Social advertising is the next hot thing, and startups are starting to come out of the woodworks with different approaches. One to watch is Taykey, a startup we first wrote about a year ago, but which is launching today with a fresh $9 million B round from Crescent Point, Sequoia, and Softbank Capital. It previously raised $2 million in June, 2010 from Sequoia Israel.
Taykey tries to determine what topics are trending among different audience groups and then targets them with Facebook ads, promoted trends on Twitter, or search ads. “We think advertising is broken,” says CEO Amit Avner, because it is “based on demographics.”
The company tries to figure out what people are interested in based on signals from socialmedia and then respond with ads in realtime. Instead of targeting five million 18 year-olds, Taykey tries to reach people who are into hiphop. “Basically we are doing audience discovery based on trends,” says Avner. “We figure out what is trending for who.”
If you know what 18 year-olds who like hiphop are talking about, you can target ads around those topics and search terms. If Paula Abdul is trending on Twitter, Pepsi might want to buy Paula Abdul keywords on Google or Facebook ads targeted at a specific audience with related interests. As we enter summer, for instance, women are talking on social media channels about “friends,” “family,” “fun,” and “sleep.” Whereas men are talking about “twitter,” “beer,” “obama.”, and “itunes” (these are actual top trending topics discovered by Taykey).
Taykey tracks public data from 150 different social media services, including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, MySpace, and Digg. The data is all anonymous and aggregated, and advertisers pay Tapkey on a cost per action basis. Depending on their goals, that could range from a cost per like to a redemption of an offer.