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10 Hot Social Media Startups to Watch

Jeff Vance | April 18, 2013
Social media startups aren't typically as well-funded as cloud or mobile startups, but they can have just as much impact and potential in how a business functions and succeeds. After evaluating more than 40 social media startups and then turning to crowdsourcing for input, here are the 10 hot social media startups to watch.

10. SocialFlow

What they do: SocialFlow's products give businesses and brands ways to increase audience engagement. It also ties performance goals to the company's social media strategy.

Headquarters: New York, N.Y.

CEO: Missy Godfrey, who was previously a Managing Director of North Sea Partners.

Founded: 2009

Funding: $19.4 million from Fairhaven Capital, SoftBank, RRE, AOL Ventures, Betaworks, Highline Capital and a number of prominent angel investors, including Ron Conway and Mike Lazerow.

Why they're on this list: As companies develop social media engagement strategies, two distinct challenges emerge. During the initial phase of use, businesses must figure out how to publish effective content. Later, after companies have invested real resources into their social media efforts, they need tools to optimize and manage content, and to encourage real engagement with followers.

SocialFlow relies on Wall Street-like analytics to rigorously optimize social publishing and advertising. Cadence, SocialFlow's social media publishing platform provides the data-based intelligence companies need in order to publish the most relevant information at the right time. As engagement varies throughout the day, Cadence listens to real-time conversations and helps determine which of a company's messages is most relevant to the audience in the moment. The predictive analytics used by the platform also help customers control the frequency and reach of the messages.

Crescendo, SocialFlow's "attention buying platform," attempts to find out exactly where audience attention is going to be most convertible and most cost-effective in order to execute ad buys in real time. Crescendo uses the real-time conversations of a target audience to identify key words to target outside audiences. With this approach, Crescendo can target underutilized keywords and win impressions at lower costs. To provide the highest quality targeting, Crescendo partitions the ads based on a variety of interest-based segments, rather than one-dimensional demographic filters. SocialFlow claims that by taking advantage of emerging opportunities to capture attention as interests and behaviors shift, their platform delivers high conversions at low cost with heightened brand awareness and retention.

Market Potential and Competitive Landscape:Competitors include TayKey, GraphEffect and Bottlenose. SocialFlow has an impressive customer list (Wal-Mart, Pepsi, Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Gawker, Volkswagen, and Al Jazeera), a good amount of VC funding and are in a high-growth sector.

Now, it's your turn to vote for your favorite social media startup. After voting closes, we'll rank everyone on this list based on voting, the management team, funding, viability of the business model, the ability to attract customers and more.

If you feel some startup was snubbed, you also have the option to write one in. If any of the write-ins get enough support, the list may get expanded to include them when we release the final rankings.

 

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