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September - 2010 - issue > Startup of the month
Buzzom - Creating a Buzz in Social CRM
Vimali Swamy
Wednesday, September 1, 2010
Despite the fears of ruckus social media might create with in a corporate network, one can not deny the advantages it has to offer, especially when it comes to marketing and analytics. With millions of internet users voicing opinions and sharing data via blogs and over networks like Twitter and Facebook, it is rather difficult to get a platform better the social media for real time brand management and other marketing activities. According to Forrester, Internet marketing is touted to grow to $55 billion by 2014 of which social media will be a $3.1 billion market. Cashing on the promising future that Social Media has to offer is Bangalore headquartered InRev Systems.

Founded in 2009, the year and half old start up develops applications for social media optimization and with its flagship product, Buzzom, it promises to change the way corporate look at socializing. Priced at $10 per month Buzzom Premium is the company’s first offering. It helps users track their growth on Twitter along with multiple other services. One of the most talked about feature of Buzzom is the ‘Stats’ which helps a user measure one’s Twitter performance by giving brief but accurate stats about himself, his profile type and his followers’ twitter activity and efficiency. Apart from this, one can monitor buzz about their brand by tracking the conversations to find interesting and actionable statistics. Users can also choose to add all their social media profiles such as Multiple Twitter Profiles, Facebook Fan Page, Facebook Profile, LinkedIn Profile and more to the system and increase their users reach.

The Download Report option allows users to obtain complete data on Twitter account performance and comes with an option to include corporate logo and disclaimer too. Apart from that, users can “follow” or “unfollow” people based on keywords in their bio, Tweet and Location too. The service provides spam control by letting users choose spam keywords or choose from the predefined spam words provided so the system will filter those messages from the inbox.

Scheduling status messages or direct messages to be sent to one or all of the profiles in different time zones, translating tweets from countries like Japan, China, France and more, controlling the number of updates, time cycle for your updates and repetition of the updates are some of the other features Buzzom offers. “In simple words, Buzzom lets users interact with potential customers, monitor their brand, market their product, plan marketing strategies and grow network all at one single place,” says Bhupendra Khanal, CEO, InRev Systems.

A SaaS product, Buzzom is a very flexible service which users can avail as per their requirement. Based on the services they require at a given moment, users can choose packages which cost as low as $10 a month, $25 for three-months or $45 for six months. Currently, a lifetime package of Buzzom Premium is also being made available at $99.

Social CRM is a large yet competitive market with several organizations such as Radian6, Hootsuite, Co-Tweet trying to grab a pie for itself. But Khanal is not perturbed by competition. “Though we are a new entrant in this market, I believe we have an edge over other players who have been around for a while. While most companies offer solutions that addresses to only one part of social CRM like brand monitoring and campaign management, Buzzom on the other hand is the only product in market offering 360 degree approach to it,” says he.

Talking about Buzzom’s edge over similar products in the market, Stephanie Yeah, a long time user of Buzzom says, "I have tried several social media tools before trying and switching to Buzzom. I was very pleased with the results of using Buzzom. My Twitter followers increased at a steady and organic rate, my interaction in Twitter increased greatly, and best of all, my online business is doing great as a result of all of this targeted traffic. I would highly recommend Buzzom as an excellent service with great customer support to back it up!"

Also, unlike other products, Buzzom is not an app built on Twitter platform. It is an independent Twitter based application that can be easily integrated with any suite of CRM solution. Recently the company has decided to release the code for Twitter Client Buzzom Desktop for no cost to the willful individual developers and companies as long as the product built over it will have NXY.IN as the default URL Shortener. This is a step taken by the company to drive more innovation in the Twitter Application Space.

Despite the positive outlook, Khanal feels that social media is market with great risks especially for startups. Factors like change in behavior of people resulting in less interaction in social networks, social networking eco-system being unfriendly to third-party apps and big technology companies entering the market pose daunting challenges to entrepreneurs.

With in a short span of time, InRev has grown exponentially and boasts of a client base of over 500 companies, which include over 70 of the top 100 players in SEO globally. In order to expand the user base, InRev has also formed potential partnership with players in social media consulting, web analytics, internet marketing and business analytics. Bhupendra with his 15 member team at present is gearing up to launch the social CRM suite in the next six weeks. Another pressing priority for him is venture funding. Having been self funded, the company is actively seeking funds to provide a strong momentum for growth. But by the looks of the rate of customer acquisition that the company portrays at present (15000 per month), InRev is sure to beat the odds and gain a strong fixture in the Social CRM landscape.

Founded: January 2009
Offices: Bangalore
Key Persons: Bhupendra Khanal, Founder & CEO;
Sweta Sharma, COO; Deep Sherchan, CMO

Team: 15
Investors: Self Funded
Competitors: Radian6, Hootsuite, Co-Tweet
Website: www.buzzom.com
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