Arik Hesseldahl

Recent Posts by Arik Hesseldahl

Tracx, Social Media’s Big-Data Player, Lands $3.5 Million From Flybridge Capital

tracxCompanies are still trying to get their heads around social media. There’s a lot of effort going into software and services that aim to track what people say about a given product or brand.

For the most part, what they’ve been doing up to now has been social media monitoring, which means listening to what people say on Facebook and Twitter and blogs. What you decide to do based on what you see people saying is pretty much up to you. The big leader in this business is Radian6, which acquired in 2011, and which forms the backbone of Salesforce’s Marketing Cloud.

But there’s a new player that has been attracting notice. New York-based Tracx — pronounced “tracks” — has been doing business with companies such as Coca-Cola, Kraft, Samsung and Sears. Today, it will announce that it has landed $3.5 million in venture capital funding in an extension of a Series B round announced last year. Flybridge Capital is leading the round, and early investors Revel Partners and Rutledge Partners also participated. The round brings Tracx’s total capital raised to $9.5 million.

The funds will be used to boost Tracx’s go-to-market efforts around Social Leads, its cloud-based product for tracking and sorting through social media traffic and determining where the business opportunities are.

I talked with CEO Eran Gilad today, and he described what Social Leads — now in a final beta, and set for release in April — does. Basically, once you see someone talking about a product or a service or a brand on social media, it ranks what they say according to where they may be in the buying process. As Gilad puts it, not all actions on social media are alike. “A ‘Like’ on Facebook isn’t as important as a comment on Facebook,” he said.

Potential sales leads get organized based on where they appear to be in that process of making a buying decision. Are they actively doing research, or are they just curious? Or are they commenting on something they’ve already bought?

Once a prospect is identified, you can see all their accounts on Twitter, Facebook, their blogs and so on, for more insight into what they may be thinking or doing and to learn a bit more about them. You can also track conversations by geography, and see what people in one city are saying versus those in another.

From there, sales pros can jump right into action, making a sales pitch or shifting marketing spends based on what may be causing the conversation to happen in the first place. There’s no days-old static report; data is real-time. And data is visible to any person in the company, not just the sales and marketing teams: Someone on the product development side, for example, might see something in the comment streams that yields some critical insight and an important change to a product.

Tracx also talks to other tools that companies use, like Omniture and Google Analytics.

So far, more than 250 companies are using Tracx, and sales at Tracx were up 4x in 2012. The company moved its headquarters from Israel to New York last year, and now employs 50 people.

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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald