Brands use Facebook and Twitter in a variety of ways, most of them very successfully. But as effective as they are, existing channels don’t necessarily result in more sales, page views or direct engagement with the customer. Spot.IM, a free, one-size-fits-all social network, aims to change that.
By adding just two lines of code, Spot.IM can turn any website into a social network driven by a brand’s own content, opening opportunities for more control over the management and possible monetisation of their site traffic.
Even though it is still in Beta stage, it boasts very impressive user numbers. Already operational in 11 languages, the platform is being used by over 1,000 websites – including Kerrang, Time Out and Red Bull – with 250,000 registered users across the world.
Explaining the difference between traditional social platforms and Spot.IM, co-founder and CEO Nadav Shoval, said:
“While existing social networks provide an effective way for publishers to reach new users and drive traffic to their site, Spot.IM gives site owners the ability to keep those users, and the conversation they have, in the place where the content was created.”
And it goes further than just being a conversational or chat network. Added functionality allows for conversation filtering (to block offensive content or users), assigning brand ambassadors to instigate conversations, and full brand customisation so as not to look like a chat plug-in. It also provides insight and analytics, a notification facility, and API integration, meaning you can import an existing user database.
From an end-user’s perspective, sign-up comes through connection to a user’s existing Facebook or Twitter account. The appeal comes from being able to engage with or chat with other fans or people in the same interest group whilst reading or accessing the content on page – this can be done on mobile as well as desktop.
There’s also a private message facility, which, according to Spot.IM, currently accounts for about 20% of total messaging. Whether this function is positive for brands remains to be seen, but it does mean that one-to-one conversations are happening based on a shared interest in specific bits of branded content.
There are some limitations, but once these have been ironed out and the full product has been launched, Spot.IM is and will remain a very exciting prospect for brands and marketers alike to create real-time, fully-engaged communities within the confines of their own websites.