Social marketing: Vitrue raises $17 million

Yet another social media marketing company raises a large round to teach companies Facebook, Twitter

Financial trends and news by Ronny Kerr
February 17, 2011
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Social media marketing company Vitrue announced Thursday that it has closed a $17 million Series C financing round led by Scale Venture Partners and Advent Venture Partners with participation from existing investors General Catalyst Partners, Comcast Interactive, and Dace Ventures.
Stacey Curry Bishop, partner with Scale Venture Partners, has joined the company’s board.
Vitrue is one of many companies that have surfaced in recent years (and continue to surface) to provide a lending hand to companies, businesses and brands that need assistance integrating with social media tools like Facebook and Twitter.

Much like the competition, Vitrue helps its clients build a customized Facebook fan page, complete with interactive modules for polls, videos, and quizzes. Using Vitrue, clients can create campaigns that target specific regional markets as well as monitor metrics for those campaigns.

The service is free to try up to 100 Facebook fans, so there’s really no harm in giving it a shot.

What should we expect from a fully-funded Vitrue in 2011? Expansion, expansion, expansion.

The company says it is opening seven new offices domestically (in New York, San Francisco, Dallas, Chicago, Detroit, Cincinnati and Los Angeles) and three internationally (in London, Toronto and Singapore). Between 100 and 150 employees will be hired to fill those new locations.

Already, Vitrue counts a number of big name brands among its clients, including AT&T, Best Buy, McDonald’s, YouTube, HP, Intel and more, shown here:

Beyond brands and publishers, agency partnerships also use Vitrue. For the full roster of customers, go here.

All in all, it looks like a pretty solid service, but it is one facing a tough market. Like location sharing services and daily deal sites, social marketing is one of the most crowded spaces in technology right now. Extole, Mass Relevance, Smmart, Shoutlet--these are just a handful of the many companies trying to help big brands reach an audience through social networking sites.

And beyond that, I’m still wondering whether these companies will still be relevant five or ten years down the line, once companies get a handle on how social media works. Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments.

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Scale Venture Partners
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