SocialToaster has a new leader to start 2018.
The ETC Eastern–based company recently hired Gary Merry as CEO. Merry brings previous experience running Baltimore’s Deep Run Security, which was acquired last year by Columbia-based Convergence Technology Solutions, and was an IT exec at Jos. A. Bank. The news was first reported by the Baltimore Business Journal.
SocialToaster Founder Brian Razzaque, who had been CEO since the company was founded in 2012, said he will now be Chief Marketing Officer, and still be involved in product strategy. He will also continue as chair of the company’s board.
Merry’s experience leading and scaling companies became clear when he started discussions with Social Toaster, Razzaque said.
“For me, it’s not about ego,” he said. “I want the company to succeed and I want us to dominate the space. In the discussions with the board, it definitely appeared to make sense to have that adjustment happen in order to ensure we could get [Merry], with his stellar track record on as part of the team.”
After its first profitable year in 2017, the 20-person company is looking to move into a new growth phase this year, Razzaque said. SocialToaster, which helps brands amplify their message on social media, started working in entertainment and is now expanding in the enterprise space. The company is looking to continue growth in retail, as well as universities and nonprofits.
When it comes to retailers, Razzaque said Amazon’s growth and the decline of central spots like malls means companies “are looking to make use of every asset that they have” when it comes to engaging consumers.
Given that the company works in in social media, Razzaque has also been tracking the changes coming to the Facebook News Feed that will prioritize friends and family posts over those from publishers.
Razzaque said it will be the biggest shift for the service since 2015, when posts from a publisher’s Pages required more pay to reach more people. He believes Social Toaster is well-positioned to handle the changes.
With Facebook's new algorithm, users will see more posts from their friends and family and fewer posts from publishers and brands. Brand ambassadors are more important now than ever! https://t.co/0ITBg35yI0
— SocialToaster (@SocialToaster) January 15, 2018
“Users on Facebook are going to have the choice of whether they really want to see corporate content in their feed. The way that we function is to facilitate actual organic sharing, helping people to share content in a way that’s visible” without going through a publisher, Razzaque said.