With more companies vying for the attention of customers on social media channels, content producers, marketers and more are always looking for ways to better track the engagement and reach of their social media footprints — across the globe. Socialbakers, a young startup founded in 2009 has emerged as one of the leading social analytics platforms in Europe. Since raising $2 million in September from Earlybird Capital Ventures and breaking into the black, the startup has turned its sights to the U.S., becoming the exclusive analytics partner with Facebook and others to provide social media analytics throughout the presidential campaign.
The company is now officially getting serious about securing a foothold in the states, as it today announced the launch of its U.S. headquarters in San Francisco. To support its arrival on American soil, Socialbakers is also announced a new U.S. leadership team to be based in the Bay Area, which includes veteran technology executive Martin Huml as President and COO and Katrina Wong as VP of Marketing.
Huml, who will lead U.S. operations, has previously served as the company’s chairman, and founded a company which became an exclusive distributor for Apple in central and eastern Europe. He also formerly worked at Credit Suisse before founding San Francisco-based investment consulting firm, Runway Capital. Katrina Wong, who will lead the company’s go-to-market strategy, previously led corporate marketing at Zuora, and worked in marketing at both SAP and Salesforce.com.
The team plans to build on the traction of its social monitoring platform in Europe, which includes a roster of more than 750 customers and 275,000 registered marketing users (with companies like Danone, Vodafone, Samsung, Lufthansa And Peugoet licensing the premium version of its service), on top of the 60 U.S. brands already using its technology.
So what does the company do, exactly? Socialbakers’ analytics platform measures the effectiveness of social marketing campaigns across the major social networks, like Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, and Google+ through its two flagship products. The first, called “Engagement Analytics,” enables statistical analysis of Facebook worldwide, including Facebook Pages, Places, Facebook apps, developers on Facebook, as well as advertising prices. “Engagement Builder,” by contrast offers benchmarking, competitive reporting, and integrated workflow functionality to enable businesses to track a variety of social media metrics.
Jan Rezab, Socialbakers CEO, tells us that he’s seen a surprising amount of SMBs failing to integrate competitive benchmarking and intelligence into their social media strategies, opting to simply tap into certain streams to monitor keywords. While it’s easy for companies today to hook into a search stream and look at individual profiles themselves, the key is obviously to build a robust set of metrics around those profiles and streams. Volume matters, as he says that companies can no longer assume that their users will engage with their Twitter or Facebook content.
By showing companies what works through an “Engagement Rate,” which not only tracks the low-hanging fruit like the number of fans and likes, but the number of comments, the type of engagement, how many people are picking up particular posts, how they’re sharing it, which pieces of content are going viral — and perhaps most importantly — how these engagement metrics compare to that of their competitors.
Much of the data on the platform Socialbakers offers for free (as most of it is public data that is openly available, just poorly aggregated), a resource used increasingly by marketers. Of course, the company also offers a set of “pro” SaaS tools, for which companies pay between $100 and $1,000 per month depending on the number of fans their pages have attracted.
The team believes that the U.S. is home to a fragmented analytics market, and by quickly scaling its platform over the course of the next year, it can become a player in the space. The CEO said that it plans to double the size of its U.S.-based team over the next two months, in addition to growing the international team to more than 100 employees.
“We want to help all the companies using Twitter, Google+, Facebook, and YouTube, get out of the dark,” the CEO said. While that’s no easy feat, we could definitely use a bigger lightbulb.
For more, check out the company at home here.