Halifax’s LeadSift turns tweets into leads

Marketers see social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook as giant marketplaces filled with potential clients waiting to be contacted. However, much of their approach still hinges on decades-old online banner ads and email advertising.

A Halifax-based social media analytics startup said it can help enterprise companies generate more accurate and actionable leads and referrals by sifting through and analyzing posts on Twitter.

LeadSift uses a proprietary natural language processing algorithm to sift through millions of social media posts and analyze conversations to identify posters that are likely to be in the market for a particular product or service. It works on tweets in English, French, Portugese, Chinese, Spanish, Italian and German. Compatibility with other languages is in the works.
“Traditionally companies bought print, radio, or TV ads to market their products. But these media were not very good solutions because they offered a scattergun approach and were not very good for measuring ROI (return of investment) either, so now we moved to Google Ads for a more targeted approach,” said Tukan Das, CEO of LeadSift. “But still, businesses are hoping for a solution that could actually provide them with people to contact who are primed and ready to buy.”


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LeadSift was born out of a program developed by Das and several fellow programmers who were looking for ways to aggregate and analyze posts on Twitter. Last year, the group received government and angel investor funding to catapult their work into a service-as-software (SAS) business.

LeadSift is targeting small and medium sized businesses as well as large enterprise. So far, the company has partnered with Vancouver-based social media management, HootSuite and Web services provider Salesforce.com.

Das said many firms resort to buying email addresses or phone numbers from third parties. This strategy is hardly accurate either because they are generally demographics-based an only provide businesses with a list of people based on categories such as age, economic status or location or but salespeople making the cold calls are still not sure if the people they are calling are thinking of purchasing anything.

LeadSift will not eliminate the cold call, Das said, but it can make sure the people on the other line are “a bit warmer” to the idea of buying when they’re contacted by an agent.

“LeadSift can feed businesses with real people talking right now about the products and services these companies are offering,” said Das. “Our technology provides businesses with a metric for finding relevant leads.”

The LeadSift algorithm generates a LeadScore similar the Klout Score which determines the degree of influence someone has through various social media channels.

The LeadScore looks at both current and historical data of Twitter posters to identify each lead as “hot,” “warm,” of “cold.”

The program analyzes the historical conversations from a user’s public profile to further qualify each lead.

For instance, said Das, a person that tweeted “Looking for a car” would have a lower score than someone who tweeted “Looking for a Honda Civic.”

Looking through the historical Twitter conversations of that person, LeadSift determines if the person has a job or owns a home. This could further boost the persons score. LeadSift customer get the leads and track their campaign through an online dashboard.

The method can help companies avoid the need to do static social media searches which are time consuming and expensive, said Das.

LeadSift is offering three subscription models.

  • $499/month for one campaign providing 50 leads/day
  • $1249/month for three campaigns providing 50leads/day/campaign
  • $2499/month for 10 campaigns providing 50/leads/day/campaign

Das pointed out that consumers’ privacy is protected throughout the process. Data collected by LeadSift is limited to what is available publicly in social media.

LeadSift customers have no access to personal information of the leads and can only contact them through social media.


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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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