Powered Rolls Up Social Media Shops

Community tech platform Powered is making a play to become an option for clients that want dedicated social media agencies.
The Austin, Texas-based company has acquired three social media services companies: Crayon, Drillteam Marketing and StepChange. Together, Powered hopes the entities can make a play for leading social-media strategies for brands, then executing those concepts through Twitter, Facebook, blogger outreach and branded communities.

“We were selling online communities that were big-ticket items,” said Aaron Strout (pictured above), CMO of Powered. “What [clients] really wanted was someone to bring a full-service approach.”

Crayon is a social media consulting firm, Drillteam focuses on blogger outreach and earned media and StepChange builds brand presence on social networks. Strout said Powered, which is backed by venture capital firm Austin Ventures, would look to other acquisitions to fill gaps in its offering.
The deal adds 32 employees to Powered’s 40. Crayon’s six-person team will become part of Powered immediately, with Crayon founder Joseph Jaffe becoming chief interrupter and Greg Verdino leading strategy and solutions.
Drillteam and StepChange will continue operating under their own brands.
The move sets up Powered to compete with digital agencies, public relations shops and an emerging crop of specialists to occupy the lead role in helping brands deal with social media.
“Last year social media was not a category in and of itself,” said Jaffe. “What’s happening is more and more clients are being disappointed by level of service and results from agencies who are not specialized in social media and best in class.”
Powered will add offices in New York and Portland, Ore., through the deals. Financial terms were not disclosed.

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