Social Rewards Builds Brand Loyalty, Exceeds Funding Goals

February 4, 2012

10:00 am

Yesterday I wrote about a company that gets it, when it comes to rewarding customers for doing some of the marketing legwork for them.  Social Rewards is another clued-in startup that realizes a simple “thank you” – in the form of rewards, of course – can go a long way in building brand loyalty and encouraging even more word of mouth marketing.

Social Rewards is a loyalty marketing startup that helps companies identify brand advocates, enhance CRM data and increase social engagement.  Its success revolves around the ability to capture ROI from social media via a tracking URL, allowing companies to follow brand messages and engagement from an initial Facebook post or tweet all the way to sales conversion.  Users earn loyalty points for engaging in social media activity such as brand mentions on Twitter, Foursquare check-ins and Facebook Likes and fan activity.  Then, Social Rewards turns social media activity into useful marketing data with full analytics reporting of brand mentions, clickthroughs, retweets, shares, and sales conversions.

Founders and high school best friends Joe Morin and Mike Uesugi have been rewarded themselves with an oversubscribed seed round of angel funding totaling $600k, as well as a large chunk of the hotel market share in Las Vegas.

“In our initial launch market of Las Vegas, we’ve already achieved an 80% market share of hotel casinos using the Social Rewards program on the Strip,” said Morin.  “We’re very pleased to also announce new client wins including Caesars Entertainment with a global roll out to 52 resorts and casinos, and an expanded presence with MGM Resorts coming out of beta from their early adoption of our platform.”

Although Social Rewards is primarily in travel and hospitality now, Morin and Uesugi have immediate plans for expansion to new markets and industries including entertainment and consumer product sectors.

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Meg Rayford is a communications consultant based in Northern Virginia. She previously spent two years as the Director of Public Relations for a nonprofit startup, where she learned a lot about providing clean water for impoverished countries, even within the confines of a bootstrapped startup. She is the editor of Tech Cocktail, and she develops media strategies for companies in Washington, DC and Virginia. You can read her most recent work in the marketing chapter of the upcoming book, "Social Innovation and Impact in Nonprofit Leadership," which will be published in Spring 2014 by Springer Publishing. Follow her @megkrayford.

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