JanRezab / Blog

Founder & Executive Chairman of Socialbakers.com


Socialbakers calling other companies: Lets work together!

Published: June 12, 2014

Socialbakers has just acquired EdgeRank Checker, making it the second acquisition this year and our 5th historical acquisition (including Socialbrando, and a few others). Socialbakers has closed a $26 million C funding round from Index Ventures (& Earlybird) back in January, and we are ready to take on the next wave of companies.  We are in talks with several companies to buy or merge with more of them. This is a calling that we can definitely do more!

We think at Socialbakers we are building an amazing company, we now have over 2700 customers (look at our YouTube channel for client case studies), we have 13 offices (Prague, Pilsen, Split, London, New York City, Singapore, Mexico City, Sao Paulo, Munich, Paris, San Francisco, Dubai, Istanbul – ordered by the number of people in these offices) in 11 countries. We are not only building an analytics company for social, but we are building a company that can take intelligence from social media and help brands do better customer care, managing a crisis, media monitoring, and other things. Our data is being used for far more than just measuring social media marketing performance.

Of course, we are looking to build great products internally, but at the same time we would like to grow some of the things we do not have, because the opportunity is almost limitless. You would be surprised what Socialbakers has built over the last 5 years, I can guarantee that.

Now more technically: There are 2 sizes of companies we are looking for:

  • Small companies / Acq-hire – Great team, beginning of a product, probably non-proven, <$10-30.000 of monthly revenue
  • Mid-size to big companies – Acquisition/Merger – Anyone starting at $500.000 of yearly revenue up to $5 million in yearly revenue.

The aspects that are key for us in evaluation:

  • Proven SaaS (Software as a Service) model
  • Existing happy customers
  • Good product that delivers and does what it says it does with a solid technological foundation
  • Product is very beneficial / Complementary to what we have today, and serves a valuable purpose for a client
  • Great team – ultimately, we will be working with you guys for some time to come
  • Anywhere from little to very solid revenues – the smaller the revenue, the deeper the review will be around product and team

Even though most of our acquisition focus is in Europe (Czech, Poland, Croatia, Germany, and others), we just bought a company from Chicago in the U.S., and we are talking to several players in South America and Asia, and we are not limiting ourselves geographically, its about finding the right team to work with.

What can you be expecting after an acquisition:

  • We make sure the founders get a vested interest in building their part of the business as well as build out Socialbakers itself, we always want to keep the entire team, thats actually a condition for us on any acquisitions.
  • We continue building out your product and also figure out how it fits and integrates with the Socialbakers suite of products
  • We build the product together and offer it to a much wider base of users that we have now, like we are doing now with EdgeRank Checker

We are trying to find the best and brightest companies out there and make sure that together, we can create value thats bigger than one we provide today together. Many of the businesses we have spoken to thought they can surely make it on their own. I am also sure many of them could make it on their own, but together, we not only increase the value, but increase the potential upside (Scale of clients, solidity of business) and decrease the risk (We are already big enough).

I really hope we can work together. Ping me a message on LinkedIn and let me know if you are interested, or just keep building your business and let us know when the right time comes to talk.


Simple way to minimize damage and exposure from social care: Speed!

Published: May 27, 2014

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Here is a quick recommendation for brands to minimize damage from social customer care. I had a cool scene with @Uber_NYC. When I really need them to work, it didn’t. (Small background for those driving Uber: The driver just sat there for 15 minutes and did not move at all, then moved and probably stopped by for what seemed to be a bagel shop before even leaving to my place). Anyway, lets get to how Uber could have done a better job communicating:

First, I was extremelly nice, sent it to them directly (it just gets seen by his and my joined followers – which will be very few of them)

Then, they didnt respond, so I sent it to all of my followers, this was much later

Other people started getting included in the conversation, quite heavy tech. influencers:

It was a happy end, but 3 of my additional tweets (& the urgency) could have been completely avoided:

So brands, easy recommendation: Just try and respond quickly! Thanks to Dani from @Uber_NYC for the answer & refund, and big shame on @Uber the company not be more staffed in shifts (this is not Dani’s mistake, this is the company’s mistake and they should fix it).

My recommendation is this: Brands, if you provide 24/7 service (your stuff is available around the clock), make sure you have 24/7 customer care!

Here is Ubers Twitter customer care response rate according to our Socialbakers social media and customer care Analytics. They could be doing a lot better. And by coud I mean should

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Exclusive: Socialbakers mobile events app for ENGAGE now live!

Published: April 29, 2014

Tags: socialbakers

(Updated May 2014 – how it was created) Socialbakers is once again making history – this time around events. For our ENGAGE 2014 conference tomorrow in London. Today we have launched an exclusive application for this event called Socialbakers Events. Already launched on Apple Store, and on Android Market. Its oriented both at people who come to the event, and both to people that stream it online on YouTube. Streaming is available straight from the app!

So if you are a social marketer -> Download it now on Appstore, Download it now on Android Market. The social functionalities are going to be launched tomorrow morning. Wish us luck for Engage, and of course, watch online! (Watch the entire ENGAGE show on YouTube)

We are inviting other event organizers to contact us and use the app for their events.

UPDATE May 2014 – ENGAGE was a great show, it generated over 5000 tweets partly because of the apps and the live stream apps. Funny story about the app, we actually had the quick idea about 40 days ago. In San Francisco, I sketched it over on paper (bottom left), the design got created, and both apps were live in a stunning 24 hours before the event – thanks especially to Apple for pushing this through and getting it live.

Now we could have used other bespoke things available on the market, but they would have been an easy event CMS, and would have never been natively social as we needed it to be, built with sharing and tweeting in the center – which our app truly does.

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A few more screens:

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Defining the Future of Social Media: Connection Networks vs. Content Networks

Published: April 22, 2014

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(Updated on May 5th, see bottom) There may be countless platforms out there, but there are really only two types of social networks: Content networks and connection networks. This may seem like an arbitrary division, but it is fundamental to understanding the present and future state of social media.

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On one side of the matrix are content networks like YouTube and Tumblr. Content networks are (or were) basically broadcast mediums – built on an input-output architecture. Users created things, uploaded them, and hoped for an audience. Now, these platforms are evolving into things that resemble clubs or membership organizations.

On the other side of the matrix are connection networks like Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn – which is sort of the ultimate connection network. These platforms rest on users’ collective ability to entice and interact with more users. The methods of interaction are a cocktail of normal conversation, photos, and anything else one can link to. Separate networks can overlap at the margins – and when networks collide things go viral. It’s akin to watching a frog leap from lily pad to lily pad in a pond.

Of course, there is a middle ground here. Facebook relies on user networks to push outside content to Facebook timelines. Look no further than Facebook’s purchase of Instagram or the Paper app for evidence of the convergence of content and connection.

Twitter, a connection network, has steadily moved towards being a content network. Now, the artists, journalists, and enthusiasts who have been connected there are able to edit and post visual content in increasingly creative ways, get the latest breaking news from on the ground as it happens, and generally tell a more complete social story.

Brands are becoming increasingly aware of this. More companies than ever before are using Twitter to respond to customer questions, demands, and comments – and how this is being driven from the ground up. Unsatisfied customers are increasingly turning to Twitter to make public their latest complaints, and brands are just now starting to get up to speed.

This is the power of the connection network. One tweet from one person is as if by chance noticed by someone with millions of followers, some public stature, or both, and boom. The network trains its gaze. The only thing brands can do is respond thoughtfully and transparently – that’s the game.

On the other side, YouTube is a full-blown content network that is gravitating toward being a connection network. For YouTube this makes sense. It is building a connected-network (a.k.a subscribers) logic on top of its existing architecture, has YouTube-only featured channels with very high-quality material, and is becoming more of a “web destination” every day.

YouTube is interesting for marketers for any number of reasons, but, as with Instagram or LinkedIn’s Pulse, the content game and multimedia space is a place where creativity can trump all – or the opposite, of course. Is the two-minute, multi-million dollar video delivering a solid ROI? No doubt it was fun to make, but can it make any money?

The answer seems to lie somewhere in the middle. Facebook has consistently been able to generate substantial ad revenue, Twitter just exceeded investor expectations, and YouTube is an ever-bigger piece in the Google puzzle. To be sure, all three are massive, with users counted in the billions, and that helps. But they would not have grown so large without doing some things right.

Both Facebook and Twitter are generating the majority of their ad revenue on mobile – where connection networks are strongest and content networks find their greatest challenges. Now, as mobile screens get bigger, devices get stronger, and data transfer rates increase, the challenge becomes one of sustainability.

But, maybe the real indicator of the the future of social lies somewhere else – TripAdvisor. Whereas the major platforms need to hit a moving target in their markets, TripAdvisor has become a unique and highly valuable mix of content and connection by doing one thing and doing it well. A simple review site has turned into an indispensable resource for leisure and business travelers alike by fostering community around something many people find very important.

This is the future of social media – and media more generally, if you ask me. The create-broadcast-view-advertise-repeat formula is dead. We live in an on-demand world where small, interested, collaborative communities can drive and sustain creative ventures across any number of sectors.

The convergence of content and connection networks is just beginning – and it is exciting.

Update: At Engage in London (see presentation below on Slideshare), I presented the fact that content networks have grown more than connection networks in the last 12 months, and showed the gravities of different networks.

  • LinkedIn is expanding towards Content (creating blog, buying Pulse, etc.)
  • Facebook is expanding more towards content (Instagram, Facebook Paper, etc.)
  • YouTube is expanding left, trying to help companies build more connections, build more subscribers

Social network division - Content and Connection networks


Marketers, this is how unified social measurement and metrics should look like

Published: April 11, 2014

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This week I was judging the Brand Republic Digital Awards. The results will be announced on June 3rd and obviously I can’t talk about it, but it was interesting how different companies approached communicating results. In Socialbakers, we have a dream: We wish that all companies will use the right metrics, and keep improving over time on how they are performing. We would like to see that all companies are really monitoring everything all the way from reach to whatever your bottom line metric is (this might be brand awareness). You will be able to see some of the first companies on ENGAGE 2014 on April 30th in 19 days.

If you read all the way to the bottom, there is a sneak peak of our Brand Love metrics.

Biggest mistakes in the results and measures:

  • Not being clear about the metrics
  • Over-using how many fans they grew even though they had multi-million dollar campaigns
  • Twitters potential reach (the calculation of my followers times their followers) as actual reach
  • Some used very vague metrics without sourcing how they got to the numbers
  • Very little of the entries all-together actually used sources to verify
  • About 5 different Engagement Rates being used – some very interesting

This is how I would expect a report in an awards entry or a social report to look like nowadays:

  • The key KPIs and measures for the campaigns were: Awareness, Reach, and Direct Sales. Campaign was run from 10. 4. 2013 to 10.7. 2013.
  • Campaign brought an increase in business / sales by X%
  • Campaign brought in a raise of awareness. Our positive brand awareness grew by +15%
  • We used a 1 mil. GBP budget, and paid media vs. organic ratio was 4:1, a very healthy ratio.
  • On social media, the campaign created a unique reach of 1,000,000 people with 8,000,000 impressions even hitting organic growth of our followers by 130,000 (don’t mention followers you paid for, you are making yourselves look bad)
  • Our YouTube channel had a lift of 6,000,000 views, and 3,000 subscribers were added during the period
  • 150,000 unique users engaged with our landing page and spent 4 minutes
  • In total, the campaign had 360,000 user interactions (user posts, likes, comments, shares, retweets, inbound mentions, replies, favorites, YouTube thumbs-up, etc.), of which 50,000 was user comments (not just likes & thumbs ups)
  • Total number of shares and retweets was 35,000
  • Campaign had a buzz of 15,000 tweets, in combination using the @company, #campaignhashtag, and shares of videos

+ On the bottom, add a list of sources.

I actually went and verified many of the campaigns and their results using our Analytics, as they didn’t have these measures.

Only 1 out of 50 entries compared themselves to competitors and industry benchmarks, what percentage did they take away from the industry and what was the rise in the percentage of industry. This is basic stuff!

Now, if you look at that, how do you measure the different things in the easiest way:

  • Campaign was run from 10. 4. 2013 to 10.7. 2013. (Jan) you have to define this, if you don’t, we can’t look and find anything
  • Campaign brought an increase in business / sales by X% (Jan) Source: Internal metrics
  • Campaign brought in a raise of awareness. Our positive brand awareness grew by +15% (Jan) Source: Research company
  • We used a 1 mil. GBP budget, and paid media vs. organic ratio was 4:1, a very healthy ratio. (Jan) Paid vs. Organic is a division of reach you had paid for and reach that was organic. Simple metric in Facebook Insights, you can import / export using Socialbakers Analytics in bulk.
  • On social media, the campaign created a unique reach of 1,000,000 people with 8,000,000 impressions even hitting organic growth of our followers by 130,000 (don’t mention followers you paid for, you are making yourselves look bad(Jan) Again, standard platform metrics, you can export all using our platform
  • Our YouTube channel had a lift of 6,000,000 views, and 3,000 subscribers were added during the period (Jan) Again, very easy metric – views.
  • 150,000 unique users engaged with our landing page and spent 4 minutes (Jan) Typically Google Analytics / Adobe Omniture sourced.
  • In total, the campaign had 360,000 user interactions (user posts, likes, comments, shares, retweets, inbound mentions, replies, favorites, YouTube thumbs-up, etc.), of which 50,000 was user comments (not just likes & thumbs ups) (Jan) This is 3 clicks in Socialbakers Analytics and you have this
  • Total number of shares and retweets was 35,000 (Jan) Same here
  • Campaign had a buzz of 15,000 tweets, in combination using the @company, #campaignhashtag, and shares of videos (Jan) Any basic listening tool should be able to get this

For brand health metrics, Socialbakers is very busy in its Socialbakers Labs preparing Brand Love (+ mobile Brand Love). Look at this sample of 12 000 votes in the beverages category around the world (I would call this the most global panel on the planet). When I saw this data, I cried how good it is. It shows you that in EMEA, beverages companies are not rated as highly, they have the highest amount of detractors, where in Americas region they are rated very similarly. And the age groups are beautiful. Younger kids are both great promoters and almost zero detractors, older people are quite big detractors. Pretty cool, right?

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Because its simple, right = Socialbakers Analytics, all benchmarks, all comparisons, custom benchmarks, all interactions, all social platforms: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, VK.com, LinkedIn, and also Google+ coming in 3 weeks.

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