9 Comments

Summary:

An ex-Facebooker is looking to clip the multi-billion-dollar, daily-deals industry where it hurts by *gasp* putting local businesses back in control of their own discount destiny. Groupon and assorted clones, meet thruSocial: the first “self-serve” media advertising and deals platform for consumer businesses.

thrusocial


Updated: An ex-Facebooker is looking to clip the multi-billion-dollar, daily-deals industry where it hurts by *gasp* putting local businesses back in control of their own discount destinies. Groupon and clones, meet thruSocial: the first “self-serve” media advertising and deals platform for businesses.

Launching Monday, thruSocial offers neighborhood pizza places and Pilates studios a one-stop platform to create their own promotions, which the company distributes to social-networking sites like Facebook and Twitter, as well as its own consumer-end deals site, thrupons.com.

The Silicon Valley startup is the brainchild of Karel Baloun, one of the earliest engineers to work for Facebook and the founder of I2we, a Facebook custom application developer. ThruSocial allows clients to manage their social media campaigns through a single SaaS platform. A client crafts a promotion using the platform’s plug-and-chug template, and thruSocial distributes the deal in the form of digital coupons sent to the client’s Facebook fans and Twitter followers, who can in turn share the deal with as many friends (virtual or carbon based) as they care to. When consumers click on the coupon, they end up at thrupons.com, where they can search for more targeted deals by location and category. The company operates on a subscription model. For $35 per month, a business can create unlimited promotions and trick out their Facebook pages via thruSocial’s custom Facebook page design templates. (The company is offering a free trial for the next 30 days.)

A New Deal? 

ThruSocial bills itself as the most practical, and least costly, solution out there for small and medium-sized business looking to reel in customers with some good old-fashioned advertising. And there is no doubt today’s media landscape can be quite frustrating for the average retailer or restaurateur.

Gone are the days when an ad in the Pennysaver section of the Town Gazette was all it took to bring hordes of hungry diners in for half-off flapjacks at the Pancake Palace (one coupon per order, cannot be combined with any other discount). But while eyeballs have shifted online, traditional click-through advertising is a costly bust for most small enterprises (especially those without websites). Meanwhile, a well-executed social media strategy can bring local businesses buzz and even customers. But does the average “Tony” of Tony’s Number One NY Pizza in Sheboygan, Wis. really know how to maximize his personal brand using Twitter?

Probably Not.

And then there’s Groupon. The daily-deals giant has been something of a mixed bag for businesses. By requiring 50 percent discounts and keeping 50 percent of the revenue, merchants must actually discount their services by 75 percent. While many businesses have happily agreed to Groupon’s terms and still turned a profit,  others have reportedly been left with a depleted inventory and bills to show for it.

The entry of players like Google Offers and Facebook Deals into the market leaves little doubt the industry remains very profitable for its players. “The reason there are so many clones out there is because there is a lot of money to be made very quickly,” said Steve Arentzoff, thruSocial’s VP of marketing. “But it’s not sustainable when businesses aren’t coming back for a second round,” he said. “Groupon’s business model really works for Groupon. But thruSocial is going to work for everyone else.”

Update: The thruSocial consumer portal can be found at thrupons.com, not thrupon.com as initially stated.

  1. Let’s get acquianted with Daillly (http://daillly.com), which is more unique startup amongst group buying models because of its combination of Groupon, About.me & Foursquare’s gaminifation mechanism.

    Share
  2. WOW, I’m glad to see someone finally trying to finds ways to help the small and medium businesses out there with requiring them to discount something 50% and then getting 50% of the revenue.

    ThruSocial is thinking differently, just like my favorite site http://www.freefu.com. Help the businesses by giving them control of their offers and do it in an affordable way so that they can grow.

    ThruSocial.com and freefu.com are innovating new ways to advertise online and my hat is off to them for their efforts.

    Share
  3. Yes, we are leading the disruption in the Deals space, by providing value well beyond what the big players are giving at this time.

    Visit ThruPons.com, not thrupon.com. Start at thruSocial.com.

    Share
    1. Karel, that’s so cool! Congratulations!

      Share
    2. Awesome.. congratulations Karel.

      Share
    3. Congratulations Karel!!!

      Share
  4. This idea of disintermediation is extremely tough to pull off, but if done, it will be very profitable.

    Share
  5. this is the way we chose to get our clients the cheapest way to spread on the net… easy, cheap, REALLY user friendly, don’t even need help to post and share…

    Share
  6. Francisco Pina Tuesday, May 10, 2011

    ThrueSocial is thinking differently than the others their business plan has something catchy and good to it, they will probably be more successful than groupon. There is a great article that I read that talks about business models and how to make them successful: http://ow.ly/4Lc72

    Share

Comments have been disabled for this post