rubendua

About Ruben Dua

CEO of Spreeify, banner junkie.

What is a Sweepstake?

A form of gambling in which all the stakes are divided among the winners.

Spreeify, Ranked a Top 10 Trending Startup

A huge thanks to BizJournals for the great plug!

Spreeify (http://www.spreeify.com) : This Mountain View startup led by CEO Ruben Dua provides a web dashboard, analytics platform and consumer-facing social engagement tools aimed at improving advertising effectiveness.

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View full article here.

Spreeify CEO Showcased by LMU Business Matters

LMU did a feature on one of their own, Spreeify CEO, Ruben Dua…

MBA Alumnus Ruben Dua Creates New Social Advertising Platform

As a young teen growing up in Northridge, Calif., Ruben Dua ’07 saw things differently than his peers. He was constantly coming up with new ideas and creating new products. In fact, he curated his LMU curriculum to have an emphasis on the convergence of business and technology, what was then called ‘new media’, which included taking classes in business, media studies, and even a dissertation in Spanish on Sony’s new media initiatives.

Today, Dua is keeping his creative juices flowing as CEO of Spreeify, a social advertising platform that lets brands host social media promotions to help maximize their social engagement ROI. He already has quite the following, with clients such as Adobe, Journeys, etnies and Swarovski.

“Businesses today are all about being more active on social media and increasing their fan base,” says Dua, who also has a bachelor’s degree from USC. “Social media promotions are the new and exciting marketing tool for brands. They work by incentivizing people to follow or share in exchange for perks like giveaways, discounts or specials.”

Fluent in both Spanish and Hindi, Dua has had a seasoned career as an executive at a large corporation, a consultant at a Fortune 500 company and as a startup entrepreneur. Social media is in a hyper-growth period and new niches are opening up by the minute. What makes Spreeify unique is that it’s the first performance-based social advertising platform where brands only pay per social activity (new “like”, share, post, follow, comment, etc.), compared to alternatives where brands pay for clicks or impressions that don’t guarantee social engagement.

Dua stated that he funded the business through his own personal finance and now that Spreeify is in the revenue generating phase, he has the interest of a number of Silicon Valley and Los Angeles investors who want to help take the business to the next level.

Dua and his wife recently relocated to Silicon Valley to take advantage of the area’s abundant resources and booming tech industry. They’re expecting their first child, a son, in the coming months and are busy preparing for his arrival. Despite a hectic schedule and round-the-clock work demands, Dua is enjoying life as an entrepreneur. He gave Business Matters a glimpse into how he got where he is today.

Social media was very new when you graduated from USC. How did you enter the market?

After I graduated, I started my first company called Deevana. It was really before its time and based on the idea that people could create an online public profile a la Myspace and Facebook. Back then, people weren’t ready to be as public with their personal information as they are now, but I still learned a lot from the experience.

Why did you decide to attend LMU for your MBA?

I was really interested in LMU’s entrepreneurship program and the industry connections the university would provide me. I also liked the fact that it was a part-time program so I could still work during the day and go to classes in the evening. The program allowed me to focus on a more underserved aspect of my skillset: finance. I ended up getting an emphasis in finance which helped me focus on the importance of monetization and financial sustainability of a business. It also proved to be very valuable when starting a new business.

What were some of the other valuable skills you acquired in the program?

I learned that you need to become a domain expert in your chosen field, but also have a working knowledge of all aspects of business: finance, marketing, operations, etc. There’s a great amount of convergence in today’s workforce, and a lot of jobs are becoming hybrid jobs. LMU gave me a good holistic understanding on how to approach the field from a big picture standpoint.

How did the idea for Spreeify come about?

Spreeify started from an apparel brand my wife and I ran. We were selling footwear, jewelry and accessories but I was never really passionate about the product component. I always had a bigger vision. We started hosting social promotion events online and they were really successful. This eventually pivoted our business to Spreeify. I’m happy to say business is growing. We’re currently going through a sales spurt and lots of new business pitches.

How do you stay ahead of the curve when it comes to social marketing and product innovation?

The biggest thing is to not get stuck in the norm. Get out of your comfort zone. You also need a solid understanding of what’s going on out there so do your research. And continue talking to people and industry experts.

How do you see social media evolving in the next five years?

Businesses are really struggling on how to get sales ROI on social media advertising. They’re never really sure what they’re going to get out of it. I think the next paradigm shift for social media will be a specific focus on sales ROI as it relates to social media engagement.

You’re an advisor for the Business Incubator. How did you get involved in that?

Ever since I was an MBA student, I’ve had a close relationship with Dr. Choi. He’s not only a great mentor and professor, but a great friend. He wanted me to get involved in the Incubator because I’ve gone through the whole process of starting a new business. My biggest contribution as a mentor is telling the students about the mistakes I’ve made and giving them advice on how to avoid those mistakes.

What other advice do you give young entrepreneurs?

My first piece of advice is to really understand what the pain point is for your customer. How will you offer them relief? Once you do that, you can figure out a great solution. I also tell young entrepreneurs to understand that whatever they start with, chances are they’re going to end up doing something different. It evolves as you go. I urge people to have a runway…they’re not going to get off the ground right away so be prepared for the product to morph over time.

As a serial entrepreneur, do you have other business ideas in the works?

Right now, I’m really focused on Spreeify and getting ready for my son’s birth. But the sectors that excite me most are big data, augmented reality, ad tech, wearable technology and social commerce.

What do you like to do outside of work?

I love mountain biking and I’m just starting to take advantage of it again in Silicon Valley. I’ve also been a musician since I was a child. I play the drums and the guitar. I was in a couple of bands back in LA that played around the city. Those were my wild days.

If you could go back in time and give yourself advice, what would it be?

I would tell myself that it’s so important to take risks while you’re young. If you can handle the stress and uncertainty of taking risks it’ll always pay off in the end, either as a successful business or as an invaluable life and learning experience.

SoCalTech Features Spreeify Product Expansion

Thanks to Ben and the folks at SoCalTech for the great write up!

Los Angeles-based Spreeify, the developer of social marketing software headed by Ruben Dua, is launching a new social marketing product it calls Social Swag this week. According to the company, the new product helps brands engage socially with people, by helping them run promotional giveaway campaigns on sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr and Instagram. The company said its site helps run campaigns offering promotional items for people to discover, share, and win. Spreeify says it has been running campaigns giving away everything from Simpsons Converse shoes from Journeys, Monsters University footwear from etnies, jewelry packages from Swarovski, and more.

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View the full post here.

Niquea.D and Papyrus Spreeify Campaign

We’re proud to introduce a super fun campaign from Papyrus’s new jewelry and accessories line, Niquea.D.

View the full campaign on Spreeify.

Gaiam Spreeify Campaign

Check out the latest campaign from Gaiam!

Click here to view this campaign on Spreeify.

Converting Likes into Contacts

It’s important to get as many contact points for a person as possible, so that your brand could engage with them in as many ways as possible. It’s important to maximize your interaction with fans, and the first way to do that is usually to ask them to follow you on other networks. A follower on one network can be easily cultivated to follow you another network.

An easy way to get people to follow you on different networks is by providing incentives that encourages them to share your information on other networks.  Incentivizing this type of sharing will not only get you more shares but it will also allow you to collect information such as phone numbers, and email addresses that people provide to participate in the promotion. The more points of contact you have for a person the easier it is to convert them to a customer.

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But remember to be interesting by selling less. Speak with the customers instead of speaking to them.  The less you talk about sales the more likely it is that you’ll get contacts, referrals, leads and sales.

What is Word of Click Marketing?

Inbound Marketing 5It’s the public style of marketing that uses the favor of existing and future customers and magnifies it as much as possible.

Social media has the potential to amplify messages and advertising campaigns much higher than traditional word-of-mouth marketing. Customers in this day and age have a lot more outlets to rave( or vent out) about products or businesses that they interacted with, and they can do it these days just by clicking a ‘like’ or ‘retweet button’. It has never been easier to share your thoughts about the things you like or dislike, and all this with single clicks. It’s virtual word of mouth marketing.

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For brands, this is a double-edged sword. On one hand they can get a lot of marketing very rapidly, on the other hand they can get a lot of negative marketing very rapidly. But this should not be an issue for brands because with today’s tools they have so much more control over how amplified their message is and so many more ways to monitor it.

Because it is digital, word of click marketing is easier to track than word of mouth marketing. You can see who is reading the reviews, and who is writing them. You can figure out at what time your customers are most receptive to promotional messages, or on what device they are perusing your shelves. There are so many ways to monitor so many more types of data by harnessing word of click marketing that it is almost foolish to not use these tools.

Starlooks Spreeify Campaign

Check out this fun campaign from StarLooks…

Click here to view the campaign.

Are Social Promotions Worth it?

Just buying ad space on a social media network is not enough these days. Impressions are likely to be ignored because people do not like receiving ads on social media networks from brands. According to a report published by Exact Target only 4% of people preferred receiving promotional messages directly from brands through social media platforms.

Preferred Channel Communication

Brands have a tough time marketing themselves on social media platforms because those platforms are meant to be social-a place where you connect with your friends family and colleagues- but not with brands. Brands try to compensate for that lack of interest by giving away offers, but people are not interested in them (at least not through social media platforms). People sign up to connect with each other, not with commerce.

What people are interested in is learning how their social network reviews products they’ve purchased or want to purchase. For brands, that recommendational marketing, or virtual word-of –mouth marketing. It’s important for brands to become social and engage with customers and try less marketing. Instead focus on providing personable, human, likeable and shareable content.

By treating your current customers right and not blasting them with marketing, you’ll turn one of your customers into willing marketers.

How to Automate Customer Relationship Management?

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Social media is used to not only find customers but also keep engaging with your current ones. That means actually keeping in touch and tracking your interaction with them; and that takes a lot of time, manpower and energy which is not always available.  So how do you keep engaging your current customers and followers?

You can automate your customer relationship management using automated customer communications services like Demandforce or LoopFX. They let you automatically schedule appointments, reminders, customized emails, newsletters, etc, leaving you free to focus your energy on acquiring new costumers without worrying about up following up with your older customers.

Automating content creation?

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Content is the most important thing in social media. It’s important to have content that is likeable, and concurrently, more shareable. As content gets shared your company gets elevated in the search ranking. To ensure that people keep sharing your information, and improve your search rankings to make it easier for new potential customers to find you; it is essential that you provide new content and information for people to share. Producing great content also positions your company as an industry leader.

 

But if you don’t have the time to research industry news, and piece together share-worthy tidbits of information, have you considered automating it or outsourcing it? Content creation tools like Curata and Genieo source content from links, Facebook statuses, tweets, videos, Qoura and RSS feeds posts them directly to your company’s website and social media accounts. Or you could hire writers and bloggers on sites like eLance and Fivver to generate content for you at very reasonable rates.

 

Keep publishing fresh content to keep your site fresh and shareable.

Measuring the Impact of Freebies on Social Media

You’ve held the social media promotion; you’ve given away a few products, and you’ve gained a few likes, shares and follows. But is that all you need? For a true measure of impact you need to calculate the ROI. How do you do that?

The key to measuring the impact of a free giveaway is to close the attribution loop. How many people are following you because of that promotion?  The impact on sales from each promotion can be easily generated using multi-touch attribution modeling that can be created through your CRM. Having this ability to close the attribution loop means from social promotions  to new customers is only the beginning of measuring the impact of social promotions.

Measuring customer acquisition, lifetime value and retention data through attribution will help brands understand different marketing tactics including gift marketing, and the idea that you can acquire a net new customer by giving away a free product.

5 Ways to Gain Facebook Followers

Before you begin to go hunt for followers you should know what fans are worth to your business. A Facebook follower is worth on average $174 for a brand. That’s $116 more than non-fans.

Facebook follower average value

Fans are also 25% more likely to recommend the brand and 28% more likely to buy.Spending Satisafaction Survey-Syncapse

 So now that we know how important Facebook fans are to your business let’s discuss ways to actually gather followers.

Create GREAT Content

Great content is likeable and shareable. People love sharing great stuff with their network of family and friends, especially to people who they think might enjoy the product. Great content allows your fans to do the marketing for you.

Be Consistent

The last thing you want is to be forgotten by your fans. Stay on the tip of their tongues by posting at least once a day. If you are getting more engagement then post more. It’s that simple.

Let Pictures say their thousand words

Pictures are the most shared things on social media because it’s so easy to share. Alternate your posts frequently with photos and videos to get the most shares.

Keep it short and simple

Pictures are shared so much more than text posts because users don’t have to read pictures. You want to keep your posts short and easy to read so that people will actually read it and share it.

Ways to generate ROI from social media followers

Social commerce’s biggest impact is providing unique buying propositions for customers and new touch points for companies.

Group buying and group gifting social platforms conveniently bring together family and friends to contribute to a gift for a specified recipient. Facebook apps like gifting on birthdays and eDivvy.com provide simple platforms for users to set up group gifting and handle the logistics of collecting money, sending reminders, and sending the gift.

Social shopping

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A unique buying proposition that is particularly relevant for fashion related products. eMarketer.com showed that 81 percent of teenage girls use their friends and peers as a source of trend information and 45 percent seek the opinions of those same groups when purchasing clothing or footwear.

Virtual Runways

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Wet Seal developed a virtual runway where site visitors put together outfits to share with their friends or to present to the community to be voted on. A pair of friends shopping at Wet Seal can use a service powered by Sesh.com to view the same product pages, chat in real time, and use a drawing tool to notate or highlight products they are considering.

Groups for Events

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Social commerce facilitates conversion in other areas. For example, many  music fans would be more likely to attend an event if they knew their friends would accompany them, and if the process of inviting friends and buying tickets jointly were more seamless.  Eventbrite allows for just that sort of group planning through Twitter and Facebook, although it doesn’t yet allow for sales directly through social media sites, but that may change.

Developments like group gifting, social shopping, and ticket buying provide a small glimpse of the potential ROIs on social media.