Kunal Batra is a co-founder of Social Roots, a rate and review site for Indians in the USA. Social Roots recently created a calling card promotion, using Twilio minutes as an incentive for users of Social Roots to write reviews on the site. The minutes can be used to place calls to India for free. Every new user gets 15 minutes to start with and another 45 minutes awarded for every review a user writes. At a recent event Social Roots announced the upcoming promotion. Kunal says, “We couldn’t even handle the amount of users who wanted to sign up. I honestly cant think of a better incentive for our users and it wouldn’t be possible without you guys.”
We wanted to learn more about Social Roots and Kunal was gracious enough to answer a few of our questions.
What’s the story behind Social Roots?
KB: My little brother and I created SocialRoots.com and launched it in May of this year. Its a hyper-local website that lets South Asians in the USA and India find out what their community thinks of the businesses and events happening in their town. Think Yelp but with a South Asian focus. Initially we connected our platform with Twilio so businesses could claim their pages and respond to their reviews. We use Twilio to call the phone number of a business with an automated verification process. Because our users are located both in the USA & India it was vital to have a service that would work internationally for Business Verification.
But we didn’t stop there. We then decided to add a India calling card component to our website to reward users for contributing. Currently for any user that signs up to our site, we give them a PIN code and 15 free minutes at the time of registration. Then for every review they write on our site we give them another 45 minutes free. It’s a great promotion to get our South Asian users excited about the site. Since we started the promotion we have signed up thousands of users in the USA & India and have a Facebook fan page following of over 2,500 users all through word of mouth.
What technology did you use to build the site?
The site has been built with the Zend/PHP framework. So we have had absolutely no difficulty integrating with Twilio.
How was the experience of integrating Twilio into your app?
The one thing that really stood out about Twilio was the documentation more so than the actual technology for me. Well-written documentation with plenty of examples made using Twilio a breeze.
How did you get started developing with Twilio?
I initially heard about the Twilio services after reading an article on TechCrunch pertaining to OpenVBX. Then when developing the Business Verification Features Twilio was our first choice to use.