Unified launches all-in-one social ad platform

By Brittany Darwell Comment

Unified announces its Social Operating Platform today to help brands and agencies manage paid media campaigns across networks like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn and StumbleUpon. Operating in stealth mode since April 2011, Unified already claims Microsoft, Unilever, Digitas and more than 200 other advertisers as customers.

CEO and co-founder Sheldon Owen said Unified takes an enterprise approach to social advertising to give companies one system to manage campaigns from creative and planning stages to reporting and analytics. As businesses try campaigns on a number of new platforms, they can find themselves struggling to put things in perspective and understand how social media makes an impact. Unified’s Social Operating Platform calculates earned media and ROI by automating what many advertisers do manually through spreadsheets.

For example, a companies might use the Social Operating Platform to run Facebook ads to bring new fans to a page. In addition to setting a cost per action goal for the campaign, advertisers can assign values to other relevant metrics that are not otherwise included in an ad report. An advertiser paying $1 per fan might believe wall posts and comments are engagements with viral reach worth $0.20 each. The Social Operating Platform uses the Facebook API to display all of an advertiser’s performance indicators in one dashboard and calculate earned media value.

One problem might be that advertisers might not know what sort of value to place on a YouTube share or Twitter @ reply, for instance. Besides offering some strategy consulting, Unified aims to help advertisers through its Unified University training program. The web-based program provides information about a number of social advertising platforms and allows people to get certified on its system.

The Social Operating Platform is available for an undisclosed per user license fee, and the company offers other services and ways to integrate additional data that are negotiated on a case by case basis.