SocialWire Combines Organic Sharing, Facebook Advertising With Connect, Amp

Facebook advertising platform SocialWire believes its combination of organic sharing and paid advertising results in a unique offering for marketers on the social network, and a host of investors apparently agree to the tune of $2 million influx of seed funding.

The funding round was led by First Round Capital, with other participants including Dave McClure, Ariel Poler, Brian Sugar, and Joi Ito (director of MIT Media Labs).

SocialWire’s two-pronged approach is comprised of SocialWire Connect, which allows marketers to add Facebook open graph functionality to their websites, and SocialWire Amp, which helps them share the resulting activity by Facebook users.

Men’s apparel retailer Bonobos is an early SocialWire client, and the company said it is currently adding more customers for Connect and Amp, as well as rolling out a self-service offering.

Founder and CEO Selcuk Atli and Chief Revenue Officer Bob Buch spoke with AllFacebook about SocialWire Connect and SocialWire Amp, saying that their goal was to create an advertising platform that functioned more like a recommendation engine, relying on content shared by Facebook users via open graph actions, rather than traditional advertising on the social network. Buch added:

One of the biggest differentiators in the market — it’s becoming more and more of a crowded space — one of the things we’ve done differently is combine a product for Facebook organic growth with a product for Facebook paid growth, boosting organic growth with paid media not with promoted posts, but by integrating open graph sharing across the site.

SocialWire refers to the content created by its clients and Facebook users as action spec sponsored stories, noting that these types of ads cannot be purchased directly through Facebook, and must occur through the social network’s ads application-programming interface.

Action spec sponsored stories provide marketers with more contextual advertising, which presumably leads to higher click-through rates and conversions, as Facebook users are more likely to click on links shared by their friends with personal messages than on conventional ads. “Your shoppers are doing the work,” Buch added.

Atli said in a press release announcing the funding round:

There is so much more to Facebook marketing than building fan pages and paying for likes. It’s now time to harness the real power of Facebook open graph for user acquisition.

When an action is shared on Facebook, typically, fewer than 12 percent of a user’s friends see those actions. SocialWire Amp lets marketers promote those actions to all a user’s friends, and control the targeting, timing, and device: desktop or mobile. These ads appear on Facebook news feed and drive users directly to the advertiser website. This is an evergreen advertising channel that requires minimal effort to create and maintain for marketers.

Buch added:

SocialWire Connect is like search-engine optimization for Facebook. Integrating SocialWire Connect enables sites to turn any action — such as a purchase, wish list, or product review — into a story shared on Facebook that drives traffic back to the site in a contextual way. We have created a best-practice implementation of Facebook open graph for online marketers, which offers built-in privacy controls to end-users so nothing is shared without their permission.

Readers: Would you be more likely to click on a link advertising a product or service on Facebook if it was shared by a friend and contained their personal message?

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