Role of Social Media in Managing An API Ecosystem


When new users sign up for the CityGrid API, I immediately get an email with their name, email and phone number, which are required for registration. The API is self-service, and I rely on the essential building blocks I’ve assembled as part of the API area to support them in their first hours and days of integration.

Five days after registration, if a publishers has not reached out to the CityGrid API team, or show any usage on the API, I reach out to them via email, asking if there is ANYTHING I can do to make their integration successful. I do not send an email blast, I email them one by one, and as I do this, I use Rapportive in my Gmail to identify if they have a Twitter, Google+ or LinkedIn account. I then send a personal email, and follow them on their social networks and research their business web site, if they have one.

I’d say about 65% of my API users that are responsive, reply and tell me they are planning on integrating and just need more time or are waiting for the development resources to free up and then they’ll tackle integration. These are perfect candidates for social media, and because they are responsive they tend to follow me back on Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+. Since I keep my social networks active on a daily basis, hopefully they’ll see regular, informative posts from me, demonstrating not only is there a person behind the curtain at the CityGrid API, that I am actually investing in their success.

New registrations are only one of my API success metrics. My ultimate goal is to have them actively consuming the Places, Reviews and Offers API and making money using CityGrid Mobile and Web Advertising and Places that Pay.  To convert users from new to active users, I have to stay engaged with them, and I couldn’t do this without the use of social media.