By Allan Maurer
Atlanta-based Social123, a social media management and lead generation company, has received $500,000 in Series A funding, led by Linch Capital. Its CEO and founder says it provides that actual tangible return on investment businesses want from their social media activities.
“The amount of data and content that Internet users are creating and sharing through social media is expanding exponentially―by the hour,” says Aaron Biddar, chairman and CEO at Social123.
“Social data is more complicated to process and analyze because it’s so unstructured. We are providing innovative social media tools that enable sales and marketing professionals to turn this rich source of data into actionable intelligence.”
Biddar, who previously co-founded Atlanta-based Controlscan and ran sales and marketing for the CRM firm, the Port Network, started Social123 about two years ago.
Investment will fast-track the firm’s marketing
“This investment will not only allow us to scale our IT infrastructure, but also to fast-track the introduction of our Social123 family of products into a marketplace that is moving at the speed of light where gaining valuable insight from social interactions will be a key differentiator for conducting business―both online and offline.”
Social123 plans to expand marketing and sales initiatives with the funding. Biddar says the company has just hired two people in Charlotte, NC and is also hiring one in Charleston and three in Roswell, Georgia where it is based. It currently employs eight.
Social data platform connects firm with contacts
The company’s technology is a easy-to-use social data platform that offers sophisticated tools that collect, filter and analyze social data, giving sales teams an intelligent way to connect with contacts.
For years, Biddar notes, “People have been coming up with their own metrics – such as return on engagement – because they couldn’t get true ROI for their social media marketing. At some point, you have to stop making things up and analyze your true return.”
Only social influence score on the market
The SocialData+technology provides Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter information for companies’ contact lists. “We use their APIs and its all publicly available data, but we do it a lot faster than someone could without our technology. What might take you all day takes us 30 seconds.,” Biddar says.
With the only customizable social influence score on the market, SocialPoints+ gives sales professionals the ability to rank their most influential contacts so they can focus on the ones who matter most.
SocialLeads+ searches millions of records on all the major social media platforms, based upon specific search criteria.
SocialCRM+ seamlessly integrates with popular customer relationship management systems (CRMs), such as Salesforce, so that all data is housed in one location and is accessible when companies need it most.
“Social CRM is the new frontier for organizations that want to get closer to customers,” said David Linch, managing director at Atlanta-based Linch Capital.
“Social123 is one of the first companies to develop a reliable and cost-effective means to optimize the power of social interactions and extract true value from social data specifically for sales and marketing professionals.”
We have covered hundreds of tech startups in the last decade and the ones that enjoyed the most success often did so because they solved a real problem with an elegant solution.
Linch says “The Social123 team has a customer-focused product strategy with three of the four products developed as a result of direct customer requests.”
The holy grail of social media: a tangible return on investment
Biddar says the technology, which sells for a $49 a month for a license that provides 10,000 contacts a month, works best for clients who have been using other emarketing solutions. “They get the fastest return on investment because this is the missing piece They have email and they track who opens it, who’s signing up and so forth, but haven’t had a way to see what they’re doing with social media.”
Social123 currently has approximately 25 customers, including Avectra, a developer of web-based Social Constituent Relationship Management (CRM) solutions for fundraisers, not-for-profits and associations.
Avectra, which is in the association space, resells the Social123 technology. “They’re already seeing ROI from their customers,” says Biddar. “They’re seeing an increase in membership, which is a tangible return.”