Back in May, as it was on the brink of closing its first big round of funding, social commerce startup Spinback was acquired by Buddy Media, the 800 pound gorilla in the social marketing world. Since then, says Buddy Media CEO Mike Lazerow, Spinback has become tightly integrated into Buddy Media’s daily work, especially when it comes to showing big clients what they are getting from the campaigns they run. Betabeat chatted with Spinback founder and CEO Andrew Ferenci, who is now director of product developement at Buddy.
How are things going with the integration of Spinback into Buddy Media?
It’s going really well. Sometimes a product gets bought and the integration takes a long time. Or worse, the product never really gets integrated and then it gets killed off, like Google did with Dodgeball. We’re only three months in, but the product fit just seems right, and we’re getting close to the finish line for launching a brand new version of Spinback that will tie us into the larger mission here at Buddy.
What’s it like going from a small startup at Dogpatch Labs to a big company like Buddy?
Mike has created an real entrepreneurial culture, wrapped around a well oiled, corporate operating structure. It kind of feels like a big company built around a mini-incubator. When we’re not focused on Spinback, we’re working on new product.
Sure, but what exactly does Spinback is doing for Buddy?
Well we’ve always tried to give businesses a way to measure the dollar per share, the ROI for sharing on platforms like Facebook and Twitter, and the real world conversions retailers get from their social media marketing efforts. In the future it will be any and all conversion. For big brands its not always as simple as, how many sales did that tweet drive. You want to look at, for example, I share an interactive link to a Mini-Cooper to my wall. We can track how many people click through and customize, request a quote to drive it, or like that post.
Won’t that change with the arrival of new platforms like Google+?
There is a lot of fluff out there for social media, especially around engagement, so we’re focused on giving the client hard data around a customized set of conversions. We’re stretching what Spinback can do really wide, so it can cover all different kinds of content across more verticals than just retail. And while Buddy is best known for Facebook, we’re working across all the big social networks, email and emerging platforms. As you’re seeing with Google+, social focus is growing, anytime a big network like that opens up an API, be it Google or LinkedIn, we want to help our clients market and measure.
Parting words on being a new employee of Buddy Media?
I’m trying to avoid the Buddy 15, but its hard, just due to the sheer volume of tasty snacks and beverages. It reminds me a lot of visiting google, a work hard, play hard atmosphere.
Update: In response to our photo caption Mr. Ferenci tweeted: “My mane has been tamed. i.e. I got a haircut.”