Interview with David Turner (PageLever)
PageLever a Facebook analytics app that can gather deeper, more meaningful data and tell you information about that data that you wouldn’t get from Facebook Insights.
I interviewed David Turner, PageLever co-founder to find out more. This interview is the thirty fourth in a series of DW interviews. Big thank you to David for the interview!
How would you describe PageLever in under 50 words?
PageLever is the leading analytics platform for measuring your brand’s presence on Facebook.
What made you decide to start working on PageLever?
In late 2009, we started working together to help brands understand how to use Facebook as consultants at BrandGlue.com. We were constantly in and out of Facebook’s Insights application, but were feeling like our hands were tied because it was severely lacking. In late fall of 2010, we threw some charts together and were using them in-house for our clients. They loved it, so we decided to commit full time to developing PageLever as an analytics platform.
How did you come up with the name?
We had the domain name lying around and it sounded better than the others – no crazy story here, unfortunately.
What features do you offer that Facebook Insights doesn’t?
The two major points where we have advantages over Insights are depth and day-to-day usability. For instance, where Insights covers 7 different metrics on Reach, we cover 38 different breakdowns to give a deeper understanding of how people are viewing your content. Our users are very actively logging in and measuring their Pages, so we’ve made extensive efforts to allow them to get to the data they need quickly, find out what happened, and get back to doing more awesome things.
Is there a chance that Facebook could develop these features itself free of charge?
There is, but Facebook is focused on allowing the third-party ecosystem to develop. “Facebook scale” is much different than any other company in the world which gives developers a chance to really push out great solutions that solve problems for specific markets and niches. Facebook’s Insights application is a great example because it has to be accessible to Pages across all verticals and sizes, which allows us to hone in on providing serious analytics for the folks that need the deeper measurements we provide.
What was technically the most challenging part of developing PageLever?
I’d say the most challenging part of developing PageLever isn’t exactly technical, but a mix of technical along with product design.
Finding the sweet spot with how much to actually expose to users because the education level around social marketing is lagging behind some of the tools. We’ve realized this after talking with hundreds of customers and built in very digestible education segments into almost every section of PageLever. We realized our job wasn’t just to provide the best analytics possible, but to be the top resource for measuring brands’ presences on Facebook.
How long did it take to put together PageLever?
The initial version that went out to our customers went up in 2 weeks. It was super simple and didn’t do very much, but it got us hearing feedback. We released a beta version to around 500 people soon after, developed a waiting list of ~6,000 people and launched on August 3rd, 2011.
Do you have any new features in the pipeline?
Always! We’re releasing new incremental features on average of every 2 days and major features once a week, so the product is always fresh and evolving.
Also, we’re working on a free version of PageLever that will allow you to see how your Pages fit within our PageLever Lifecycle, as well as some other top secret applications that will fit within our entire suite of products.
What does a typical day involve?
Not very much sleep :)
Moving the product forward is my core focus, but I’m also actively recruiting new developers, helping our partners develop their core strategies, taking sales calls, writing articles for our blog, managing the support queue, and the other “stuff” that comes along with being a founder.
Has PageLever got the feedback and growth you expected since launch?
We’ve had an overwhelming response to PageLever. By the end of our launch day, we were a profitable company. There’s no way you can (or should) expect that to happen.
We’re still seeing very solid growth, especially in the enterprise level deals, and expect to see that continue as marketing on Facebook keeps moving out of experimental budgets.
Any big clients on your list?
YouTube, MTV, Mint and Kayak are just a few of our “household name” clients. Four of the top ten Pages on Facebook are using PageLever right now.
What are you most excited about at the moment?
Our possibilities are very wide open. The Facebook ecosystem is still incredibly young and growing significantly. We see plenty of other areas to branch into with the PageLever brand, so much of 2012 will be focused on expansion.
Finished reading? Check out PageLever!