Buddy Media Launches BuyBuddy Social Ad Service

Two months ago, Buddy Media acquired London-based Brighter Option to add the company's paid advertising solution to its suite of social media marketing tools. The move preceded Facebook’s rollout of expanded paid adoptions in February, including the extension of ads directly into users’ desktop and mobile news feeds and the site's logout page.

On Tuesday, Buddy Media formally announced the rebrand of the Brighter Options social ad software as BuyBuddy, a self-service offering advertisers can use to create, track and optimize campaigns on Facebook. Built into the company’s existing platform enabling social content publishing, app creation and e-commerce, the aim is to help companies better combine owned, earned and paid media efforts on Facebook and other social sites.

“Our whole play is that having a unified technology suite makes much more sense than piecing together 12 different point solutions,” said Buddy Media CEO Mike Lazerow. The idea is to use the system to create page content, track which material resonates with users, and then promote that content via paid advertising placements on Facebook to drive further engagement.

With marketers increasingly looking for tangible results, Lazerow emphasized the system would also show advertisers which ads and social media initiatives generated the most Web traffic and sales. Among the large agencies using Brighter Option’s ad tools at the time of the acquisition were GroupM, Omnicom, Aegis and 24/7 Media.

During the first quarter, BuyBuddy tracked more than 128 billion impressions, generated more than 90 million clicks on Facebook, with more than 1.6 million ads were created by users. The 128 billion total, is up from 3 billion impressions in the year-earlier period, underscoring Facebook’s audience and ad growth in the last year.

Facebook had 901 million monthly active users at the end of March, up 33% from 680 milllion a year ago.

The social network last week reported first-quarter revenue of $1.06 billion, up 45% from a year ago but down 6% from the fourth quarter. Separate data from social media marketing firm TBG Digital showed CPMs on Facebook rose 15% in the first quarter from the fourth quarter even as click-through rates dropped 8%. CPM rates were up 41% from a year earlier.

Lazerow said he wasn’t surprised by the dip in Facebook revenue from the prior quarter because it reflected a seasonal decline from peak ad spending in the year-end quarter. He also suggested Facebook’s launch of new ad offerings and the opening of Timeline to brands in late February would propel higher ad spend in the coming months. “We see, at least from our really big clients, a lot of interest in the Facebook ad platform, from an ads standpoint,” said Lazerow.

While BuyBuddy is currently focused on Facebook advertising, Lazerow said the service would be extended to other social properties, such as Twitter, YouTube and Google+ when they also make an ads API (application programming interface) available for automatically posting ads at scale. “We’ll definitely be everywhere,” said Lazerow.

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