Big Omaha 2010 attendees may remember Lateef Johnson (right) being invited on stage by Gary Vaynerchuk after Vaynerchuk said that you can scale your business one-to-one. Photo by Malone & Company Photography.
However, some businesses, especially smaller companies, are having problems latching onto the new social wave and advancing technology.
“Twitter and Facebook are great at their designed purposes of connecting with friends and providing real-time news,” Johnson said. “But, they are terrible at helping businesses find new customers.”
The inspiration to create the startup began when Lateef was employed at Salesforce.com, a San Francisco-based business sales and customer service application company. There, he became obsessed with one idea: Why can’t business software work more like Facebook and Twitter?
“During the recession, I saw a lot of my friends who had businesses struggling with social media and also spending a ton of money on advertising with very little benefit,” he said. “I knew I could build a tool that used the advantages of social media to create real business value, real customers [and] real revenue for my friend’s businesses.”
Deckerton will not use advertising to promote its services. Instead, the company is taking a matchmaking approach. It recently released a free alpha product (below) on their website for customers to recommend businesses.
“We’re completely focused on helping businesses find new customers, so all of our products will be designed for that purpose,” Lateef said. “Customers who love a business refer their friend to that business, and the business gets a highly qualified lead without the costs of and complexity of advertising.”
In May, Lateef spoke with Silicon Prairie News’ Dusty Davidson about the inspiration behind Deckerton, his goals for the company and how he plans to connect businesses with new clientele using new social media practices.