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6th April 2010

The true potency of social media



You may or may not have heard some of the success stories combining business and social media. Frank Hannigan talks to about his experience which proves that social media can provide the leverage for massive achievement in business.


Frank Hannigan raised €162,500 for his company Goshido in just 8 days. Frank is the Executive Chairman of Goshido and runs the non-technical end of the company. A Trinity business graduate, he began his career in media, heading up Commercial Operations for the Examiner Group in Cork, then joining Ireland Online. In September 2009 he joined Goshido and until 2010 Goshido had been self-funded by its founder Ger Hartnett.


The product, Goshido, is a Web 2.0 collaboration tool that enables organisations to deliver on their projects better. Goshido is an action orientated software solution that empowers employees while giving management the ability to check in and ensure that everything is on track. There are over 200 corporate companies from all over the world using the software at the moment. How did Frank get the investment?


In Feb/March 2010, the company needed their next level of funding - €450,000. Frank decided to ask his 700 direct contacts on LinkedIn if they would like to invest in the company. Frank sent an inmail to relevant connections telling them about the company and asking them if they or someone they knew would like to invest €25,000 in the company. His email stated that he was looking for 10 people to invest.  Frank also had access to over 167,000 people in his network as they were only one degree of separation away from him. When his contacts received his inmail, they had the opportunity to forward it to their connections – thus spreading the message. Within 8 days – Goshido had raised over €162,500. Out of those who invested, 70% were direct connections and 30% were from people who were friends of his contacts.


Mr Hannigan called the response “an amazing result”. He said it showed Irish businesses could exploit the potential of LinkedIn, which was about more than just contacts and recruitment. “I’m blown away by it and it gives the lie to people who say social networking is just about Facebook.” Frank says that he has used LinkedIn since it was first launched, has been a paid member for a couple of years now and every part of his working life is supported with LinkedIn. When an article by Gordon Smith was printed in the Irish Times it gave the company huge credibility: According to Topsy the Irish Times article was retweeted 243 times.


The news story was also picked up by a US website Very prominent bloggers covered the story via Twitter such as Dave McClure who has over 26,000 followers.  Even the CEO of LinkedIn, Jeff Weiner tweeted about it and the PR machine kicked into overdrive! According to Topsy the CMS news article was retweeted more than 35,000 times. The coverage was not only impressive from an investment perspective but Goshido also had a huge upsurge in traffic to the website. An additional 114 companies have now signed up to the software package.


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