Multiple studies have shown that social media lowers subjective well being and I’m sure you can think of all the reasons why. It produces hate, makes you jealous of your friends’ fake personas and it is simply exhausting sorting through what is important and what is nonsense. So once you get the inevitable feeling that you are sick of social media but realize how necessary it is, where should you turn? KeepUp is doing the dirty work for you and your business to weed through the clutter and bring you only the necessary takeaways from social media so you can take directed action. In doing so you can actually get ahead in the social department in less time than ever. If you want take back control of social media you are going to need to KeepUp.
AlleyWatch spoke with cofounder and CEO Lauren Washington about the novel startup and how it will save us time and maybe even a few sales.
Tell us about the product or service.
KeepUp aggregates, curates and automates social media management for everyday users and small businesses.
How is it different?
KeepUp is the only social media management tool that allows businesses to cut through the clutter by pulling out the most important events and news. Using 30,000 keywords, a complex algorithm and machine learning, KeepUp scans not only uploaded information, but conversations, allowing businesses to send hyper-personalized communications and advertising that creates real, measured ROI. Small colleges are using our marketing tool to increase alumni donations, real estate agents to know when key customers are moving and politicians to directly reach their constituents.
What market are you attacking and how big is it?
Of the $130B that businesses will spend on marketing automation by 2018, only 12% feel they use social media effectively. That leaves $21.8B wasted on ads that will never be seen. Factor in that only 3% of non-tech companies have marketing automation software, and there’s a huge blue-ocean opportunity for KeepUp.
Marketing automation has grown 60% over the last year and is projected to become a $32B industry by 2018, with $130B spent in the next 5 years. The compound annual growth rate is projected to be 12.4% making this one of the fastest-growing areas of enterprise software.
What is the business model?
Businesses pay anywhere between $25-100 per month for the basic SAAS platform, but can upgrade for custom analysis.
What inspired the business?
While working at my last job as the head of research and data analytics, I was exposed to how valuable social media data could be when culled down and organized. Yet, this type of simplification was only available to companies willing to pay thousands for it. Even more, the type of data that’s available to researchers is generalized and public- there was no way to connect and follow a user throughout their entire social media journey. That’s where I got the idea to take the best of social media analytics and simplify it so users can take real-time action.
What’s it like to be a female founder building a business in NYC? What resources have you found most helpful?
NYC has been voted one of the most women-friendly cities to start a company. With organizations like Golden Seeds and MentHerNYC, it’s obvious why. The greatest resource I’ve had in the city, however, has been my fellow women founders. Having that support system of people who intimately know what you’re going through is invaluable as an entrepreneur.
What are the milestones that you plan to achieve within six months?
We will be developing and launching a lead generation tool that helps small businesses find new users that are specifically interested in what their business is offering. It’s an easy to use tool that facilitates one-on -one connections with potential customers who are looking for services or products like yours. Continuing on our revenue growth, we’re also on the way to becoming profitable by the end of this year.
What is the one piece of startup advice that you never got?
Cultivate resilience. I think there’s a myth within the startup community that you launch something and it either immediately falls into this upward trajectory of growth, fame and money, or you might as well close the business. In reality, startups are a roller coaster and some of the best lessons you can learn about your customers, product or yourself are from the low points. You just have to build the resilience to ride out the dips so you can reach the peak again.
If you could be put in touch with anyone in the New York community who would it be and why?
I’d love to pick the brain of Kay Koplovitz. Not only is she a media powerhouse, having founded USA and SyFy networks, but she’s lent her entrepreneurial wisdom to guide and invest in countless women entrepreneurs.
Why did you launch in New York?
New York is my hometown, I was born and raised on Staten Island. This is the perfect place to launch an advertising startup since the industry is so big here. I also love the energy of NYC. I’ve lived a number of places and no city collectively matches the drive and ambition New Yorkers. It’s inspiring and motivating.
What’s your favorite restaurant in the city?
This is hard since eating is my favorite pastime, but you can never go wrong with Momofuku Ssam.