Postling is a New York City based start-up that provides social media tools for small businesses to engage with their customers and communities. Simply put, Dave Lifson, Postling’s founder and CEO “wants to make social media easy and fast for everyone.”
The company launched in 2009 with an all-star roster of founders who met while working at start-up golden child Etsy, “the world’s most vibrant handmade marketplace.” Chris Maguire and Haim Schoppik launched Etsy, and Lifson, a former Amazon engineer, worked as their head of product management. After a few changes in the C-Level suite, the gentleman left to pursue a new venture to help small businesses.
Enter Postling, a business that focuses entirely on small businesses and the small business owners who don’t have more than 5 minutes a day to deal with social media. Their service tracks Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn,WordPress, Blogger, Tumblr, Typepad, Squarespace, Drupal, Flickr and Bit.ly, among others, with publishing to YouTube coming soon. Unfortunately the Foursquare API doesn’t allow them to do much from the merchant end.
“What we’ve learned is that there is a lot you can get done in 5 minutes a day if you use the right tools like scheduling, email digests, instant notifications and reblogging. We’ve also found that people love content that gives a “behind the scenes” look into a business – who the owners are, information about where their ingredients are sourced from, the trips that owners take for business or vacation, the pets they own, etc. There are so many great ideas for posts that engage your fans that don’t necessarily have to be explicitly about your business.” – Dave Lifson
With Postling, when you wake up in the morning you get an email listing every new social media related comment, such as new Yelp reviews or new comments on blogs, Facebook and Twitter. The e-mail is an easy way to scan through them and then decide what you need to respond to, if anything. Maria Baugh, a Postling client, runs Butter Lane, a delicious cupcake shop in New York City’s East Village. “I am a huge fan of Postling,” she says. “At Butter Lane, we have so much going on with social media, like keeping up with Facebook, Twitter and Yelp. We’re all over the place! I was constantly finding myself looking on Facebook and Twitter every couple hours and it was taking up so much time. I came across Postling in summer 2009 and they solved all of my problems. One of the things I like the most is their daily e-mail digest of all of my social media activities.”
Postling recently announced a new instant notification feature, which can be turned on so you also get an instant email of any new comments. With Postling’s keyword tracking system, you can track competitors too. There are two options when signing up for Postling, a free option, which will let you post, respond and schedule posts, and a premium option, which is great for clients who need to invest in reputation monitoring. The service costs $25/mo.
Up next, Postling is working on an analytics product. “It’s going to be simple at first,” says Lifson, “Something that will show you a graph of posts you’ve made over time and comments you’ve gotten. We are also working on Klout integration.” They’re designing the product for the small business owner who’s not tech savvy, the kind of person who doesn’t want to be overwhelmed with a whole bunch of data. “We’d like to give them suggestions such as, ‘Hey you have a new follower who’s very influential. You might want to reach out ot them and say Hi,’ or ‘You just got a Yelp review you might want to reblog.'”
This week Postling accrued 15,000 users who have linked up 40,000 social media accounts. Their database is now tracking 10 million posts or new comments. They’ve also doubled in users since July and earlier this year had 7 consecutive months of over 30% month-over-month growth. Postling’s product is simple, which is why small business owners seem to love it but it does appear they could do a lot more with it to be more competitive with the HootSuites of the industry. In conclusion, Postling is a well built platform with a small pool of really talented employees packing powerful potential.
(And a note on one of their employees, in a complete coincidence, I follow Alexis Lamster, their VP of Customers, because she runs one of the most awesome Tumblr accounts ever. Prepare to drool.)