BUME! Jon Fahrner Just Changed The Way We Social Media

blog.Bumebox 750Our last visit of the week was to BumeBox, a site for celebrities to manage and engage their social media fan base. We met with Jon Fahrner, the Founder and CEO of BumeBox. He began his career at Zappos.com as an accountant. As one of the first few people working for zappos, he spent time at action sports trade shows recruiting brands.Today there is a “rideshop” category created by Jon on Zappos.com that includes skate-shoes, flipflops, etc. Zappos became so popular that he began getting interview by trend forecasters. He said it seemed like he was suddenly an authority in action footwear. He gave us advice that where he is today came from taking advantage of opportunities set before him, not by planning. He told us that the best careers aren’t always planned and to always be open to opportunity. He left Zappos when they were at $600 million in sale and began to explore a skate footwear company of his own.

Around this time, Jon discovered twitter. He decided that he was going to look for an experience on social media that needed fixing. At the time, he was working for Moxsie.com, a retailer that sold independent fashion online and he worked his way up to a CEO position. In 2011 twitter caught his eye again when there was news about an “Obama Twitter Town Hall” where Obama would be answering questions on twitter. He was so excited and tried to follow what was going on but it was impossible to follow the conversation because of the format of twitter. He had found what he’d been looking for– he began to study Q&A and the history of social media. He also researched TV and found that 43% of the most watched TV shows use Q&A. He thought of the idea of BumeBox but he needed psychological and biological proof that this business would thrive and his research came back positive, BumeBox was promising. BumeBox allows the customer to drag, drop, and hold questions to answer later. Bumebox can also rank the important of questions. At first they created an app because not having a mobile product was holding them back.

Suddenly BumeBox started getting TV traction and random politicians started using it. Currently, 6 head of state and 5 international elections have used it. A huge part of BbumeBox is keeping up with social media trends. For example, they have recently started an option to reply with video on Facebook profiles. This has been a huge attraction for sport celebrities. In 2 years, BumeBox had over 500 public figures, 100 media organizations and 20 countries using the product. It works by clustering together similar thoughts so that conversations are easy to follow and easy to respond to. BumeBox can tell a celebrity what huge fanbases are saying about concrete things the celebrity can take action on… what pressing issues do fans want answers to? BumeBox is currently working on an addition that allows it to start delivering the answers to fans. Some examples that BumeBox has found answers to is, what star is most requested on the red carpet from the hunger games? Which player in the MBA do fans want to see in the all-star game?

What is unique about BumeBox is that it is a 12 person company and they do not have a sales force. They have worked tirelessly to innovate and to impress social media such as twitter and Facebook. After a year of working with twitter it started sending celebrities to them. Then BumeBox reached out to Facebook telling them that they were the twitter Q&A people. They started out by finding how Facebook and Twitter get their money and showed them how they can help them by using real life data such as the fact that BumeBox increases comments on celebrities pages by 728%. Every event for BumeBox is less than $100 because of the cloud server capacity.

We asked Jon the story behind the name of BumeBox and he told us he first got the idea of boombox because it amplifies sound as a celebrity would like to amplify their following, but boombox was too hard to trademark. Then one day he heard someone playing video games yell “Bume!” and he came up with the idea of BumeBox because fanbases could essentially “blow up… BUME!” He said that facebook now ends their emails with him with the phrase BUME! We also asked Jon how he protects his customers info in this day and age of cybersecurity. Customers long into BumeBox with their Facebook credential so BumeBox never has those credentials.

We would like to thank Jon Fahrner for having us and answering all of our questions.

To learn more about BumeBox click here.