Locally developed service is designed for busy owners of small firms

It’s the nature of the beast. Computers, the Internet and even social media are complicated. But over time, creative minds have come to the rescue. Windows replaced MS-DOS, user-friendly browsers made the Internet accessible and now, a new Duluth-based service has emerged to help small business owners simplify and improve their Facebook marketing.

The idea came about when Duluth entrepreneur Dan Stocke was working with his wife to develop a Facebook marketing strategy for another local family business, Ignite Studio.

“Like most small companies, the owner has to do a little bit of everything. I had to make this process simple because she didn’t have much time to do it,” explained Stocke, who contracted with Duluth’s Aimclear for software development.

Stocke created a new company – called Buzz Frenzy – to market the service. For a set monthly fee, it allows companies to post on Facebook as usual. But with the addition of their chosen hashtag (AKA their “Buzztag”), Buzz Frenzy supercharges their distribution. It not only grows, but it reaches people who are most likely to become customers.

But wait a minute. Doesn’t Facebook offer that service straight out of the box?

“A lot of people are posting content but don’t realize that if you’re a non-paying business on Facebook, people don’t see it,” explained Buzz Frenzy Director of Business Development Elissa Hansen. “If you’re a business on Facebook, your post might be seen by three percent of your followers. Facebook has drawn a thick line between individual and business accounts.”

So why not just pay Facebook directly for its own marketing services?

“If you did it on a per ad basis via Facebook, you could end up spending more than you need. You’d have to figure out how much you want to spend on each ad,” Stocke said.

And again, there’s the time factor associated with buying from Facebook, Hansen explained. First, you post, then you click the “boost post” button. Users are prompted to fill out a form asking age, gender, location plus some psychographic information (details about the customer they seek to reach). 

“Most people leave that part blank, Hansen said. “It’s complicated, and you could end the month with a $200 bill when all you wanted to spend is $20.” 

Here’s the buzz…

Buzz Frenzy also uses psychographic targeting to attract the right customers, but it’s a once and done process.

“When a company signs up for our service, they pick a vertical (industry) they’re in,” Stocke said. That information then is linked to the company’s hashtag. Buzz Frenzy has pre-built about 120 verticals. Using Facebook’s psychographic information, the Buzz Frenzy software matches what the seller has to offer with likely buyers within a specified radius that companies define as their market area. In addition to reaching followers, posts also are distributed to people who are known to be interested in the company’s product. Hansen said the software creates a perfect marriage between sellers and buyers.

“Facebook takes members’ information and paints a very detailed picture of who they are. They literally know what kind of car you’re driving, what credit card you use, your income level. It’s really important stuff. It’s really juicy stuff. Facebook allows companies to find people who are predisposed to buying what they’re selling,” she said.

When inserted following the company’s post, the hashtag makes it all happen, Stocke said. 

“It acts as a trigger for our software to take a Facebook post and turn it into an advertisement. It’s as simple as that,” he explained.

Couldn’t your Average Joe write some code and do the same without hiring Buzz Frenzy.

“Most people don’t want to know how the magic works,” Stocke said. “If you look behind the curtain, it’s ugly back there. What you really, really want is for this to work and to be stupid simple.” Further, Buzz Frenzy has patented its new product.

It’s worth noting that a company can select any hashtag they want. It doesn’t matter if the same hashtag is already being used by somebody else. Because Buzz Frenzy links the hashtag to the customer’s geographical address, it’s unique and won’t cause posts to be distributed to those who don’t want them.

Over a period of time, the Buzz Frenzy software learns how much a company posts.

“It gets smarter as time goes on,” Hansen said. “It also sends an email to say if you aren’t keeping up. Two or three posts a week is a sweet spot.” Customers can also track results through a Buzz Frenzy dashboard.

Buzz Frenzy has priced its service with a low entry point to attract new customers. They can sign on for as little as $50 and cancel at any time. As their success improves, the company has services that provide more, with prices topping out at $500 per month.

“This would normally cost thousands of dollars. We think our potential is huge,” Stocke said.