A few weeks ago, I read Zombie Startups, an excellent post by Danielle Morrill, an entrepreneur who recently made a tough decision about her company. As I read this post, a small knot in my gut began to grow. While Social Snap isn’t a zombie (in fact, there has been more promising activity in the last 90 days than ever in the history of the company), there was a line in the post that I just couldn’t get out of my head: “It can take a long time to die.”
Like Danielle, failure is much less terrifying to me than a lingering death. And unfortunately, without significant capital investment, I believe that Social Snap will begin to linger in the very near future. Here’s why:
In my Marketing Land column this month, I wrote about the highly specific and unique requirements for social media metrics and reporting. At the end of the day, almost every prospect we talk to has unique needs in terms of measurement. Even at the most basic level, not every client uses the same mix of social channels (Linkedin and Google+ for one client; Tumblr + Pinterest + Instagram for another). Almost every agency has its own “secret-sauce” metrics. Every client has custom sources of data to integrate. Even reporting styles and dashboards are highly divergent.
Ironically, Social Snap was designed and built to accommodate exactly this kind of highly customized measurement. We created a platform that is highly flexible – not a set of canned, standardized reports. But to continue in that direction, to build a single product that meets an ever-widening, ever-shifting range of disparate needs, requires money. Quite a bit of money, in fact. And the bottom line is that we don’t have it. And we can’t get it, at least not on terms that we would consider sane or sensible.
What we do have, however, is a sophisticated base of code that can be used to build out many different types of social media tools. For example:
- Our Influencer scoring system could be integrated into a social listening platform, a social CRM system, or any number of PR management tools.
- Our campaign tracking system could be used to enhance paid social ads management platform.
- Our top content report could be integrated with paid data to alert marketers that a particular post is worth paying to promote.
- Our very flexible reporting platform that connects the dots between social channels and Google Analytics could be used as the basis for an in-house reporting system on the client or agency side.
…and many more applications are possible. (See this powerpoint for an overview of Social Snap.)
For all of these reasons, we are closing out our offering of Social Snap as a service (SaaS). The Social Snap source code will be made available for the next 60 to 90 days on the basis of a non-exclusive, perpetual license, including all IP rights. Any company in the process of making a buy vs build decision should consider purchasing a license to the Snap code, which could significantly shorten time to market and total investment. Interested parties should contact us by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by calling us at 1-703-556-3390, Extension 701.
Having had our fair share of joy and pain in various start-up projects in years gone by, we may possibly come to lament bringing the Social Snap product to an unruly market just a bit too soon. Still, we will certainly look back with fondness on the challenges this allowed us to take on — and usually overcome — which included some of the most interesting technical challenges in social media measurement. We think that it’s very cool stuff and that it will remain a worthy topic for the best and brightest in the field. That’s why we hope to get Social Snap into the hands of some organizations that have the will and resources to drive it to its full potential as an application.
If you’d like to leverage a robust analytics infrastructure invested with nearly 3 years of design and coding, then we should talk…