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What do you do when your flight to New York City is cancelled and the airline insists on rebooking you and your love on two separate flights? Or you are ready to watch the recording of “You’ve Got Mail” with your sweetheart and the picture starts pixilating? Or you have been waiting in line at the grocery store for a half-hour with a dozen roses in one hand and chocolates in the other? Or your favorite restaurant isn’t taking any more reservations for the special night? 

If you are like millions of consumers worldwide, you voice your complaint on Twitter, Facebook, your blog, or your favorite social media site of the moment. You may also look up the brand’s Twitter handle to include in the critical post. Perhaps a hashtag of the company name with “fail” after it will be included, too. Will the brand’s reps respond? When? What will they do? Image

According to The Social Habit from Edison Research, 79 percent of those complaining about a brand on Twitter do so in hopes that their “friends will see it.” While 52 percent hope “the company will see it,” only 36 percent expect that the brand will “see it and address the problem.”

This is why leading companies meet their customers where they live, work, and play on social media. SocialSignIn is one such startup that has been helping brands do this since 2011. 

“Companies can set up advance searches using SocialSignIn’s listening feature. It can be filtered by keywords, influence score, and so forth,” says Benjamin Nimmo, co-founder of the alternative social media management platform based in Birmingham, UK. “Clients can then 'react' to any incoming messages that may or may not be directly aimed at them.”

For instance, Islington Council, the local authority for the London Borough of Islington in Greater London, England, and one of SocialSignIn's clients, may have a local search set around a specified postal code radius, with keywords such as council or bins. These would be indirect messages, as people may be inquiring about the council or complaining about the bins without actually using the office’s Twitter handle. The council would then be able to assign messages to members of their team to respond to the conversations. Then the person asking about the council or criticizing the bins can be given a human response.

Other features SocialSignIn offers besides a social dashboard for listening and communicating, and monitoring key words geographically include: Image

Team collaboration: A unified inbox shows all interactions, provides traceability, and allows engagement, monitoring, and reporting on social media from one or many company departments.

Social analytics: Geographical results show popular locations on heat maps, so you can focus on hotspots or build engagement in areas of weakness.

Protection: The account owner can block or flag words on outbound communication to ensure your brand is protected. Inbound interactions can be monitored for negative sentiments. 

Social ROI: The Traffic Sources dashboard shows which social posts are bringing visitors to your website, and more importantly just how much revenue they are creating.

Just like all other social management tools, SocialSignIn offers the usual scheduling tools, but is designed with simplicity and functionality in mind. “We want everyone, from any background in any department to be able to use the software, yet still have all the features they have come to expect from any other competing social management dashboard,” says Nimmo. ”You do not need to enroll in a training course to be able to get the most out of SocialSignIn.”

Social Startups is a weekly Social Media Today column written by Shay Moser about the newest and most innovative social companies. Look for the next installment next Wednesday morning. Logos by Jesse Wells.