Sprout Social, a provider of social relationship management (SRM) services for SMBs, announced the addition of location-based social media tools to its Sprout Social SRM platform. Using real-time data generated by location-based services Foursquare and Gowalla, Sprout Social business users can tailor messages and promotions to customers ranging from first-time visitors to frequent guests. The company said integration with Facebook's new Places service is also planned.
Combining contact management and Web monitoring with integrated, automatic cross-posting to Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn-including message scheduling and geo targeting-the SRM platform is designed to help businesses manage their social media relationships from one integrated social dashboard. Also new to Sprout Social SRM are additional analytics tools, enhanced message scheduling, and other productivity updates.
"Location-based services like Foursquare and Gowalla are proving to be a phenomenal source of word-of-mouth marketing for local merchants," said Justyn Howard, CEO and co-founder of Sprout Social. "The most successful businesses understand the potential in embracing these tools to engage and grow their customer audience. Sprout Social takes the guesswork out of making social media successful for our customers-and our new location tools are yet another way we're helping them do it."
With Sprout Social's location-based capabilities, businesses can receive instant SMS (text message) alerts if a customer "checks in" at their place of business via a location service on their smartphone. The Sprout Social SRM subscriber can then tailor a response, such as offering a "welcome" special to first-time users or reward customers who have reached a threshold number of visits.
In addition to real-time alerts, subscribers can review customer data to see who has repeatedly checked in at their location. The data could be used to offer specials to frequent patrons, or to re-establish contact with customers who have not recently visited. Other features of the platform include the ability to see and manage multiple places of business from a central location, as well as to engage with visiting customers through their preferred social channels.
Sprout Social also announced it has closed an additional round of funding from Lightbank, the venture capital firm lead by Groupon founders Eric Lefkofsky and Brad Keywell. The company said the new round would allow for expanded businesses development as well as engineering growth.
"The social Web has become the fabric of the Internet, which is making social relationship management a vital asset for any business looking to connect with its current and prospective customers," said Brad Keywell, co-founder and managing partner of Lightbank. "Sprout Social is a pioneer in SRM, and represents a great example of Lightbank's commitment to partner with disruptive technology leaders."