Online Calendar Company Organizes Social Input


Managing a home takes a lot of planning and organization. Some of us are better at this than others. Good plans and better organization become even more important when your family's activity level grows exponentially as younger members enter the age of near-constant after school activity. Clothes get a little more expensive, gasoline costs increase, dinner time shifts from day to day, and your calendar seems to fill up fast. Even weekly grocery trips get a little tough to schedule!

Digitally minded household managers will find what seems like an infinite number of productivity apps, services, sites, and methods online. Combing through them one by one might prove frustrating, since not all are geared toward home and family organization. In fact, plenty are perfect for business, but not for home. The Cozi family organizer meets the needs of busy families in a way other calendaring sites and apps cannot, at least for the time being.

From the Cozi Website:

Cozi is a free online organizer and mobile app that helps you manage the family schedule, organize shopping lists and to do lists, and capture favorite memories -- all in one place. Especially designed for busy families, Cozi is accessible from any computer, mobile phone or tablet. All you need to get started is a free account and because Cozi is shared, you only need one account for the whole family.

Cozi is a social company. It interacts with users daily, and it works hard at building brand loyalty.

Like many other modern companies, Cozi wants to know how its customers feel and what they're saying about it on the social Web. Using social monitoring tools from Lithium, it's been able to measure product effectiveness over time and compare performance against competitive products. Analyzing past data, it's been able to determine which features were well received and which needed improvement.

"Social media monitoring helps us best when the problem goes beyond one person," Carol Schiller, social media director at Cozi, told me recently. "For example, if we launch a new feature, and it turns out that 50 people have the same question on some aspect of it in one day, social channels are the best way to get an explanation out there to everyone quickly."

Cozi handles this kind of real-time monitoring and response using free tools from Facebook and HootSuite for Twitter and blog comments. It uses a Lithium tool for tracking trends over time and "casting a wider listening net than for real-time response," Schiller said. "Social tools can and should deliver insights and capabilities that benefit every division in the company, and at Cozi, that is exactly what is happening."

In the social realm itself, an active social presence certainly is important to Cozi. "But it would be absolutely ridiculous to say that Cozi's success online is due to its presence and participation in social media. After all, if your product stinks, social media is only going to let everyone know that it stinks faster."

Instead, "Cozi is successful because we have built a terrific product that truly helps families manage their busy schedules and tasks," she said. "So people talk about us online and we listen, good or bad -- mostly good -- respond, and work every day to continue making our customers so wildly happy, they can't help but tell other families about us. So far, I'm happy to say, it appears to be working."

Social media analytics are still quite new but are already proving valuable for online business. When you have a good product that people want to discuss, it's worth monitoring sentiment over time. Your next move can be a win if it's the one your customers desire most.

Michelle Greenlee, Web Developer and Freelance Technology Writer

Michelle Greenlee has more than nine years of experience as a technology professional. She has worked with marketing directors of national franchises and other national companies to develop online and cross-media marketing campaigns. Her specialties include open-source software, new media, and the latest advances in Internet technologies. She graduated magna cum laude from Internet Evolution's 6DEE Executive Education Series and is currently pursuing Google Adwords Professional Certification. When she isn't writing code, she writes about code for the Dice blog network. She's based in Texas with her family of people and her family of devices: three Android phones, an iPad2, an Android tablet, and two iPods. You can follow Greenlee's work at about.me/tinym and tinym.com.


Re: Great Example
  • 4/14/2012 1:47:21 PM
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Yes, Google added social media engagement tracking in Analytics. +1 stats are included easily since they can be tied to your Google account but it takes a little bit of work to track other network activity.

Re: Cozi idea
  • 4/14/2012 1:32:53 PM
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Hey now, not all husbands are doing less at home. Solid data on the distribution of labor at home would be interesting to see. I'm thinking more to the point of showing the kids just how much work it takes to keep them clothed, fed, and shipped off to appointments and activities.

Re: Social analytics, the final frontier?
  • 4/14/2012 1:28:08 PM
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I had a full schedule yesterday and couldn't make it to the e-chat. Thanks for the mention in your latest post, and for the kind words. I appreciate it very much & I'm glad you found my post useful.

Re: Social analytics, the final frontier?
  • 4/14/2012 10:19:31 AM
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Missed you at yesterday's e-chat, tinym, but thought you might like to check out my latest post inspired by your awsome interview with Cozi. Thanks!

Re: Cozi idea
  • 4/13/2012 5:37:29 PM
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Now there's a thought, Michelle. But can you imagine the wars that might ensue when wives can prove, with solid data, that they really do do so much more then men?! 

Re: Great Example
  • 4/13/2012 11:28:32 AM
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Thanks, Michelle. That's a great list. I also understand that Google Analytics has added some new capabilities (segments) that make it possible to measure the effectiveness of social media in driving traffic and conversions to websites.

And, yes, my family needs Cozi!

Re: Great Example
  • 4/13/2012 8:38:11 AM
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1 saves

Michelle, I think such collaborative tools are very helpful for families. In today's fast life, most of peoples won't get enough time to spend with their family and to share things. So such common calendar can notify everybody about the plans and other activities.

Re: Great Example
  • 4/12/2012 11:55:57 PM
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Hi tinym,

Thanks for the links. I'll definitely have to check them out. Managing social media interaction is a passion of mine so any extra tools that will help are certainly helpful.

Re: Great Example
  • 4/12/2012 9:58:21 PM
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Thank you for stopping in today, and for the kind words. There are other similar tools available, though I'm not as familiar with them as with Lithium.

Re: Social analytics, the final frontier?
  • 4/12/2012 9:39:19 PM
NO RATINGS

Thanks for the kind words (and invite to tomorrow's chat session). I have a full schedule tomorrow but I'll certainly drop in if I have the chance.

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