When we announced the relaunch of SMToolbox earlier this week we promised you misfits and toys. Today, we deliver on that promise.
I wanted to start with Tagboard because more than any other social media tool I can think of, this company is on fire. Follow Josh and his team on Twitter and you'll be amazed at the places they go and the things they do. One week it's the Final Four, the next it's an event in London. If you've been to a concert, conference or game in the last year, chances are the social conversations were highlighted on the big screen with a tagboard. These guys are everywhere.
Check out my conversation with Josh to find out more about the company, the man behind it and where he thinks the industry is headed. After you've done that, check back in tomorrow and read my own review of Tagboard (spoiler alert: I like it).
Without further ado, here's my Tagboard interrogation of Josh Decker...
1. Give us a high-level look at Tagboard. What it is, what makes it unique and what problem(s) does it attempt to solve?
Tagboard aggregates social conversations from the most popular social using the #hashtag. We connect disconnected conversations for a richer and more dynamic and engaging experience. Tagboards can be customized, shared, embedded as social hubs, and even displayed on screens of all sizes, including at conferences, stadiums and on TV.
2. What does your typical user look like? Who can get the most out of using Tagboard?
Tagboard users range from the casual end user who is looking to discover and share good content, all the way to global brands and organizations. It all starts with our free and open search engine. After searching, users can create "tagboards" for free and start curating and sharing content. Our upgraded plans, which currently start at just $99 per month, give higher limits, advanced embedding, and even live display options. Enterprise customers take things even further with fully customizable experiences, custom embedding, app integrations through our API, and engaging large screen designs. We also have a complete product line developed specifically for #SocialTV broadcast integrations. Our enterprise clients include companies and organizations like Audi, Microsoft, Boeing, Alaska Airlines, Adidas, The NCAA, The San Francisco Giants, Seattle Seahawks, The Boston Bruins, Huffington Post Live and the BBC.
3. What's the learning curve like for Tagboard? What should our readers expect if they're trying it out for the first time?
We've designed Tagboard to be easy and intuitive. We hear from users all the time that they love how simple and straightforward it is. Even with our moderation and curation tools, they are built right on top of the normal Tagboard views. There is no complicated dashboard or complex systems to learn. However, we do offer support and training with all of our paid accounts.
4. Where does Tagboard need to improve? What innovations are you guys working on?
We're working on ways to help you automatically discover the most engaging content and find the signal in the noise. Sorting through thousands of posts isn't something most people have time for so we'll soon be offering ways to help you find the very best content even faster.
5. Are there are any other social media tools that work well in a complimentary fashion with Tagboard?
We're big fans of Simply Measured. Clients like the Seattle Seahawks use our two products together quite effectively. Our product helps gets them trending and Simply Measured can measure it in an amazing of detail.
6. How have you seen the social media landscape change since you launched Tagboard? Where do you see things headed (answer as broadly or as narrowly as you'd like)?
To start, hashtags are bigger than ever - elevating the need for better tools even higher. Beyond that, there are more distractions now than ever. It is more important to help solve the pain of "signal to noise" as this increases. More networks, more followers, more mentions, more hashtags, all equals a lot of work. We aim to help simplify this and make it easier to find great shareable and actionable content.
7. Take us behind the scenes of Tagboard. How many people are part of the Tagboard team? What's the culture like? How does the group come together to support Tagboard?
We just outgrew our first office, which was a bittersweet moment. We now have 16 full-time team members and we expect to add another 10 in the next 6 months. The culture is amazing. We're into cheering for our local sports teams (who are all clients), drinking microbrews, obsessing over the perfect cup of coffee and we have been known to share hundreds of animated Gifs (#TeamHardG) in a single day on Slack. I've never had more fun at work before. You can check out the #WhyWorkAtTagboard to see what we're all about! Oh, and we're hiring! Special bonus points for unique applications!
8. How did you get involved in social media and Tagboard?
Back in 2009, I started an Audi enthusiast website called Quattroworld.com. 5 years later we've served over 250 million pageviews and have had over 8 million posts created by the community. We started to see great growth on all the social networks as well (over 470K facebook fans acquired organically), but all these new networks were disconnected. I envisioned the hashtag as the unifier. Only at the time, in late 2010, nobody knew what a hashtag was. Well almost nobody. Thankfully forward thinkers like Chris Messina helped show the world how powerful it could be.
So when we set out in 2011 to build out our vision, we took a bold bet, and pushed all-in on the hashtag. We started seeing it gain traction, and it started being used in higher volumes on Twitter, Instagram and even Facebook. Soon thereafter forward thinking brands started integrating them into marketing. Fast-forward to today, and hashtags are everywhere. Some have said that the hashtag is the new URL, the new call to action. Chris Messina, the inventor of the hashtag recently joined our team as a member of the advisory board and says "If the hashtag is the new URL, then Tagboard is building the next generation's browser."
9. Any advice for those looking to make a career in social media (or those already started)?
I've reviewed over 50 resumes in the last few months. The very first thing that I do is go look at that person's social accounts. I don't even bother going to their LinkedIn or reading through their resume a second time unless I'm impressed with what I see on their social accounts. When you are trying to get a job at a social media company the content you create and the voice you carry on social media is of critical importance. I've had people apply for marketing positions that don't even have a Twitter account. If you're just getting started, that's ok! I recommend finding and following people in your areas of interest and getting involved in social communities and #socialforgood projects.
10. Anything else you want to say to entertain/educate us? (Bonus points for any cool things that power users can try out on Tagboard.)
In an effort to bring even more information to our users, we've recently added in trending analysis and sentiment ratings to our search results. Give it a try and see what you think! We're always looking at new ideas and we'd be excited to hear from you! Some of our best ideas have come from our clients and users!
If you made it this far, then I have to say #ThankYou the best way I know how!