Ever wished your clever tweet could spread wider and faster? You might not have a large enough number of Twitter followers to achieve that on your own, but what if your post were shown on a popular website or at a crowded event?
Enter Postano, a Portland, Oregon-based company that provides a tool for brands to curate and display social media feeds. For the past three years, the hockey team Los Angeles Kings has used Postano to coordinate what to show on the Jumbotron inside the rink. Fans can see and participate in polls, game highlights and photo sharing, some of which are sponsored. “I’ve always been of the mind-set of photos first, when you get that kind of emotion and passion,” said Pat Donahue, the digital media director of the LA Kings.
The LA Kings is one of Postano’s 120 clients — a number expected to grow given its move to join a portfolio of social media services run by Sprinklr, a billion-dollar startup that competes with Salesforce and Oracle. Sprinklr acquired Postano in a cash deal valued at $2.4 million and was closed on Friday, the company announced. Postano, previously a part of TigerLogic Corporation, is Sprinklr’s 10th acquisition overall and its ninth in the past two years.
Based in New York, Sprinklr has 1,100 employees and more than 1,200 clients, including some of the largest Fortune 500 companies. Postano and Sprinklr have about a dozen overlapping clients coming into the deal, such as McDonald's. Now, more of those brands can tap into each service.
In fact, it was the clients who encouraged a partnership between the two companies about a year ago. “As those requests kept building and we learned they were already investing in a social platform — their customer care and their marketing department — we wanted the ability to work through what they had already done,” said Justin Garrity, president of Postano.
And Ragy Thomas, founder and CEO of Sprinklr, was intrigued by offering his client roster access to large displays. “We have 24 modules on our platform, but none of those offerings is the ability to visualize the voice of the customer. What we do on 30- or 60-inch monitors, Postano had the ability to do it on Jumbotrons,” Thomas said.
Postano is about dedication to the fan experience, said Brian Cheek, Postano’s director of business development in sports. Clients like Michael Kors have used the service to curate tweets during fashion shows. The LA Kings rewards the most social section and advocates the hashtag #WeAreAllKings. “It’s about creating that ultimate fan experience that gets people in those seats,” Cheek said.
The LA Kings have sold out the last 200 games and work with Postano to think of new ways to put a social spin on giveaways. For instance, the 100-point giveaways common in basketball became the 100 tweets, or the most social section, for the LA Kings.
Sprinklr does not service the LA Kings — not yet, anyway. But Thomas said he is confident in the power his system can have to build up the fan experience. “Visualize a fan driving up and tweeting. Ten minutes later he gets a tweet back saying which parking lot to park in. Walking up you reward him a free soda in the arena,” Thomas said.
The big benefit he sees with Sprinklr is leveraging other social networks, like Facebook and Twitter, to add context to and communicate with a fan. Single-use mobile apps can go unused, and most people spend their time on four apps. Meanwhile, the LA Kings, for example, has nearly 975,000 fans on Facebook and 727,000 followers on Twitter.
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But budgets are often small for social media departments, which limits what services they can afford. “To be honest, it came down to price. I don’t have hundreds of thousands of dollars to spend, and especially where Facebook and Twitter are free, we just don’t have to spend money,” Donahue said.
Sprinklr pulled in $100 million in annualized revenue in the fall of 2015, up 150 percent year-over-year, Forbes reported. The venture-backed company closed a Series E round of $46 million in March 2015.