By Caroline Henley

May 1st, 2015

There is a new company on the Silicon Valley scene, with enormous potential to change how we transfer large amounts of data. I’m talking about a little startup called Pied Piper.

I received some, frankly, downright frightening insight into how Pied Piper is running its team (from an ongoing documentary currently on HBO). And hey, it’s completely understandable that a new startup’s marketing isn’t totally on point—Pied Piper is a team of five, all of whom live and work out of the same “Hacker Hostel.” They seem to be spending all their funding on out-of-home billboard advertising—interesting choice. But after winning TechCrunch Disrupt, they should at least have a Facebook page!

We here at Falcon Social have a few suggestions for how Pied Piper might better manage its brand on social and across the web.

Given Pied Piper’s new entrance to the market, we would recommend a three-pronged listening and benchmarking strategy to set the company up for success:

  • Listen In & Benchmark Competitors;
  • Run Efficient, Optimized Social Media Campaigns;
  • Track Performance, Adjust & Repeat

Listen in & benchmark competitors 
Pied Piper might have a great product, but the company’s newfound fame has left them prey to some of the larger, much more established tech companies. It is so important for Pied Piper to keep an ear to the ground of their industry. Listening in to relevant conversations and keeping a sharp eye on their competitors is crucial, or else they might be left behind.

Set up a listening project for terms like “data compression,” “data storage,” “file transfer,” etc. The listening project will identify relevant conversations, inform the team on what’s trending in the industry, and allow anyone from the team to jump into the relevant conversations.

Pied Piper should also set up a query around its competitors. Take for example Hooli, the tech giant dead-set on stealing Pied Piper’s compression algorithm and destroying CEO Richard Hendricks and his tiny team. Pied Piper might want to consider keeping tabs on Hooli.

benchmarking strategy

Diving into the listening project for the term “Pied Piper,” they can see who out on the web—whether it’s on social media, or in the news, or in blog comments—is talking about their company. They can monitor the conversation, or dive into the conversation if they wish. For example, one mention of Pied Piper from someone with a particularly high Klout score popped up first.

benchmarking strategy

Someone from the team might want to take note of that one!

Run efficient, optimized social media campaigns 
Somehow, Pied Piper is no stranger to social media campaigns. A hashtag contest is currently running to pull ideas for a company slogan. This is a great way to generate content. The @SiliconHBO Twitter handle asked its fans to tweet ideas alongside the hashtag #PiedPiperTaglines.

benchmarking strategy

I’d keep an eye on tweets associated with the Pied Piper brand with a campaign like this one. Here is a, um, curated sampling, as some of the suggestions became quite… er, off-color fast.

benchmarking strategy

Pied Piper should filter all these incoming messages into one place, so they can assign team members to answer accordingly. And when running user-generated campaigns like this one, be prepared for any social media crises that might occur, so they can quickly steer the conversation in a positive direction.

Track performance, adjust & repeat
The final recommendation for Pied Piper is to start tracking its online performance with social media analytics.

Pied Piper should regularly benchmark its social profiles and posts against the industry competition, and use those metrics to see what they are doing well, and what they need to improve.

As with any campaign they choose to run, tracking the results of any investment they put into social is key. Develop a company-wide view of ROI, or return-on-investment. From there, Pied Piper will be able to plug any paid social campaigns into the overall ROI plan, measure how the paid campaigns are running, and make any adjustments to improve as they go.

At the same time, Pied Piper can organize and motivate its team with Team Performance reporting.

Dinesh and Gilfoyle already have a healthy sense of competition. Once they get a whiff that they can measure each other’s response times, number of posts, and community engagement, their numbers might shoot right up.

benchmarking strategy

Or maybe not.

Cover photo credit:  HBO Silicon Valley Main Titles

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