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SocialSmack is one of 70 companies chosen by VentureBeat to launch at the DEMO Fall 2010 event taking place this week in Silicon Valley. After our selection, the companies pay a fee to present. Our coverage of them remains objective.
If you’ve ever had a great experience — or a terrible one — with a particular brand that you just needed to share right away, SocialSmack is for you. The Austin, Texas-based startup has created a social network dedicated that’s aiming to become the one-stop shop for opinionated and curious consumers who want to share their brand experiences, and learn more about them.
Consumers can give particular brands props for good experiences, and drops for negative ones. They can see what other SocialSmack users in general have to say about brands or see specifically what their friends have to say. While users can already review restaurants and businesses in a systematic way on services like Yelp or CitySearch, or in a more ad-hoc way via Twitter and Facebook, SocialSmack differs by focusing specifically on brands.
There’s also a bit of a gaming element involved. Users can earn pins, badges, and increased status by rating brands, commenting on friends’ reviews, leaving comments, adding brands to the site, and inviting friends.
SocialSmack is also useful for the brands, because it allows them to see what exactly consumers are saying about their services as they occur. If consumers are reacting positively to a new sale or promotion, the brand may want to prolong it. Similarly, if an issue is beginning to flare up, the brand can take care of it quickly since they know exactly what consumers are responding to.
The company is also launching iPhone and Android apps to allow users to instantly rate brands while on the go.
SocialSmack was founded in 2010, and is currently in beta testing with over 1,000 active users and 2,000 brands in its database. It’s working on a brand-engagement program, better marketing, and upgrades to its mobile apps.
The company has raised $275,000 so far in seed funding from friends, family, and a few angel investors. It’s in discussions for a first round of financing.
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