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Social Marketing Service Gets a VC Boost Social Toaster, an online marketing service, snags $2 million by sticking close to home.

By Kara Ohngren Prior

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Baltimore-based web developer Brian Razzaque knew he wanted to create a platform that would facilitate social media marketing for companies, but he was vague on the details. His "aha" moment came when an employee asked to be notified each time Razzaque posted something to the company blog; the staffer would read the post, then share it with his social network. That was when Razzaque realized that satisfied customers, employees and vendors with a strong affinity to a brand will happily disseminate content among their social peers--if it is handed to them in a convenient, shareable way. SocialToaster was born.

Unlike traditional social media marketing that relies on fans to discover and make the effort to spread a brand's message, SocialToaster allows companies "to leverage the mass reach of their supporters by pushing their message out so their content has a better chance to go viral," Razzaque says.

Here's how it works: A company's Facebook fans or members of its e-mail database are invited to join the brand's SocialToaster platform. Those who sign on--often enticed by rewards such as tickets or swag--receive an e-mail whenever the brand has something to promote. With one click, these influencers can share the content with their friends across their selected social networks. On the client side, companies can use SocialToaster's dashboard to track the effectiveness of each campaign on a granular level, identifying the messaging that resonates best among their top ambassadors.

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