Archive for April, 2010

Wildfire receives $4.04M in Series A funding!!!

Hey everyone! We’re very excited to announce that we’ve received $4.04M in Series A funding from Summit Partners and a group of angel investors including Jeff Clavier, Aydin Senkut and Gary Vaynerchuk. For more information about the deal please read the press release below:

Wildfire Interactive Receives Growth Equity Investment from Summit Partners
Minority investment in industry-leading social media marketing company to fund continued growth
April 26, 2010
PALO ALTO, CA—Wildfire Interactive, Inc. (www.wildfireapp.com), a leading provider of social media marketing software, announced today that it has received a minority investment led by growth equity investor Summit Partners and joined by a group of angel investors including Jeff Clavier, Aydin Senkut and Gary Vaynerchuk.The investment will be used to fund Wildfire’s organic growth initiatives and continued development of the company’s social media marketing platform.
Founded in 2008, Wildfire offers a dynamic, self-service marketing platform that enables organizations to engage users and build followings on social networks and company websites. The software allows corporations, small businesses, marketing agencies, bloggers and non-profits to create their own branded social media marketing campaigns—such as sweepstakes, user-generated contests, quizzes, coupons and incentive-based surveys—and publish them simultaneously on their website and various social networks. The company currently serves thousands of customers, including Pepsi, Facebook, Sony, AT&T, Unilever, Yahoo!, Electronic Arts, LiveNation, Edelman Digital, Victoria Secret and Subway, and has powered tens of thousands of social media marketing campaigns. Wildfire is growing rapidly, and after a small investment by the fbFund in 2009, achieved profitability early on in its life.
Victoria Ransom, Cofounder and CEO of Wildfire, said, “Wildfire is a privately financed company that reached profitability just a few months after inception, so the decision to raise outside capital was an important strategic move for us. Teaming up with Summit Partners will provide our company with additional support as we rapidly expand our product offering and enhance our already valuable service to customers.” Alain Chuard, Cofounder and Head of Product Management, added, “We’re very excited to add Summit Partners to our roster of world-class investors, which also includes the fbFund. Without Facebook, we would not be where we are today. With access to Summit’s strategic guidance, global network of contacts and long history of partnering with growing software companies, we look forward to taking our company to the next level.”
“At Summit Partners, we’ve been making growth equity investments in software companies for more than 25 years. We are seeing large-scale, increasing demand for social media marketing solutions, and Wildfire is ideally positioned to become a market leader,” said Harrison Miller, a Managing Director with Summit Partners who will join the Wildfire Board of Directors. “We have been extremely impressed by Wildfire’s track record, exceptional management team and list of marquee customers. We look forward to working with this terrific organization to achieve even greater success.”
About Wildfire Interactive, Inc.
Headquartered in Silicon Valley, Wildfire Interactive, Inc. (www.wildfireapp.com) is a technology company that’s dedicated to helping businesses of all sizes leverage the marketing power of social networks such as Facebook and Twitter. Wildfire’s patent-pending technology platform allows corporations, small businesses, agencies, bloggers and non-profits to easily create their own attractive, branded social media marketing campaigns—for example, sweepstakes, contests, coupons, giveaways, quizzes, and virtual gift campaigns—and publish them simultaneously on Facebook fan pages, on company websites (integrated with Facebook Connect) and on Twitter. Intuitive, streamlined and affordable, Wildfire’s platform is simple enough for even the least tech-savvy business manager to use, and flexible enough to suit the needs of the most creative marketer or advertising agency. Wildfire is a two-time winner of the Facebook Fund and was runner-up in the TechCrunch Crunchies Awards in 2010.
About Summit Partners
Summit Partners (www.summitpartners.com) is a growth equity investor that provides private equity and venture capital to rapidly growing companies. Founded in 1984, Summit has raised more than $11 billion in capital and has provided growth equity, recapitalization and management buyout financing to more than 300 growing companies across a range of industries and geographies. Summit Partners seeks outstanding management teams that have built their companies to market leadership. Summit’s notable software and Internet investments include AvePoint, Hyperion Software, Jamba!, McAfee, Postini, RightNow Technologies, NetWitness, SafeBoot, Tiny Prints, and Vente-Privee.com.
In the United States of America, Summit Partners operates as an SEC-registered investment advisor. In the United Kingdom, this document is issued by Summit Partners Limited, a firm authorized and regulated by the Financial Services Authority. Summit Partners Limited is a limited company registered in England and Wales with company number 4141197, and its registered office is at 20–22 Bedford Row, London, WC1R 4JS, UK. This document is intended solely to provide information regarding Summit Partners’ potential financing capabilities for prospective portfolio companies.

Wildfire Powers the Selection of a Miss USA “Contestant”!

The Wildfire platform has powered several funky, cool social media promotions in the past, from campaigns for Lady Gaga to hot sauces, video games, and presidential visits. But this is the first time we’ve played a part in the selection of a Miss USA “contestant“!

The Miss USA pageant is currently using the Wildfire Promotion Builder platform to power a contest they’re running on Facebook, calling for the selection of the 52nd “contestant” for the 2010 Miss USA Pageant, which occurs on May 16th! Entrants must submit a photo with a 250 word essay detailing why they believe they are worthy of becoming the 52nd “contestant”. One winner will get exclusive behind-the-scenes access to see what really happens as the ladies prepare to compete for the crown with a 4 day/ 3 night trip to Las Vegas, which includes roundtrip airfare, lodging and transportation as well as VIP tickets to the telecast and after party. The winner of the contest will not compete in the telecast, but will get a once in a lifetime pageant experience.

Possibly the coolest part is that the Facebook contest is open to any and all entrants 18 years of age or older– this means guys too! He could be a Miss(ter) USA “contestant”! Not only would this be a progressive step forward in demonstrating the power of social  media in support of equality, but can you imagine a cooler sight than a single male among a gaggle of female pageant regulars? Some of our team hopes the guys get the most votes just for that!

Who knows– if this contest goes well this year, maybe next year the pageant will choose a contestant for the actual telecast with audience participation via Facebook too! ¡Viva la Revolución!

4 Tips to Nearly Double the Performance of your Facebook Ads

Looking to make your Facebook promotions more effective? Facebook advertising, thanks to its highly targeted nature, can be one of the most effective ways for you to kick-start your promotion and ensure its success. Here are simple tips (some of which we learned directly from our meetings with Facebook) for how to improve the performance of your Facebook advertising. These are simple tips, but in some cases they can help you to almost double the success of your Facebook ad campaigns!

1) Ads Targetting Friends of Fans Double Your Ad Performance!

We learned from Facebook that the often overlooked ‘advertise to friends of your fans’ feature performs significantly better in terms of brand lift than regular Facebook ads. Why? If you advertise to the friends of your fans every single person viewing your ad will see that someone they know is already a fan of your brand (for example, if my friend Sally Baker is a fan of Bob’s Burgers the message ‘Sally Baker is a fan’ will appear beneath the Bob’s Burgers Facebook ad when I view it). As has been demonstrated many times before, people respond best to personal brand and product recommendations from their friends (in fact, a recent study by Morpace Research found that approximately 68% of Facebook users said that a positive Facebook friend referral would increase their chances of purchasing a product or visiting a retailer), so if every person viewing your ad campaign sees that at least one of their friends is associated with your brand the response will be dramatically higher. Now, you might be thinking ‘I only have 100 fans – if I advertise to friends of fans I won’t reach anyone’ – but keep in mind that on average each Facebook user has 130 friends. So if you advertise to friends of your fans and you have 100 fans you will be able to reach 13,000 of their friends. If you have 10,000 fans you’ll be able to reach 1.3MM of their friends!Additionally, a recent study by research and consulting firm Morpace found that approximately 68% of Facebook users said that a positive Facebook friend referral would increase their chances of purchasing a product or visiting a retailer. That is a very convincing statistic to support the effectiveness of advertising to friends of your fans.

Advertising to friends of fans is easy. When you set up your ad campaign on Facebook just select the “Target users whose friends are connected to” option (see screenshot below as an example).

Click to enlarge

2) Keep Users in Facebook for Best Results

While you can use a Facebook ad to point to anywhere on the web, your advertising will be dramatically more effective if you point to something within the Facebook site, like your Fan Page. Imagine yourself in the shoes of a user– you’ve come online to engage with your friends, profiles, photos and feeds and have become interested in an ad. But once you click, you’re removed from your Facebook experience and taken somewhere completely outside of it. Unless the new location you’ve come upon is especially compelling, or in some way satisfies the experience you came to Facebook to achieve, many users will immediately drop off the advertised site and return to Facebook. If, on the other hand, you point your Facebook ad to feature something within the network, the user is far more likely to engage with it. Many Facebook advertisers make the mistake of directing their ads to landing pages that have been optimized for Google AdWords, not Facebook. Even if you’d rather direct consumers outside of Facebook, keep in mind the reasons they’re in Facebook in the first place and direct them to a landing page that is consistent with the fun, social, authentic and engaging nature of Facebook.

3) Targeting “Likes & Interests” with Facebook

Facebook ads enable you to target consumers according to highly specific demographic and geographic information. But why stop at age groups, location, or gender? You can make sure that your ad only displays to people who have explicitly stated somewhere in their profile that they share a particular “like” or “interest” that aligns with your ad.

For example, in setting up this sample ad for the Chocolate Bakery not only can you target US females between the ages of 25 and 55 (the target demographic for the Chocolate Bakery), you can also target people who list the following ‘likes’ in their Facebook profile: “chocolate cake,” “fudge,” “cookies,” and “chocolate”. Facebook shows that over one million users fit this very specific set of criteria so that’s one million sets of highly targeted eyeballs to potentially reach with your ad!

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

4) Brick and Mortar Business? Get Local with your Advertising!

If you have a business that is in a brick and mortar location or primarily serves customers from a certain region, you can drill down to very specific location targets with Facebook advertising. You can even get as close as a 10 mile radius of your city! Now that’s localizing.

Click to enlarge



What is the Value of a Facebook Fan?

Have you ever wondered what the value of a Facebook Fan is? You’re not alone.  An article which appeared on AdWeek last week has provided a calculation of its own.

The featured study showed that, on average, a fan base of 1 million translates into at least $3.6 million in equivalent media over a year. By this calculation then, each fan is worth approximately $3.60 of equivalent media, or what you would be spending on traditional advertising to expect to generate the same marketing outcome. At Wildfire we’ve seen many customers use our campaigns to build their fan bases for under $1 per fan and in some cases for just a few cents per fan. So for these clients the return on investment can be huge!

To obtain these numbers, Facebook data from a collection of large and small brand Fan Pages was analyzed, with a combined 41 million fans, and showed that on average marketers who post twice a day are able to achieve monthly impressions of around 1.5 times their number of fans (i.e. 60 million monthly impressions yielded from a fan base of 41 million fans). An “impression” is the equivalent of one ad view and accordingly to the study an impression using paid advertising generally costs around $5 per 1000 impressions. So according to the calculations in the study, a fan page owner that has 10,000 fans and posts content to their page twice a day can expect that they’ll receive around $36,000 in ‘advertising’ value from these fans. In other words, if this fan page owner were to try to achieve the same level of exposure for her brand during the year, she’d have to spend around $36,000. Of course, not all fan pages are made equal – some achieve much higher engagement levels than others (the study found that some fan pages achieved 3.6 impressions per fan per month and others just 0.44 impressions per fan) but nevertheless the potential exists for fan bases to be highly valuable.

Of course, this study only measures impressions. Wildfire clients achieve far more than just impressions from the campaigns they run with us – they grow their fan bases, newsletter lists, Twitter followers, website impressions and even drive store visits and sales via coupons and giveaways. So for our customers, the value they get from a Wildfire campaign could well exceed the potential $3.60 value of a fan cited in the the AdWeek article.

So what does this mean for you? Well, for starters it means that all the time and effort you’re putting into building your fan base can have a quantifiable return (and a pretty significant one to boot!). It also means that the more regularly you update your fans, the more impressions you’ll likely be achieving and thus the greater the value of your fans. Of course, this can be a double-edged sword because if you ‘spam’ your fans with content that is not relevant or compelling they’ll likely opt-out of your activity streams, thus reducing your overall impressions over time. Finally, it means that the more you can do to engage your fans beyond just impressions – for example, have them sign up for your mailing list, refer your brand to friends, claim coupons etc, the greater their value will grow. Fortunately, Wildfire’s campaigns are designed to help you achieve all these goals – sweepstakes, contests, giveaways and coupons have been shown to be one of the most effective ways to not only grow a fan base but to keep them engaged and to keep them ‘looking out’ for your brands content.


Facebook to Change Language from “Become a Fan” to “Like”

During the first week of April the news broke that Facebook was planning to change the language around Fan Pages from “Become a Fan” to “Like.” We previously posted on our blog about this to outline the change with our readers, to ensure that it is clear what changes are anticipated for your Facebook Fan Page, but wanted to re-post our explanation when the first instance of the wording change became public on some Facebook Fan Pages. On April 19 the first group of language changes were released on Facebook– not all users can see the differences yet and not all pages are different, so the change may take some time and occur in waves. We wanted you to know, first and foremost, not to worry! The change is purely in wording, and won’t affect the functionality of your Facebook Fan Pages at all.

Facebook already uses the term “Like” for users who are indicating their interest in their friends’ posts, feeds, pictures, and updates. In fact, Facebook has done research analyzing use of the “Like” function, and shown that users click the term nearly twice as often as they click to “Become a Fan” of any page. Maybe they’re like serial daters, more than happy to “like” all these brands but afraid of making the commitment of becoming a “Fan”. Facebook has stated that in changing the wording from “Become a Fan” to “Like,” they expect users to be more comfortable committing to use the word around brands and other Fan Pages. Facebook has also said that changing to “Like” from “Become a Fan” will help to streamline the site, so that users feel that indicating their interest in anything from a post to a page can be achieved in a universal language that they have already demonstrated comfort in using.


Similar to how Facebook users can declare that they “Like” Facebook newsfeeds, statuses, photos, and similar items, soon they will be able to state that they “Like” your Facebook Fan Page, instead of choosing to “Become a Fan.”


This could be great news for your Facebook Fan Page, making it easier to build your fan base, if the Facebook users are more comfortable committing to the “Like” button on your company profile over the previous “Become a Fan” button. Fans of your page can still be referred to as “Fans” but over time, the language on your Fan Page may evolve to “People who Like Us on Facebook.” Additionally, in newsfeed form, we will begin to see statements like “John Doe likes Wildfire Interactive,” instead of “John Doe became a Fan of Wildfire Interactive.” We can see, then, that the upcoming change is little more than some different language. In this way, you can expect to keep creating interesting and compelling promotions to engage with Facebook users in the same way you were before any changes were announced. When the new language does go live, our Wildfire Promotion Builder tool will be ready and configured with all the necessary wording updates. Brings a whole new meaning to the common saying, “…they like me! They really like me!”


About

We are a group of innovative developers, designers and marketers with a passion for creating a social media marketing platform that helps companies & agencies to engage the millions of social network users. Our platform allows you to easily grow and cultivate your fans & followers.

Wildfire Interactive, Inc.
3485 El Camino Real
Palo Alto, CA 94306
USA

Email: info@wildfireapp.com
Phone: +1 (888) 274-0929
Website: www.WildfireApp.com

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April 2010
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