Q&A with Vitrue on Facebook Marketing Tactics, Metrics, and New Open Graph Tools

Vitrue opened its doors in 2006 in Atlanta with the aim to connect marketers to consumers using social web services. It has expanded to Facebook in recent years, and expanded geographically from its home base in Atlanta to New York, Palo Alto and most recently Chicago.

Here’s our interview with chief executive Reggie Bradford. But first, some more background:

Vitrue works with both marketing agencies and brands to provide software solutions to allow them to manage their social presence across networks, primarily Facebook, but also Twitter, YouTube, Gowalla, Foursquare — and social objects. Last week Vitrue unveiled a new product, Vitrue Publisher 2.0, which is fitted specifically for Open Graph publishing. It allows owners of a graph object (such as a web page that has been Liked) to more easily manage content and publishing back to users’ news feeds.

The company is profitable and has received $15 million in funding, primarily through General Catalyst Partners, Dace Ventures, Comcast Interactive and Turner Broadcasting System, with various other angels, including Ron Conway.

Vitrue has worked with global brands such as McDonald’s, Best Buy, Kellogg Company, AMC Theatres, Project (RED) and Buffalo Wild Wings, among hundreds of others. Bradford spoke to us as part of our ongoing series of Page management company profiles, which has most recently included Likeable and Votigo.

Inside Facebook: What products and services does your company provide to clients using Facebook? What types of clients are you aiming to reach?

Reggie Bradford: We have products that marketers and agencies use (about 50/50) to manage their social presence and increasingly our product is growing through agencies. It’s software as a service and our target is Fortune 1,000 clients. We are expanding our footprint to mid-market as well, in three areas.

The first is publishing, via Vitrue Publisher, “How do I message and manage my fans in the social graph?” And we’re increasingly looking at fans of social objects. The second product is Vitrue Tabs, which allows a marketer and agency to manage and build their tab experience within Facebook, so, the look and feel of the Page, changing out campaigns, using it with all kinds of applications. The third area is Vitrue Apps where we actually do provide custom apps, such as sweepstakes, polling, video contest — those can exist on or off of Facebook. We back all three of those products up with Vitrue Advantage, which provides our enterprise clients with the tools and best practices to achieve success.

IFB: Can you share some highlights of how your company has helped clients meet their goals using Facebook?

RB: Our big belief is that the real sweet spot is the combination of communication and publishing to the Wall; managing the experience on the tabs to drive people from the Wall to the tabs and then peppering that with strategic media buys to amplify that messaging. Best Buy is one of our partners, and we’ve helped them through our products grow their Page from 25,000 to over 1.1 million over the past 12 months. We sat with them up front, aligned our technology and services with what their objectives were, put concrete goals together, relaunched their Page with more compelling apps on the tabs and then used our publisher to really drive a conversation calendar to drive the fans. Buffalo Wild Wings uses our publishing products through our agency partner 22squared, has grown from 75,000 to almost 2 million in the last 12 months. One of the things they’ve done very successfully that’s unique to Vitrue is Wall apps. In the news feed, apps get 110 times the engagement that you get on a tab; Buffalo Wild Wings has had very solid success driving coupons to fans through the news feed.