BizBrag is an application used for connecting businesses to promote word-of-mouth social networking to increase site traffic and business.Show more screenshots »
BizBrag was founded by CEO Brian Smith in January 2010. A small sample of website analytics shows an average of 200-400 unique visitors per month. The concept is to expand the reach of small businesses via social web. By teaming with businesses with similar interests, customers who trust that business will see the connection as a trusted business as well.
The idea is good, but the execution is flawed. There are many ways to connect with others via social media that make the process easier and more intuitive. While BizBrag has many features that seem like they would be useful, the application is just too complicated and time consuming to set up.
During testing, BizBrag updated their dashboard, so some issues were revisited and are addressed in this review.
The steps required to get started include completing a profile with business name, tagline, logo, contact name and email, business phone, website URL, and industry. The user must then write a short profile of the business to be used for SEO of Braggits and profile page. The profile also includes a list of products and services offered. For email marketing, a physical address must be provided.
Users must then connect social accounts. This proved to be tricky. Directions were provided for setting up a Facebook Page, but not for those who already have a Page for their business. An example during testing: the user has 3 business pages she manages. She does not wish to grant BizBrag access to all three pages, just one, so she does not approve this step. A popup window then asks whether to link to to the user's personal account,webpage, or application. Choosing the one labeled application simply redirected to the BizBrag page. As a result, a user may be able to link to their personal page, but not their business page. Google Plus required the URL for the user's profile. Twitter was a fast click connection. Blogger and Tumblr were also available for linking. Attempts to customize a post for Linkedin yielded the error message to fill out all form fields, which had already been completed. The Braggit would, therefore, not post.
Building a network requires the user to search the BragNation for other collaborative businesses for connections. The search function asks for collaborative or local business to join. The search function asks name of business, industry, and location. During review, several industries were searched with no results. It would seem intuitive that if the user knew the name of the business already, they could have already connected, so a search for new collaborators was attempted. City yielded zero results. Leaving business and city fields empty and industry as "any" yielded no results. Browsing seems to be the only way to find businesses. Many industries have no entries.
When a user finally finds a business to connect with, they may request to join that user's BragForce. This extends an invitation to the business.
Returning to the dashboard, users may create a Braggit consisting of text, image, video, a gallery, an offer, or a job offer. They create a headline and add content to be shared. Text modules must contain at least 250 characters or be posted with 'simple social post'. The Braggit may then be previewed, published, edited, or deleted. Twitter posted the Braggit immediately, as did Google +.
The other features, such as reports, etc. could not be evaluated as they occur over time.
The bottom line is that this app is overly complicated and at the time of review did not have enough businesses to make it worth the setup. The interface is not intuitive and linking with social sites is overly complicated.
An email address, password, business name, contact name, and anti-spam code must be entered. Once entered, the user is instructed that they must Like BizBrag on Facebook or follow them on Twitter. This enforced social media use as part of registration may be an issue for some users. The user is then directed to a pop up window for two "easy steps" to get started. The easy steps are outlined in a brief video. The steps are to edit the user's business profile and connect to social accounts.
The Basic Edition is free and includes unlimited Braggits, a single account setup, posts Braggits to all major social networks, allows brand monitoring, has built-in SEO for each Braggit, and unlimited email support.
The Enterprise Edition is a variable price option and users must contact BizBrag for pricing. The plan includes unlimited Braggits, multiple account setup, posts Braggits to all major social networks and blogging platforms, brand monitoring, reports, social analytics, built-in SEO for each Braggit, unlimited email and phone support, Braggits and Profiles are ad-free, custom Braggit header image, content organization, advertising opportunities, module additions including lead generation and franchise opportunity generation.
At this point, BizBrag is of little value unless, like their video, two small businesses want to connect in the same area. This could, of course, be done in an easier way than this platform. This application is not recommended at this time.