Social media has become a key device in the savvy marketer’s toolkit. Yet many businesses struggle to capitalise on the opportunities it presents. Cue eDealya, an Israeli start-up that enables brands to engage with their customers on a different level.
Founded by Chaim Zucker and Ophir Sweiry, who worked together at leading software company Amdocs, eDealya helps brands spot and analyse their social communities’ activities and intentions and respond with a personalised targeted offer in real-time and real-context.
Mr Zucker, 36, explains: “Many brands can build up a social community such as Facebook fans and Twitter followers but the challenge is what to do next — how to develop a monetisation strategy that justifies this investment.”
Through its software platform, the start-up help brands engage with these communities in a relevant way using “engagement triggers” such as birthdays, weddings and holidays. “For instance,” continues chief executive Mr Zucker: “Let’s say there is a travel magazine with over 100,000 followers. One of the magazine’s followers might write that they are going away soon. They could then target that person with a personal message saying: ‘Enjoy your trip. Here’s a coupon for our magazine. Grab it at the airport’.”
The start-up has around 100 “engagement triggers” at its disposal. It uses “natural language processing” which attempts to decipher how the corporate fans are “talking online” before reacting.
Mr Zucker and Mr Ophir have raised around $1 million from two Israeli venture capital funds including one that is backed by The Israeli Chief Scientist Office.
Pricing is based on a monthly fee. There are three packages ranging from $49 to $499, depending on the features available. Customers choose a certain number of engagement triggers, automatic engagement messages and reports. There is also an enterprise package for very large accounts and special deals for agencies with multiple accounts.
Customers include many of the Fortune 100 and 500 companies. “We saw a great demand for products that enable brands to take social media to the next level,” says Mr Zucker. But is it not a bit intrusive? “The Big Brother question is a good one. There is an opt-out option on Facebook and on Twitter, and if someone is following the brand then they have already expressed a will to hear from them. We see people replying to brands, thanking them. We haven’t seen any complaints yet.”
Mr Zucker and Mr Sweiry, who both have MBAs, met while working at Amdocs. Mr Zucker was director of product and business management while Mr Sweiry was e-commerce product manager. They teamed up to launch eDealya in 2010. The company is based in the Negev, near Beersheva.