of Polly.IM, a free tool that helps local business owners easily stay in touch and engage with their customers through Twitter.

Polly.IM monitors Twitter for mentions of the business, then categorizes the tweet and suggests an appropriate response from a customized list created by the business. This kind of interaction can be useful to businesses in a myriad of ways, such as helping businesses thank customers for checking-in, send coupons to new followers, and enable quick response times to comments. Polly.IM is built off the sentiment analysis engine of another PaperG product, PlaceLocal. It uses natural language processing to determine the meaning of customer tweets and its implied attitude in order to select an appropriate response.

“Twitter is an incredibly powerful marketing tool, but unfortunately most local business owners just don’t know how to keep up with all their customers or how to use Twitter consistently,” said Victor Wong, CEO of PaperG. “After first starting, these businesses get fatigued and overwhelmed. We created Polly.IM to solve this problem.”

polly2 520x345 Polly.IM helps businesses engage with customers on Twitter

To use Polly.IM, a business owner needs to sign up on the service’s website and then can “pre-record” customized messages to send to the business’ customers for different categories of tweets. Once that’s done, the service engages in real-time monitoring of customers who mention the business on Twitter, and then selects an appropriate pre-recorded response.

PaperG plans to offer a version of the social CRM system that can be used by resellers and agencies in the near future, as well as expand upon the “freemium” aspect of its business model. Polly.IM is online now, and businesses can get started using the free service today.