Axial's Growth 100 : Jim Anderson

Jim Anderson

CEO, Wholecrowd

Digital Advocacy

Jim Anderson has a background in advocacy and has been involved in various campaigns across different industries.

Jim saw advocacy as an industry in which money was not being used to its full potential. An excess of lobbyists and consultants were still being hired, and social media was not being used properly. So in 2012, he set out to design software that would allow clients to build a following using social media. In 2013, he founded Wholecrowd.

Building a Client’s Whole Crowd

The name of the company directly reflects its purpose. Wholecrowd helps its clients maximize their coalitions by identifying people online based on key words. Clients can then connect with people who are discussing the issues they care about.

“When we started off a few years ago, we saw a hole in the marketplace specific to digital advocacy,” Jim says. “We will help connect you with specific people with the same messages and increase your followings.”

Wholecrowd teaches its clients to listen, build, communicate, and activate. Customers can distinguish advocates by filtering keywords and locations on digital platforms including Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. The advocacy groups can grow their audiences by engaging them in conversation. Ultimately, clients should send out their troops with a call to action.

The company has clients in multiple markets. Customers looking to build a following may include startups, trade organizations, nonprofits, universities, and government relations groups.

Wholecrowd develops websites for its consumers along with providing social media services. The company informs how social media platforms and websites can drive traffic to specific content.

Staying Ahead of the Curve

Wholecrowd is launching its updated platform within the next couple of months. With the new platform, customers have the ability to break down data and evaluate message performance. They will be able to determine what messages and calls to action followers are particularly responsive to. The software will also tell consumers the most productive days of the week and times of day to send their messages out and which social media platform to do so on.

“We will be able to say ‘On Tuesdays and Thursdays at this time you should post about this on Twitter,’” Jim says.

As an increasing number of articles come out stating that organizations are including budgets for digital advocacy, Jim knows the company will have to remain innovative and stay ahead of the curve.

“We truly want to change the way folks view advocacy and change the way they approach it,” Jim says. “We want to be the software and platform that people turn to.”

One of Wholecrowd’s major clients is a Fortune 50 company. “We have been working with them for two years, building out a specific digital advocacy brand including a website and social media accounts,” Jim says. After Wholecrowd successfully grew this client an active audience, the company reached back out and asked Wholecrowd to apply their approach to its other global groups.

Working Around the Client’s Mission

The Wholecrowd team meets with each client before getting to work. “We bring in a list of questions. What’s the meaning behind your company’s name? The logo? What are your core missions? And so on,” says Jim. Once Wholecrowd has a full understanding of the company’s goals and what it is trying to accomplish, a strategy is developed.

Sometimes Wholecrowd strategizes for an entire day. “Once we have an approved message, we’re off to the races,” Jim says.

Some clients like to speak with Wholecrowd multiple times a day, some on a weekly basis, and others might touch base once per month. The company provides each client with a monthly progress report.

“Advocacy is an industry that will be here for a long time,” says Jim. “People will always care about issues and try to push something.”