Any social media manager or community manager with an ear to the ground for innovative ideas will find it hard to be anything other than impressed by the success of celebrity endorsement platform, Adly, which has just raised a further $2 million in funding.
The company has become something of a top dog in the social media celebrity endorsement corner in a very short space of time (essentially, it connects brands with celebrities who are willing to promote messages on social networks). The latest funding round, which was led by its previous backer GRP Partners, takes the total raised by the startup so far to $7.5 million. Siemer Ventures, a new investor for the firm, also took part.
The latest funding coincides with the launch of a new Adly product – the “Match Me Up!” analytics service. This analyzes a company’s current content and followers on social sites and then matches it up with the most relevant publishers to “amplify” the company/brand message. Our intrepid social media manager will doubtless be wondering how it does that. Put simply: just sign in with a Twitter account and Adly immediately sets about identifying celebrity publishers. Then it calculates how many times your reach and engagement can be enhanced through their collective endeavors.
But if you’re a social media manager wanting to give this a try, you’ll find that you won’t know exactly who the celebrity publishers are until you sign up for an actual Adly campaign. But the service does provide basic descriptions and statistics about the publishers so it’s not simply a shot in the dark.
Taking engagement seriously
Adly’s CEO, Walter Delph, who took up his post less than a year ago, says that the new product is part of a longer strategy. And he makes a persuasive point: advertisers using Adly don’t simply gain access to a multitude of eyeballs, they also get genuine engagement, as followers launch conversations about the brand. The reach, Delph says, is earned rather than merely paid for.
More tools to enhance social conversation and engagement are in the pipeline.
And it’s a little misleading to consider the firm a celebrity-only endorsement network. In addition to its 2,000 recognizable stars, it’s also cultivated relationships with 73,000 non-celeb social influencers, all of whom are highly valuable to advertisers.