|Start-ups, new media ventures, tech companies, social media empires; they’re here in Vancouver, with more joining the ranks all the time. “DigiVan” is an ongoing column that profiles the digital people, professions, products and places that are making a mark on the West Coast and across the world.|
It seems appropriate for a social media tool called Stream to be created in a city known for its abundance of rainy days.
If you work in social media you already know how challenging it can be to manage. Some of your fans are on Twitter, others are on Instagram or Facebook or YouTube, and they’re all sharing stories and opinions about your brand. With only so many hours in your day, how can you tackle it all?
Enter Stream. This social media powerhouse collects all of the social content fans generate about a particular product, company or event and displays it on one visually dynamic page. You can sift through all the photos, videos, tweets and wall posts across different social networks in one place. Fresh posts are displayed on the top. Adore a photo that appeared on Instagram, or a tweet that grabbed your attention? Give it a thumbs up, share it on your own social network account and leave a comment via Stream.
Who Built It?
Stream is the creation of Tradable Bits, a tech company in the social media space with offices at the doorstep of Stanley Park. Founded by Darshan Kaler, Tradable Bits’ CEO, and Dmitry Khrisanov, the Chief Technology Officer, the duo wanted to make something that simplified and beautified the abundance of social media content created about brands by their fans.
“Stream is an important part of Tradable Bits, but it’s still just one of many that we’ve created to make social media easier for everyone to enjoy,” explains Darshan. “Our products make it simple for companies to identify, collect and present all the great social conversations taking place. Then, using our other products, the company can build a database of customers, do more targeted advertising campaigns, get more interaction and build on their social media investment. And we offer all of this for the same affordable price, regardless of the size of your business.”
In a little over three years, Tradable Bits has assembled a who’s who of big name local brands that are using their social tools.
Canucks, Whitecaps & Others in the Social Stream
Our city’s local NHL team, the Vancouver Canucks, has used Stream for the past two seasons. The Canucks incorporated both their official social media accounts as well as fans’ social media posts together in one Stream. Inside the Canucks’ Stream, the team’s social media manager can see every social media mention of the hockey team, engage directly with fans, and even highlight fan posts to the top of the Canucks’ Stream so they get exposure to a wider audience. Stream posts can be displayed on the big screens during the game, while hateful or inappropriate content automatically gets filtered out.
“We love using social media as an impactful way to engage with our fans,” explains Victor de Bonis, Chief Operating Officer, Canucks Sports & Entertainment. “We interact with them on multiple social media platforms, and they interact back with tweets, photos and status updates. Using Stream, our New Media team can see all of that activity happening in one place and it gets constantly updated.”
Lululemon is also showing off Stream in their company HQ’s atrium. Others, like the Vancouver Whitecaps, Lush Cosmetics, Tourism Whistler and Science World have their own Streams. Even Canada Place has beamed its own Stream up to its giant outdoor display, allowing participants in last spring’s BMO Vancouver Marathon the opportunity to take photos from in the crowd and then see them streamed on the big screen.
And things are getting even bigger.
Partnering with HootSuite
American companies are also using the tool to fill an important gap in their social media strategy. Lollapalooza, South by Southwest, University of Maryland, Colorado’s Copper Mountain Report and Vermont’s Big River Valley all have Streams, with additional interest coming from European companies and other multinationals across the world.
Another player that’s taken a liking to Tradable Bits and their product is HootSuite, Vancouver’s biggest success story so far from the world of social media. HootSuite offers social media managers an effective tool to manage multiple social media accounts into one control panel, letting them simplify their life.
HootSuite saw the potential that Stream offers social media curators, like identifying which fans are their brand’s top influencers and what content is grabbing the most eyeballs. Starting May 1, Stream will be offered as an integrated application on the massively popular HootSuite social media platform. Now HootSuite users will be able to use Stream right from the HootSuite dashboard. That should expose Stream and Tradable Bits to a whole new audience ready to take their social media branding to the next level.
But Darshan and Dmitry aren’t finished building. Other Tradable Bits social products are being introduced or improved upon constantly, including almost 30 Facebook apps that can be used, free of charge, to build your page’s audience size and increase fan engagement. Over 290,000 people are fans of Tradable Bits on their Facebook page, and another one million people worldwide have downloaded their free Facebook apps.
“Companies are evolving their social media approach,” sums up Darshan. “People are more educated today about using different forms of social media to get different results. Brands are catching up to that. Our tools were made to anticipate this demand, and to leverage all of that great content that’s constantly being created 24/7.
“And our team is having fun building these solutions along the way. I love social media and the huge potential it has for connecting brands better with their true audience.”
Area of Expertise: Social Media Apps & Tools
Company Motto: “Give your voice an audience”
Secret of Life: Question everything. When things get tense, play table tennis. Feed your team spicy tuna sashimi at least once per week.