Andy Pickens and Moses Soyoola were coworkers at Goldman Sachs, but they wanted to start their own business.
The pair left finance to launch Jamplify last July, a service that creates social campaigns for brands and turns their fans into effective advertisers.
Unlike some of its competitors, Jamplify isn't strictly a Twitter or Facebook social media play. Jamplify gives each fan a unique url to promote a favorite artist, business or initiative. The fans can then share that link in blogs, on message boards, on Facebook, YouTube and more. Those who drive the most referrers over the course of two to three weeks win tiered prizes.
One campaign for Jasmine Villegas, a 15-year-old pop star who went on tour with Justin Bieber, drove 190,000 people to her YouTube video. The 190,000 people were referred by just 670 fans. That's about 280 people per fan, which is higher than Jamplify's usual referral rate. Pickens tell us the average fan drives 50 people during the "Jampaigns." Jampaigns are the company's word for the social media campaigns it runs.
Pickens says his company has pilots going with some of the top record labels and so far, his team has worked with about 150 brands. In addition, he and Soyoola have raised $600,000 from more than a dozen investors. The round closed three weeks ago, and it consists largely of angel investors in New York City and Nashville where Jamplify participated in a startup accelerator program.
There are a lot of startups trying to reward fans for their word of mouth (and typing) efforts, such as CrowdTwist and Plyfe. Pickens says Jamplify is different because it isn't costly for a brand to run a campaign; they are a SaaS solution. And a Jampaign can be turned around quickly. If a label only has two days to promote a new music video, for example, Jamplify can work in that time frame.
Jamplify doesn't really care how engaged a single user is. Instead, Pickens says he cares about how many people fans refer. Pickens thinks it's an advantage to have fans focus on just one thing: spreading the unique urls.
"For competitors, the referral link is just one of the levers that a promoter can pull," he says. "When the link isn't the only mechanism, people aren't so intent on driving referrals."
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