ShareProgress Debuts Social Sharing Optimization Tools
BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Tuesday, June 18 2013
ShareProgress, a left-leaning tech startup in downtown San Francisco, launched its social sharing optimization platform Tuesday after several months of testing with the progressive advocacy group CREDO Action.
The new subscription service provides campaigners with share pages and buttons that they can display to the online audience after they've completed a requested action by a campaign group. The pages encourage those petition-signers to then share the petition with their own friends via e-mail and Facebook. ShareProgress also provides an A/B testing tool to test how effective a group's use of language is in their Facebook and Twitter campaigns in getting their networks to share posts.
Subscribers to the service would enter two different versions of the same post into a form on ShareProgress' system, which then posts the content to the social networks. ShareProgress then gathers the information on the extent of the sharing of those two pieces of content back to campaigners and then picks the version of the post that's getting the most traction to keep up on the networks.
ShareProgress' Founder Jim Pugh said in testing the system out, CREDO was able to increase the number of signatures it was gathering late May in a campaign to to repeal a law that the group says shields agricultural giant Monsanto from litigation that attempts to halt the sale of genetically-altered seeds that haven't been approved by food safety authorities.
CREDO used ShareProgress' 'share' page and conducted a few A/B tests on its Facebook page, and ended up generating 24,000 new subscribers to its e-mail list through social sharing. Those 24,000 people, or 13 percent of the 250,000 total signatures on the campaign, were recruited by CREDO's mailing list subscribers who asked their networks to sign the petition.
Pugh, a veteran of Democratic politics and tech circles, and the former chief technology officer for the advocacy group Rebuild the Dream, says that the system is only going to be available for progressive campaigns*. And even if conservative groups try to sign up for the self-serve system, they'll have to be comfortable with the idea of their money going to fund progressive causes. Pugh plans on ploughing one percent of the company's revenues back into those causes, like CREDO does from reselling mobile phone services.
Smaller organizations will be able to pay $50 a month for 1,250 monthly shares and $6 per each hundred additional shares. The pricing scales up depending on an organization's contact list size and the extent of the activity on their networks.
This is going to be an exciting space to watch. As Buzzfeed and Upworthy are demonstrating, social sharing is changing the way we communicate online. And to further demonstrate the point, one of Pugh's former colleagues on President Obama's 2008 presidential campaign Dan Siroker recently landed a $28 million round of venture capital funding for his Web optimization service Optimizingly. The service was used by both Mitt Romney and the Obama campaigns during the 2012 election cycle. The 68-person company has just signed a lease for an office that can accomodate 450 employees.
Siroker told Bloomberg in April that his company's growth is a "sign that we're riding the wave of a much more data-driven marketing world," something Pugh has obviously cottoned onto, and obviously hopes to share with more than 3,000 of his progressive peers at Netroots Nation, which commences this year this Wednesday evening in San Jose.
*Pugh writes in to clarify: "We're fine accepting non-partisan organizations as clients, including companies, and do expect those groups to ultimately make up a fairly large portion of our client base. We do discourage use by conservative organizations, though, and prohibit subscriptions by Republican campaigns and committees."