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Carnegie Mellon spin-out receives financing to create social media smart tags

A Google search of the word ‘Pittsburgh’ brings over 76 million results. But as anyone who has ever used a search engine knows, specificity is the only way to get anywhere. That’s why social media organizers writing about Pittsburgh include tags, or listings of complimentary words and phrases to tie the knot between the target audience and the content. But, as any publicist or marketing exec will tell you, word choice means everything when targeting your message. Bloggers and business owners can use online tools and the frustrations of trial and error. Or they can hire a forward-thinking PR agency to take over search engine optimization efforts.

For DIY-loving social media mavens, neither option is too appealing. So the computer scientists at Bueda have introduced a third option: a tag generator and arsenal of social media search tools for flummoxed online business owners to find their customers anywhere they may be. With its two products--one a tag-refining API and the other a social media lead generator adept at analyzing user-generated content--ready for distribution, Bueda recently received $100,000 in financing from Pittsburgh business incubator Innovation Works to expand their sales efforts.

“With traditional online advertising, you have the theme of standing on the side of the road hoping that the right car drives by or in social media, you can just talk about what you do, post and blog and hope eventually people will come,” says Buedo CEO Vasco Pedro. “We take a proactive stance by analyzing what people are saying and matching that with certain topics that the company would like to interact with.”

So if a Pittsburgh copy store wanted to target customers better, they could blog and utilize social media, hoping someone comes to them, or they could wait until someone on Twitter in the Pittsburgh area tweets a complaint about the terrible service at Kinkos. Suddenly, the Pittsburgh copy shop is there to join in the conversation. Better tags and search tools help businesses hit the target where they are.

But this concept is not what drew Innovation Works to believe in Bueda. When Bueda first formed as a spin-out from Carnegie Mellon’s School of Computer Science, their social media tools had to be programmed into existing software. Before Bueda could introduce its product to the world, it had to do some re-targeting of their own, revamping their built-in business software to a user-friendly search solution that anyone can use. And Pedro believes this time, his company hit the bulls-eye.

“We started with a technological platform and this is really our first consumer-faced application that allows direct use of the platform without one line of code,” says Pedro. “Before, it was more targeted to businesses looking to enhance user-generated content but this is more the consumer-based version.”

Source: Vasco Pedro, Bueda

Writer: John Steele
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