Social analytics startup Awe.sm has been growing quickly and getting a lot of interest from brands that want to use its platform for measuring the effectiveness of their social media campaigns. With that in mind, the company has hired a new CEO, industry veteran Fred McIntyre.
It’s been a long time since we checked in with Awe.sm . The company, which started out as a link-shortener but quickly transitioned to focus on measuring the influence of various social sharing activities, raised a Series A round of funding about 18 months ago.
Since then, the company has been quietly tweaking its business model, moving from a platform primarily used by developers to track social sharing data, to one used by brands and marketers. That shift came about at the request of various agencies that were looking to get a deeper look at their earned media through social networks.
Awe.sm provides them with a way to track the value of individual tweets, likes, and pins, as well as their effects on traffic, page views, and sales conversions. That gives marketers insights and measurement to determine the effectiveness and ROI of social media campaigns which they never really had before. Clients include companies like Zynga, Playdom, Topspin Media, Maker Studios, and Groupon.
Anyway, with that new direction (or should we say, new opportunity?), Awe.sm was going beyond just being a pure technology company, and it was looking for someone who would help work with brands and advertisers and agencies. And in that search, it found former CBS Interactive and AOL exec Fred McIntyre.
McIntyre was most recently SVP of CBSi’s music group, which includes brands like Last.fm, MP3.com, and Radio.com. Under his leadership, those brands were consolidated into a single unit and the group acquired lyrics database Metrolyrics.com. Prior to that, he had held various executive roles at AOL, including SVP of business development, as well as overseeing the company’s Video and Music divisions at different times.
According to Awe.sm co-founder Jonathan Strauss, the decision to bring in a veteran executive to run things became necessary as the company began scaling up. Taking the Awe.sm platform and packaging it up for social media marketers meant growing the business, growing the team, managing people, and selling to brands and agencies — all of which left him feeling spread a little too thin. While McIntyre takes the reins, Strauss will take over as head of product management.
For his part, McIntyre was interested in the opportunity to start off on the ground floor of an emerging new industry. After being part of streaming music pioneer Spinner, as well as heading up AOL Video in the mid-to-late aughts, he said he’s used to seeing new markets emerge. Being there for the inevitable growth of a social media marketing business was of huge interest.
According to McIntyre, social media marketing makes up about 8 percent of marketing budgets today, and are expected to grow to about 12 percent by the end of the year, representing a huge opportunity for growth. Awe.sm, he believes, will be a part of that growth, as it provides better tracking than competitive products.