Six questions with the guy behind uberVU
Now that you’ve had a chance to look around our brand-new Social Stream and revamped Social Monitor tools (You have, right? If not, go now. We’ll wait.) we wanted to tell you a little bit more about the technology behind them.
Both are powered by our newest partner uberVU, an end-to-end social intelligence solution that counts NBC, PayPal, Audi and The World Bank among its clients. Not bad for a company founded in 2008!
uberVU captures millions of social network posts and conversations every day, in real-time, from 20+ sources and in two dozen languages.
We asked Dragos Ilinca, head of marketing and cofounder of uberVU, to tell us more about the company and how it innovates.
How did uberVU come about? How has it evolved?
We came up with the idea for uberVU out of our own needs. We were looking for tools that could help us monitor social media (including real-time sites like Twitter) and understand the impact of certain content or campaigns. All the tools we found were clunky, slow, expensive and required training or even an analyst to run the reports. We got excited by the idea of building a real time, easy-to-use, end-to-end social media solution that did not require any training or analysts. It was exactly the tool we needed and we were sure there would be other people who would benefit from our unique approach. So we began working on a prototype in early 2008. Since then the company has grown to having over 400 customers worldwide and offices in 4 countries. The product has evolved tremendously, but the vision has not changed.
How did you go about taming the social media firehose?
We did not have a lot of resources when we started so we had to make some trade-offs. We realized real time was very important and so we built an architecture and infrastructure that would deliver real time data to the dashboard, before actually building the dashboard. We only started building the actual web product once the underlying API was working properly. That took about 12 months.
Why is it so important to constantly track what’s going on?
Think about the mobile phone. Most people today would be worried or upset with you if they called you several times and you did not answer. There’s this new standard that you should be available almost at all times. Social media is the next stage of that. People talk about brands and products, they want their issues solved and their questions answered. They’re used to getting this instant feedback from their friends and followers so they’re starting to have the same expectation of brands. Always listening and engaging with people shows your customers that you respect them enough to hear and acknowledge them.
What do your customers like most about uberVU?
Our customers always seem to be in love with the same few things. They appreciate the fact that the dashboard provides an end-to-end solution, including monitoring, analytics, engagement and reporting. This way they can use one single dashboard for whatever they want to do, be it customer service, Facebook page management, campaign tracking, etc. Other important things are the realtime nature of the dashboard and the fact that it’s incredibly easy to use. We’ve never had to do any formal training with any customer. We show them how to use the dashboard for a couple of their use cases and they figure out the rest.
What (non-uberVU) tools do you use most?
What’s your process for developing new features?
We have a pretty clear vision of where we want to go. However, what that vision means in terms of features depends a lot on customer feedback. We talk to our customers daily and keep a record of problems, suggestions, things they misunderstood, things they’re trying to accomplish and don’t understand how. When we combine this with our vision, it’s always pretty clear what should get built and in what order.
Ready to see what Raven and uberVU can do together? If you’re a Raven customer, check out the new tools today.
If you’re not a Raven customer, sign up for a free 30-day trial today! You’ll get 10 Social Monitor searches to test, and you can use Social Stream for free.