welikeit: Andrew Cameron-Webb
Powered by artificial intelligence, the social media assistant for small businesses has already won a UK government grant
Tell us what your business does:
welikeit is an intelligent, award-winning platform that automates and controls the distribution of your social media updates, powered by isla.
Isla is the AI-driven social media assistant for small businesses and she helps you develop your social media presence and grow your audience on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.
The functional tools within the platform are social media management, employee advocacy, audience builder, social media optimiser and lead conversion underpinned with simple intuitive analytics.
Where did the idea for your business come from?
The idea for welikeit was born out of frustration! I run another business Sosius.com, a collaboration platform that is used by over 200 governments and businesses worldwide. We wanted to increase our presence in this very crowded collaboration marketplace so we looked to social media and specifically how our well-connected employees could help spread our message.
We ended up hiring a marketing consultant who was responsible for creating weekly blog posts and daily social media updates, the consultant would send an email around to all our employees asking them to post (copy/paste) the updates on to their personal social media accounts. Within weeks the whole process had become time consuming and frustrating.
Three main problems came up time and time again:
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- The post invariably had some error such as wrong sized image, wrong URL, misspellings, etc. Even though the content was signed off each week via a shared spreadsheet, mistakes would find their way into the posts.
- Issues with the post times. Even though the post times were signed off each week there were frequent delays, this made checking for point one issues very time consuming.
- No-one re-posted the updates on their personal social media networks, the main reason cited was it was too time consuming and distracting! Frustrated with the above I decided to build a simple internal tool, which now has grown into welikeit.
How did you know there was a market for it?
We won a UK government grant for a proof of market survey in which 250 companies participated, the key takeaway was that 71% of them were interested in deploying a platform like welikeit. The survey was not only key in helping us understand the market potential, but also the market/product fit.
What were you doing before starting up?
Before I started my first company in 1999, I worked as a programmer in the City of London for the banking industry. One of the products I developed has become the industry defacto standard for FX deal conflict management.
Have you always wanted to run your own business?
I came out of college knowing I wanted to build a tech business, but it took a number of years getting real world experience before I was confident enough to make the leap.
How did you raise the money?
Private investors, and friends and family.
Describe your business model and how you make money:
Welikeit is a SaaS based business, companies pay us a recurring fee to use the platform.
What challenges have you faced and how have you overcome them?
The biggest change we had was educating companies of the benefits an employee advocacy (EA) platform would bring. One of the things we did was to build a saving and benefits calculator to clearly demonstrate the massive ROI companies get from using welikeit.io
What was your first big breakthrough?
Our first big breakthrough was signing up Hive Homes (British Gas) as a welikeit beta partner.
What advice would you give to budding entrepreneurs?
Do a huge amount of market research, speak to industry insiders and potential clients, listen closely to all feedback – especially the negative stuff.
Where do you want to be in five years’ time?
Living in the moment!