Asana: Social Task Management

Asana is a task/project management tool in the SaaS family. The intro rarely seems to occur without mentioning that the founders are Facebook co-founder, Dustin Moskovitz, and Justin Rosenstein, formerly a lead engineer with Google and Facebook. With such a formidable pedigree behind it, Asana already had a built-in advantage, but has more than walked the walk with a project management platform based on simplicity and collaboration, preaching teamwork without email.

From a PR perspective, many small start-ups benefit from a hiring splash to bring media attention. When one of Facebook’s founders sneeze, people seem to know about it, so a company started by Moskovitz, whom Forbes once ranked as “one of the world’s youngest self-made billionaires,” could expect news coverage pretty easily. Consistent with a social media background, Asana complements strong PR coverage with an astute digital presence.

Offered to small groups for free and to larger companies (like Dropbox, Uber, and Pinterest) as a premium version, Asana creates promotional messaging and content to appeal to both groups. New customers need only pull up their favorite tech news sites to read rave reviews for Asana. And, while the product doesn’t change much in functionality between the free and paid versions, Asana has introduced new features frequently, likely in order to keep improving their service to maintain high customer retention. These features are announced on news sources like TechCrunch (i.e. their “calendar” feature) and their twitter stream (with such a culturally relevant phrase as “asana”, it definitely helps to be able to tweet from @asana).

Asana has capitalized on early momentum to become a leader in the social task space. The initial buzz (partly due to Moskovitz and Rosenstein) gave way to positive reviews, and now announcements of new features and high-profile clients. Since it is in a significant growth phase, a significant portion of their promotional and PR messaging sits at the top of the marketing funnel, in the awareness and interest layer for their new users. However, since their social task industry is growing right along with them, much of their coverage dives all the way to the commitment and referral layers. In announcing many of their high-profile clients on their website, Asana wants that presence to serve as a testimonial to any potential customers that have advanced past the interest phase.

With much of their current PR messaging based in fairly straightforward tech news stories, Asana could benefit from a more developed social media community. Their posts on twitter and Facebook are interesting, but not necessarily frequent. They don’t appear to engage much with their users, though they could be servicing questions through the website rather than social media. Though a twitter search of “asana” brings up many yoga references that one would expect, it might be an opportunity to engage more with users in a very public forum like twitter.

Asana Adds Calendar Function To Its Collaboration Service: | @asana


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