Chicago, IL, June 16, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Earshot, a location-based social media engagement and intelligence platform, announced today that it has raised $1.7 million in funding from Mohr Davidow Ventures, TriplePoint Ventures, Birchmere Ventures, Serra Ventures, Point B Capital and Centerboard Group. The funding will be used to accelerate product development, R&D, and sales and marketing.
Earshot sees social media as a gateway for brands to consumers who would otherwise go undiscovered. In contrast to platforms that focus on helping companies react to posts from existing fans, followers, or customers already talking about their brands, Earshot helps companies discover and proactively engage prospective customers through social media when it's relevant and timely, whether the brand is mentioned in the post or not. With only 3.6% of all conversations on Twitter including brand names (Brandwatch Report, 2013), Earshot applies smarter filters (starting with location) to the other 96.4% to help brands unlock a new channel for customer acquisition and more actionable intelligence.
The Earshot Social Media Processor combines real-time location data, profile details of the user, and filters in the post itself to inform clients which posts to engage to optimize chances of conversion depending on the goals of the client.
"Social media represents a new channel for customer discovery as much as it does for customer service," said Earshot Founder and CEO David Rush. "By using location as the first of many filters, we can help clients quickly sift through the noise to identify and connect with people in the midst of an experience that's relevant to their brand - whether they're a current customer or not."
With the growing trend toward more authentic, personalized messaging, Earshot offers a powerful compliment to a brand's paid media strategy around the convergence of mobile and social. "It's all about context and timing," said Rush. "Someone's interest and attention span in Gatorade changes a lot depending on whether they're at a ski resort, soccer field, or just finishing a marathon." By using a person's post as the catalyst for conversation, Earshot can help increase the chances of connecting with that person in a more meaningful way at the right place and right time.
"Earshot helped us identify and connect with consumers we would have otherwise missed through the other platforms we use today. By filtering by location, we were able to engage consumers in a more contextual way that was welcomed and generated a very positive response from consumers," said Joanna Soricelli of VaynerMedia.
And with location as a key filter, the data becomes as valuable as the engagement itself. "Location data also allows us to provide our clients with an instantaneous focus group of people that are sharing raw emotion from a location of interest," Rush added. "In this case, small data can sometimes be more useful than big data because action is more easily taken at the local level." Clients using Earshot's enterprise mobile app can have posts routed to the local level for real-time engagement by those in a position to impact in-store traffic, customer experience, and real-time results.
Earshot also makes it easier for companies to measure social media ROI, an issue that, according to Altimeter Group's Social Media ROI Cookbook, is still a pain point for 56 percent of marketers. "The recency of the message during the path to purchase plays an important part in driving higher conversion rates and more measurable ROI through social media," Rush said.
The Earshot solution consists of a dynamic web platform, enterprise mobile app and a real-time analytics dashboard. The company is already working with several leading brands including Nissan, IBM, SFX Entertainment and the Chicago White Sox.
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Launched in October 2013, Chicago-based Earshot filters social media posts coming from locations of interest and converts them into real-time intelligence and relevant engagement opportunities. As a new way for brands to leverage social media for customer acquisition and retention, the Earshot solution provides clients with the tools and technology for a more proactive approach to social media management. Earshot combines location, profile data and the post itself, to help brands proactively connect and convert consumers at the right time, right place, regardless of handle or hashtag. By effectively combining the privacy interests of consumers with a more authentic voice of the brand, Earshot is enabling a new approach to engagement that yields higher conversion rates, deeper loyalty and new forms of earned media. For more information, visit www.earshotinc.com and follow us on Twitter @earshotinc.
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