Developer gone entrepreneur Jamie Ostheimer has come a long way since he stumped himself two years ago with a basic question:
‘Wouldn’t it be cool if you could program interactions on Twitter?’
A Virginia native living in Minneapolis, Ostheimer hooked up with local designer Nate Kadlac, and together started exploring possibilities.
Their answer, called Zingstring, is a web-based platform for brands and agencies to build pre-programmed conversation trees based on select keywords that are identified from within various social conversations. The service is powered by an automated layer of of intelligence that both listens and responds to customers’ messages via Twitter, Facebook, SMS, and others.
“Rather than paying people to monitor and reply, it’s an efficient way to scale engagement while still maintaining a personalized touch. This is many steps beyond a simple automated response engine, most of which we all know are spammy in their nature,” he says. “Our goal was to address a big pain point in a truly effective way.”
From customer relations, geo-targeted marketing, and gaming (scavenger hunt?), Zingstring’s application is flexible by nature. “We’re agnostic about where the data comes from,” he says, “Depending on the nuances of each 3rd party, realistically, any service that has text input can be powered by it.”
Zingstring’s current phase is best described as ‘private beta’ and the exact monthly cost for the service is undetermined; a local ‘hustler’ is also sought to compliment the team and bring the product to market.
“This is still a work progress, so we’re looking for some early brands and marketers who have creative ideas about how and where Zingstring could be valuable,” Ostheimerr concluded.