Startup Of the Week: SposterOnline
How to make the management of social media channels more systematic and comfortable? SposterOnline has the answer! This week we present a Lithuanian startup’s platform, which coordinates and manages social media functions in one place. During this interview the CEO and Founder Pavel Drobinov explains the uniqueness and competitiveness of the platform SposterOnline.
So what is SposterOnline? How does it work?
SposterOnline – is social media management tool, that lets you manage, plan and publish your managed social networks (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, etc.) in one place, coordinate tasks with the team and customers, get detailed reports, etc.
With SposterOnline you can:
- See all your managed social network sites (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter (coming), Pinterest (coming) and Instagram) in one place;
- Easily create POSTS (additionally, the image redactor is integrated);
- Schedule the date and time of the posts’ publication;
- Plan personal and team tasks;
- See the Timeline of selected social profiles in one place;
- Send the client a request for approval of a post publishing.
Based on analysis, the individual users would be able to diminish its costs by 1000 EUR per year, reducing the scope of outsource services of social media management. The company with a marketing team of 10 persons might reduce their costs by 10000 EUR per year optimizing its operational processes.
In the nearest future the users will be able to create the content predictions and recommendations using an artificial intelligence model. The development of the AI model has already been discussed and planned with scientists from one of the Lithuanian universities. They are going to help us to implement this idea.
What are your competitors and competitive advantages?
Our main competitors are Hootsuite, SocialSprout, AgoraPulse, Buffer and other market players that are long-established in the market. All of them are focused on social media management.
Currently, our company has rather similar functionality as the main competitors have. However, the additional funding would allow us create and develop an AI module, which main function will be providing of the recommendations to users for creation of social media posts (content, image, time of posting, other).
What were the reasons behind coming up with this idea and launching this product?
Particularly, the general trends in social networking have sparked interest in such social media management tools. Based on the market analysis results, we‘ve made an assumption that the market demand for the above mentioned systems is only partially covered. Consequently, we see the market share, which could be fulfilled by our product.
We haven‘t found the system, which could satisfy all our requirements. So, we‘ve decided to create our own platform with stronger functionality.
When exactly did you launch, what were the main challenges before launching?
The idea came up a few years ago, in 2017. Officially, we launched a beta version in 2019.
The most significant challenge we have encountered is integrating and maintaining the new features on social media and to deliver the product on time.
Our main target customers are: 1) influencers, who usually manage social media accounts for themselves; 2) social media agencies, which have clients and manage all the content of their social media accounts; 3) businesses, that have their marketing team for company branding, advertising, etc.
Mostly, we are focused on Europe and the UK. However, we are working on increasing awareness of our system and attracting users from the US, Canada, and Australia.
What are the main challenges while working on this product and how are you overcoming them?
Social media features are updating very often and require an IT development team that responds quickly to any changes and can apply new features to our system.
How are you funded? Do you seek extra funding?
Currently, the whole project has been created and have been developed using shareholders’ funds. However, the additional external financing sources are needed for further development of the system and launching in the market. We are currently looking for a funding in amount of 120 000 EUR.
Please introduce your founders, your core team and your broader team?
Currently, the only founders and shareholders are me (Pavel Drobinov) and Vytautas Gliaudelis.
I’m responsible for the company’s operational activities, and my partner Vytautas is involved in IT development. Also, we have 3 young and ambitious team members: 2 of them are responsible for programming and Toma Citaviciute participates as a marketing manager.
How has business been so far? Could you share some numbers to illustrate this (users, sales, etc)?
We have released BETA version and testing a system with limited number of customers. We currently have 50 test users and plan to reach 2000 paid customers within 2 years.
Future plans, ambitions? Simply speaking – what’s next?
- In 2020 we are planning, that our company will achieve the self-sufficiency level.
- Currently, we’ve been actively working on application for attraction of EU funding in amount of 500 000 EUR for further development of the product. These funds are planned to be used for development of an artificial intelligence module, which will have the ability to scan the main social network parameters, evaluate the significance of those parameters and establish a communication action plan for the system manager. This module is going to not only allow create and effectively manage social network content, but also optimize advertising costs.
- On 20th-21st of February we are going to participate in TechChill event in Riga. We will present our product for potential investors.
- This year we are going to develop additional functionality of a system, as well as present new version of system interface, which will be even more user-friendly.
Thank you for the answers!