Engage Your Audience: How to integrate social media into your blog and website with Keepstream

What is the name of the site and URL?

Keepstream – http://keepstream.com

A brief synopis of the website / application ?

Businesses are using social media more and more. Sites like Twitter, Facebook, and Digg are places to post interesting articles, links, and media related to your industry. Most companies and business people these days have blogs and websites, but there are no good ways to take all that effort you put into Twitter, Facebook, etc. and also make it available to your site audience. You need to engage them beyond words, what better than to take videos, photos, and social media and integrate them in.

Keepstream helps you create collections of social media and links and integrate them into your blog or website. After creating a collection, just drop our javascript code into your site where you want the widget to appear.

Here is a video that shows our software in action: http://vimeo.com/14256227

Keepstream Tutorial from Keepstream on Vimeo.

Why did you start this company?

We started Keepstream because all the companies we were talking with were beginning to use Twitter and Facebook, but all their efforts were siloed on those social networks. Thousands of people were going to their website and blog, but never encountering all the social content they were generating and curating. We wanted to provide a tool that let businesses leverage the effort spent on social networking and prowling the web for good links – so that they could make that content available on their blog and website.

Do you offer free online or offline tools?

Our tool is currently completely free to use. You sign in using your Twitter username and password at http://keepstream.com and can use the web tool immediately. However we do also offer a Keepstream Pro service – where our team of curation experts will provide collections of industry relevant content to you to place on your website or blog. Once a week, we manually hand-pick the most interesting social media and links, and pass you a white-labeled HTML widget that you can drop into your website or blog. For more information on this service, feel free to contact me at tim AT keepstream DOT com.

Why would a small business, entrepreneur, freelancer, etc use your product?

Our current Pro customer Jason has had a lot of success with these types of post – you can see it here: http://blog.asmartbear.com/startup-articles-1.html. It drove a lot of new subscriptions, had a very low bounce rate, and had way above average time-spent-per-visit. Because he was a Pro customer, the only work he had to do was give it the thumbs up and drop the HTML we gave him into the blog post.

For many people though, they prefer to use our free tool to create posts themselves. Some examples of collections people built include:

Who is your competition, and what do you do better?

Some companies have taken a business software approach and have tried to sell these features at very high price points. Keepstream prefers a freemium model – where we provide a great, completely free tool open to everyone to use as much as they want. Then if you want, we give you the option to upgrade to more functionality or Pro services. There are also competitors that provide free tools such as described in Robert Scoble’s blog post here: http://scobleizer.com/2010/09/27/the-real-time-curation-wars-exclusive-first-look-at-curated-by/ However, we believe we lead the pack by making Keepstream simpler, easier to use, and more visually appealing.

A short bio of your company.

Keepstream was founded in May 2010 by Tim Gasper, Jim England, and Huston Hoburg, students at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. We were accepted in the Capital Factory (http://capitalfactory.com) business incubator program in Austin, Texas, so we moved down there to build out our product and release it to the public. Now we’re looking to accelerate our user growth and hire on some additional developers with the help of an angel investment round.

Number of current users?

We’re approaching 800 users of our free product and growing quickly.

How do you see your company in the next 2-5 years (more products or services?)

Our vision for our company is that in addition to providing tools for repurposing links and social media, we will be the hub for the best article and links. You are already doing things like “liking” things on Facebook or Youtube, and “retweeting” things on Twitter. Why isn’t that valuable information being taken advantage of? Keepstream will help you not just collect and syndicate web content – but it will help you discover and explore new content.

How many employees do you currently have working with you and/or freelance contractors?

We have 3 co-founders. Tim Gasper is in charge of marketing and business development, Jim England is in charge of product design, and Huston Hoburg is our CTO and lead developer.

Are you looking to hire more people or contractors? If so, what positions and skills are you looking for?

In the next few months, we’ll be looking to bring on a skilled Ruby on Rails developer – preferably with experience working with cloud server technology from Rackspace or Amazon. Also, we’re looking for some paid marketing interns around the Austin, Texas area to help us with our user growth strategy. To inquire about these, free free to email me at tim AT keepstream DOT com.

What other web based products would you recommend to entrepreneurs, business owners, or freelancers?

None of our business would be possible without the awesome free applications that Google provides – like Gmail, Docs, Spreadsheets, Forms, etc. If you’re looking for a great platform for communication and collaboration, we’ve had a lot of success with Yammer.com. It’s like an internal Twitter just for within your company. For inexpensive cloud document sharing – use Dropbox.com. They have great iPhone and iPad apps, and it’s free at first and very affordable after that.

Do you have a blog that keeps users updated?

We definitely do – at http://blog.keepstream.com. We post articles related to content curation, blogging tips, life as a startup, as well as product updates and news.

Facebook, twitter, or ?

Facebook: http://facebook.com/keepstream
Twitter: http://twitter.com/keepstream
Vimeo: http://vimeo.com/keepstream

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