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In the second edition of Founder’s Scrum, Lucy sat down with Kyle Collier, Co-founder and CEO of Noq, to discuss social sharing with your customers. Gopher Leads was featured in the news for their conversion rates and Crowdmatrix and EVP were at the 3rd annual Canadian Crowdfinance Summit.
Noq is a social sharing app that encourages authentic real time posts from your friends all around the world. When opportunity Noq’s, people around the world receive the same push notification to share real time photos or videos on what they’re doing. It’s the first and only way to get live spontaneous updates from all your friends at once. Kyle Collier, Noq’s founder, dreams of reinventing how live moments are created, captured and shared using social media. Kyle graduated from the University of Waterloo where he studied systems design engineering and was continually engaged in technology. He shares his thoughts on social media and how he’s used social media to grow his social sharing business.
LH: How did you arrive at your niche — sharing real time and responding in real time?
KC: ‘Live’ on social media has been done all wrong. When Friend A goes ‘live’ it’s unlikely that Friend B will view it live. If it’s not live, then it’s just another posted video.
Every social network right now is focusing on trying to get as many friend A’s to go live. We see an opportunity to instead focus on when friend B wants to view live updates.
LH: What do you think is so enticing for users about sharing and viewing “live”?
KC: Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat all show you what your friends ‘did’ and what you ‘missed out’ on, which can be depressing. On Noq, since you see what your friends are doing now it’s easier for you to get involved in what they might be doing next! Friend B’s are the ones browsing their friends social feeds, looking for updates. The average person spends 118 minutes per day doing this. Imagine if Friend B could influence when one of their friends shared a live update? That would be pretty amazing. What would you do to influence when your favourite celebrity or friend to share a live update?
LH: What tools have worked best for you in terms of scheduling, content curation, project management, social listening, etc.?
KC: I subscribe to lots of email lists, I use Streak and Calendly, for scheduling and email management. I’d like to find something good to help us create better content to share on our third party social networks, but haven’t put it at a priority yet. These are the most helpful tools I’ve used yet. You need different strategies for different social networks. Last time I checked, The more generic tools like Hootsuite, provide somewhat of a ‘summary’ of all your social feedback in one dashboard. As a business, I don’t really need to know what all our companies followers are doing, unless there were ways our business could instantly add value. During these opportunities, it’s unlikely they would use something like a trackable hashtag or @ourbrand so this would be tough to track. If Hootsuite automatically found opportunities for our business, now that would be useful.
LH: How do you connect with Noq’s brand persona?
Our brand persona is quite generation-Z skewed, but I’m a big kid on the inside so it’s not hard. Authenticity is a core value for Generation-Z, so posting and sharing authentic, honest, live content is what they are most receptive too. Since this is nearly impossible to do today, we see a huge opportunity for Noq. They resist staged, filtered, fake marketing because they feel the brand is lying to them. The great part is that since people are sharing authentic moments, real conversation is inspired around these photos.
LH: Do you use a specific strategy to interact with your customers?
KC: Yes, I use lots and lots of emoji’s…
LH: How did you find and hone in on your ideal customers? Did you use your target audience research and apply that to social media?
KC: We built an MVP and got it out there in front of as many eyeballs as quickly and cheaply as possible to see what demographic was interested.
If this isn’t an option, build a cheap landing page and ask for pre-signup emails. Once you have a URL, apply for FBStart.com and you will always get accepted and they provide you with $500 USD free Facebook Advertising. Build some ads and see what demographic clicks the most.
LH: Do you know of any similar programs that have been useful for you while starting out?
KC: That one has the effort to output ratio, using bots to automate your activity on Instagram opens a unique new channel. We tried this and our followers called us out on it in the early days. Everyone uses them, yet no one talks about it. Once you use one, you can easily spot others. Honestly, I would go so far to say 15% of all Instagram accounts are controlled by bots.
LH: Social media functionality is constantly evolving. How do you stay updated?
KC: I download all the latest apps, follow new startups on AngelList and follow the news. This still only lets you see what other people are doing, if you really want to stay updated, think ahead, what will be next, what isn’t a problem yet and will be soon.
LH: What are some neat apps you recently downloaded, what do they tell you about industry trends?
KC: I’ve downloaded YouNow, it’s a Live Broadcasting App and a few similar ones. Every social app is jumping on the ‘Go-Live’ focus, because the past isn’t interesting anymore. Seeing all the real world things we missed out on just makes us a bit sad. Even the mighty Snapchat saw their average user time in app drop 19% last year, for Instagram it was 23%.
On YouNow, 40% of users create one broadcast and then leave the app. Viewers don’t tune in quick enough and you feel like your talking to yourself. Since demand (viewers) does not meet supply (those board-casting), then the model does not work.
What this tells me is there is a need for live sharing, done differently.
LH: What strategies would you recommend for building a social following?
KC: Post regularly, use trending hashtags, as a business, find similar businesses with similar followers, run promo’s and refer each other in your posts. Look at the stuff promotional models do on Instagram, they all refer each other. I like to engage my followers a lot, so I post questions and not statements so they engage with me in return.
The last social media campaign I ran was on Snapchat, a while ago. It went great! I used Snapchat Geo-filters for Business. They used to be crazy cheap, I did one for the CN Tower for $5. Now the same one is $1,000. They are great for impressions, I got 50,000 impressions once for $5, yet their is no call to action, they are very inconsistent, so the ROI isn’t there for apps.