Francisco Ascensão, the CEO of SocialTalk, has a background in marketing, advertising, and managing companies. He moved to the agency side, where he began working in the influencer marketing sphere around 15 years ago. At the time, influencer marketing wasn’t a fleshed-out field.
He shares, “Myself and other people were doing the first steps in this area, how to get people involved with brands and having them recommend products and services. I started my first business in this area. It was more like a marketing services company, and the concept influencer marketing appeared, so we labeled ourselves in the influencer marketing space.”
Four years ago, Francisco began dedicating himself to the technology side of influencer marketing because brands lacked the technology to find and work with influencers. In 2020, he introduced SocialTalk to the influencer marketing space to help brands benefit from new technology to help them find and market more effectively with influencers.
What is SocialTalk?
SocialTalk is an all-in-one platform that allows brands to discover the best influencers for them, manage their influencer database, and track and measure their influencer campaigns.
Francisco explains that often influencer marketing is only accessible to big brands, who typically work with big influencers or top celebrities.
However, there is a huge space for nano and micro-influencers, who are well-suited to working with small and mid-sized companies, which Francisco shares make up 95% of businesses worldwide.
“They [smaller companies] don’t do influencer marketing because it’s really difficult to target the small influencer that could be effective, and they don’t have the resources to work with the big ones because they are heavily paid, and they [the companies] don’t have the money. So, we decided to make technology available to all companies at affordable prices.”
He adds that the SocialTalk technology makes influencer marketing available to all companies at affordable prices. The technology automates most of the influencer marketing work, including finding influencers for content creation, managing influencer relationships, measuring analytics, and reducing time spent on manual processes.
Francisco shares that it’s still difficult for many brands to find the right influencers for their campaigns.
“If we know who the target audience of the brand is, what are their goals, what they are aiming to get from a marketing campaign involving influencers? With the press of a button, we want to give them: these are the best fitted influencers for you, even if they are top, mid-size, micro, nano, and you should pay this and that because these are their real expected performance, so they [the brands] can manage their budget more efficiently.”
Recently, SocialTalk secured €770k to scale their influencer marketing technology and expand globally.
To make the investor funding possible, SocialTalk pitched its vision for the future.
“The vision is to really disrupt this area. We have lots of tech companies. We have lots of agencies. The problem is everyone is doing the same, and it’s really not delivering the results that should be delivered because of this subjectiveness [about successful campaigns and influencer matchmaking]. The vision that we put to the investors is really to use better technology and more technology to make this happen.”
Part of this vision is making influencer marketing technology available to more small and mid-sized brands.
“We don’t agree [with] how technology is evolving the space because it doesn’t make sense to pay $1,000 euros or whatever kind of currency we’re talking about per month or more to have technology working for us. Technology should be affordable. That’s why SocialTalk exists.”
Francisco adds that SocialTalk will reach the other 95% of the market, the small and mid-sized companies that don’t have access to effective influencer marketing technology at affordable pricing.
SocialTalk works with a huge number of brands, including brands from multiple countries, startups, and companies from various industries.
“If they [the brand] are working with normal influencers for a period of time, they can upload their profiles, and we can get all this data updated daily for them. The only thing they are focused on is really the strategy because all the other parts [of influencer marketing] we have covered.”
SocialTalk tracks detailed measurements and analytics for brand campaigns. On the SocialTalk dashboard, brands can look at campaign results and assess what kind of reach and engagement they are getting. They can also perform a financial analysis on SocialTalk to see if they are getting their money’s worth with the campaign.
Francisco shares that the trend he sees in the next few years is a move to nano and micro-influencers.
“The goal here is to really to connect and have this matchmaking between brands and influencers.”
SocialTalk will be launching new functionalities by the end of the year that will save brands time by reducing manual processes.
“Most of the work in the next coming years is going to be dedicated to this research investigation in this area to come up with solutions that will really create this breakthrough in this area. We believe we will, in one to two years, provide those kinds of solutions to brands, really all brands in the world. It’s really about the smaller ones, like someone who owns a restaurant or who is starting a startup or a smaller cosmetic brand.”
He adds, “From the beginning, they [brands] should work with people, with influencers that make sense, to communicate their brand, but it’s very difficult, so that’s why our investors are backing up to create solutions to go to these brands.”