How a summer break idea is tackling the big names in Social Media Management Tools (SMMT)
Meet Jonathan Noble, a 22-year-old French entrepreneur. Seven years ago (yep, your math is right), while in high school, he noticed his tweets were gathering more engagement when posted during school hours.
Back in 2010, with no smartphone nor 3G, updating a Twitter account in class was quite a challenge (I’m hearing all those teachers moaning “those were the good times”).
During his summer break, Jonathan set out to find a tool to program his tweets but none existed. Remember, back then Community Managers didn’t exist either.
Early beginnings: Clocktweets
He started to write his own app (thanks to an internet user’s script) and soon got some interest. Those were the Clocktweets times: light interface, sleek ergonomy, one social network (Twitter). “I thought of Clocktweets as a way to publish my tweets during school hours and also as a project to present while trying to register in webdesign schools”. His webdesign studies helped him improve the first look of the interface.
But soon, major players like L’Equipe (n°1 sports magazine in France) or France Télévision started using Clocktweets and it swelled (pun intended) into something much bigger.
Clocktweets made its mark thanks to unique features added in response to customer demands: csv import, recurring tweets, quality coach (tells you if your upcoming tweet is nice or lame).
Now with a 30 000+ user base, Facebook integration, and a new name, Swello (now you get the pun) has succeeded in raising almost half a million Euros last June. And the team has grown to five – and more to come.
Developing with customer requests
Swello remains very close to its users and thrives to address their needs hence more features in store. Mobile app just found its way to the app stores, new networks are coming, Chrome applets and really big stuff is planned.
Although Swello is now clearly aiming at the major names in the SMMT world, Jonathan is serene. The team’s reactivity and innovative spirit has found its way to the desktop of regular social network users and big name Community Managers alike. Current users include Canal +, la Fédération Française du Sport Automobile and Direct Matin.
Simplicity is the keyword: “It used to take 5 minutes to explain how it worked and now it’s closer to 15 minutes. But most clients just enjoy the 15min chat. It’s so straightforward, it doesn’t really need explanations” muses Jonathan.
Swello’s story is one of those endearing and inspiring tales and a good example of true innovative spirit. Located in the South of France, it is growing steadily through joyful hard work. Its potential is huge in an ever-changing internet game. Time will tell but Jonathan Noble started early enough to have confidence in the future. Keep an eye out for Swello: it’s a very good example of how French entrepreneurs, through dedication and adaptation dare to take on the big ones.