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Greater Engagement via Social – Interview with BulbStorm CEO, Bart Steiner

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About

Andre Bourque (@SocialMktgFella) is Editor Emeritus of Technorati, and a contributing writer for The Huffington Post and Entrepreneur. He's an inbound marketing specialist, an advisor to Social Media Today, and to several startups. He serves as a copywriter, content strategy and messaging consultant.

Article first written for, and published as Lower Barriers and Greater Engagement: Interview with BulbStorm CEO, Bart Steiner on Technorati.

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“You’ve collected your Facebook likes, spent some dough on Facebook ads, and maybe given away an iPad or two. That was good for 2010. Now what?” That’s the tagline on BulbStorm’s website, and the company is delivering a solution to go along with it.

In an interview with Technorati at ad:tech San Francisco, CEO Bart Steiner explains, “Our social engagement platform empowers you to create one-of-a-kind web experiences that drive true engagement.” For BulbStorm, it’s all about transforming those Facebook fans into brand advocates and making easy for brands to do so.  His company is bringing the capability to the masses with a solution that requires no developers or deep-funded budgets.

“Social media engagement is more than a “like” and a contact form,” says Bart. “We are not advertisers or publishers. We’ve developed a platform that enables quick deployment of one-of-a-kind, non-templated social campaigns,” he explains. And these aren’t tween-targeted brands, either. The company has a portfolio of clients like 3M, Intel, and Unilever.

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In one case study, BulbStorm worked with NBC Sports and the Versus Network to develop a Facebook campaign in only two weeks. Set in time for the Tour de France, the site was launched encouraging fans to share their personal stories of overcoming the odds. The Versus Cycling fan page grew 650% – from 3,500 fans to over 23,000 fans – in just three weeks. Fans shared their stories, driving 22,213 interactions from other fans.

When BulbStorm first approached me, they sent me a link to their “OMG-Video” campaign. Bart explains, “Until recently, we’d focused mainly on Facebook campaigns experienced from a laptop or desktop. We’re very excited to show off our ability to build unique experiences in mobile that are completely integrated with the Facebook campaign and now include the integration of video on mobile.”

Filled with YouTube videos custom-made for viral stardom with titles like “Obama Sings to the Shawties,” “Slow Sloth,” and “Greatest Arnold Quotes,” OMG-Video is a Facebook-hosted site. Here users are encouraged to add videos, vote for favorites, score points, and get virtual prizes. Additionally, it’s a landing spot for discovering other sharing opportunities.

Through what the company calls “passionate engagement,” BulbStorm drives engagement that goes deeper than a single click of the like button. Metrics are showing user engagement averaging over six minutes per visit. I was playing with this site for 20 minutes, myself.

What’s particularly unique is the platform’s proprietary capability to spread the campaign, user preferences and authentication between three channels: Facebook, mobile, and web. The content is optimized for each platform. And as a brand, you’re not hiring a troop of different platform developers to accomplish this.

 

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Andre Bourque (SocialMarketingFella) is Editor Emeritus of Technorati.

He covers emerging trends and news in social, mobile, cloud, and related technologies.

Based in San Francisco, he can be contacted via his social channels and at: andrefbourque@gmail.com

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