Salesforce flipped the switch today on Social.com, a new offering that provides social ad creation, optimization and campaign automation services for marketers. While a potentially welcome addition for users of Salesforce Marketing Cloud that want to delve into social advertising, it also represents a multi-billion dollar opportunity for the disruptive tech company.
"Today, I'm excited that we're doubling down on one of the fastest growing areas of social marketing: social advertising," wrote Salesforce Marketing Cloud CMO and Buddy Media founder Michael Lazerow in a blog post. "Social ads are going to be an $11 billion market by 2017, and 64% of advertisers say they are going to increase their spend in 2013," he added.
Unlike outsourced services, Salesforce argues that the Social.com self-service product allows brands and ad agencies to take the reins of their social marketing efforts. Social.com stands on three pillars: social and mobile ad campaign creation, ad optimization and campaign automation.
Marketers can use Social.com to "build, test and launch social ad campaigns at scale," informs the company. Users can also mine Faceboook and Twitter data for compelling ad content.
The platform offers ad tracking, analytics and live campaign monitoring to gauge the effectiveness of social ads. Account holders can take a hands-off approach by setting goals and let Social.com automatically optimize campaigns.
In somewhat of an overlap, it can also provide "real-time optimization decisions across all ads and campaigns" by adjusting "ad spend automatically and intelligently" using a rules-based approach, according to the company.
The result, says IDC program vice president of CRM Applications Mary Wardley, is a platform that opens up social media to marketers.
"With people spending more time on social networks than ever before, leading marketers are seeking to effectively leverage paid social campaigns. To successfully run social ad campaigns, marketers need scale, but they also need to make sure social advertising is connected to listening and engagement," said Wardley in prepared remarks.
"Powerful applications like Salesforce Social.com help provide this crucial scale and innovation," added Wardley.
"For the first time, brands and agencies will be able to power social ad campaigns with the world’s #1 CRM, Salesforce CRM, and the world’s #1 social listening application, Radian6. By empowering both brands and agencies to connect social ad campaigns with real-time customer and social listening data, campaigns can be more relevant and effective than ever before possible," he blogged.
Pedro Hernandez is a contributing editor at Small Business Computing and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @ecoINSITE.