A few years back, Facebook was just a procrastination tool where people would spend their whole days logged in and buying friends on Friends for Sale. Not that it’s much different from today, but if you wanted to open a social media agency specialized in fan page management back then, people would say that you’ve lost your mind. Especially in Croatia.
Daniel Ackermann and Tomislav Grubišić decided to ignore all of that; they got some money together and founded the iSTUDIO, one of the leading social media marketing agencies in Croatia today. In these two years, they’ve gathered up quite a team of 16 people who are working with some of the biggest clients in the South Eastern Europe (SEE) region.
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I asked Filip Topol, project manager at iSTUDIO about the company. He told me this story:
iSTUDIO was founded by Daniel and Tomislav. It all started when they needed an efficient way to promote their own student project. They tried several different ways to promote it and when all other attempts showed little or no results they turned to Facebook advertising. When they got great results with almost no investment, they realized they were onto something. They did a market research and realized that there were no companies doing that in that time.
Shortly after, they abandoned their student project, started iSTUDIO and never looked back since. One of the biggest problems they faced was convincing the market that Facebook was a ‘must have’ and when they, along with several other Facebook pioneers, managed that, it really paid off.
One of their first clients was Jutarnji List, a daily newspaper which is a part of the EPH media group, one of the biggest Croatian media companies. Now, after 2 years they have more than 100 clients including some of the biggest brands in Croatia and the region as well. At the moment iSTUDIO has 16 full-time employees and several interns, Topol says.
Social media marketing and working with clients can be time-consuming. That’s why iSTUDIO decided to conquer some other areas of social media – content monitoring and analysis.
FILIP TOPOL: “Mediatoolkit is a web service that helps a user find the most popular and shared content in real-time and on any website he is interested in as well as get a prediction of what will be popular in the future. Our customers are all those who are looking for the most popular and viral content on the web like journalists, editors, bloggers and end users.
“It is a fact that social networks like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and others influence the consumption of news on the web. What is being shared is being read thus generating more and more traffic to the websites that have share-friendly content. That’s why there is a great need to know what kind of content would users share with their friends.”
Socialnumbers on the other hand is a statistics portal offering rich information about Facebook pages that could be of interest to community managers; brand managers; agencies in general; journalists; bloggers; academics and all others interested in Facebook marketing.
Socialnumbers.com is a global project run in a cooperation with local partners from different countries in order to offer even more information and data for each individual market. The goal of socialnumbers.com is to cover the statistics and business intelligence in community management but also to outline the best agencies that are doing social media around the globe and the best cases that are being done.
The company is currently focused on Mediatoolkit; a tool which will tell you what type of content was shared the most. Based on that information, you can easily find out what type of content is better for your Facebook audience and serve them what they want to read.
Socialnumbers, on the other hand is a tool that will be used mostly in the SEE region as its focus is right there, for now. Community managers, page admins and every other SMM title will use this tool to compare the size of different fan pages. It might be useful for you to know how a competitor’s page is growing and yours isn’t. Combining the two, Mediatoolkit and Socialnumbers, you could get a much better understanding of your fans, what they love and what they don’t and adjust your posts accordingly.
The team is currently looking for investment as they have some plans for Mediatoolkit:
Mediatoolkit is in closed beta at the moment but already we have customers who are using it on a daily basis. Our plan in the next couple of months is to make it even better by adding additional features as well as making it more scalable for global commercialization.
I was interested in how Mediatoolkit works actually. Filip explains:
All the user has to do is to enter the websites he is interested in – and a great thing about Mediatoolkit is he can enter any website, his own or competition. Next, we analyze each website and article published on these sites to see how much have users shared these articles on social networks. What the user gets as a result is a list of the most shared and popular articles in real-time.
In our calculations we pay special attention to factors like total number of shares but what’s even more important share growth and time passed since the article has been published. We analyze these factors and use our proprietary mathematical algorithms to rank each article. Once we have gathered all of this data we again use mathematical algorithms to identify growth patterns for each website. Using these recognized growth patterns we can predict the popularity of each new article in early stage after it has been published. Usually it takes no more than 10 minutes from the moment new content is published to identify how popular it will be with their friends.
About the market – are there any other social media monitoring tools in SEE region? What about content analysis, do you have competitors in that field or is Mediatoolkit currently a unique tool?
Although there are some similar products, we honestly believe that we have a unique product. There are two reasons Mediatoolkit stands out, one is the possibility to analyze any site in the world, own as well as that of competition, and the second is our own algorithm for predicting what will be popular in the future. We believe these reasons give us and advantage in front of our competition.