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The Inside Social team (L to R): Bryan Short, Alan Balasundaram, Brewster Stanislaw and Joey Kotkins.

Attracting Facebook likes and Twitter followers is important for businesses active on social media, but it can be difficult to pinpoint how exactly those metrics are affecting overall revenue for the company.

InsideSocialLogoThat’s where Inside Social wants to help. The four-man startup, currently in Techstars Seattle, helps brands attribute value to specific social media actions.

We featured Inside Social on GeekWire back in August when Jenni Hogan interviewed two of the founders for her show The Next Big Thing. But we caught up with the team this week to find out even more with the latest edition of Startup Spotlight.

Explain what you do so our parents can understand it: Inside Social helps brands measure and increase the impact social media has on revenue.

Inspiration hit us when … We founded our company to build a product that helped brands get higher quality fans and followers. We quickly learned from them that the biggest pain point in social marketing is measuring the real business value. Inspiration came directly from listening to our customers and trying solve their biggest problems.

insidesocial1VC, Angel or Bootstrap: Angel. Early on we found some amazing individuals that believed in us as a team more than anything and they have been instrumental in helping us build our momentum.

Our ‘secret sauce’ is: Our singular vision to empower great social marketing based on data. Our patent-pending technology doesn’t hurt either.

The smartest move we’ve made so far: Having the guts to pivot and go after a bigger opportunity even when we had traction with our first product.

The biggest mistake we’ve made so far: Our first attempt at an analytics dashboard missed. We should have spent more time with our customers gathering exactly what they wanted to see and combine that with our understanding of the problem and our intuition. Had we used the same customer-driven approach out of the gate for the product as we did for the business as a whole, we probably could have skipped an iteration cycle.

Would you rather have Gates, Jobs, Zuckerberg or Bezos in your corner: Bezos. Like him, we believe in making the customer happy first and foremost and that everything will follow in line from there.

Our world domination strategy starts when: Social marketing becomes known as a sales and customer acquisition channel, and not just for awareness and engagement, because companies have the data to prove its worth. And by the way, that’s already happening…

2013-05-26_techstars_ID_final_bug with typesetRivals should fear us because: We’ve committed to knowing our customers and their businesses as well as they know themselves. We aren’t there quite yet, but we are getting close.

We are truly unique because: A deep passion for improving the quality of social marketing mixed with the technical and business chops to make that possible is a dangerous combination.

The biggest hurdle we’ve overcome is: Getting our first enterprise deal done and making our first dollar in revenue.

What’s the one piece of advice you’d give to other entrepreneurs just starting out: Enjoy the ride. Being a founder is an emotional roller coaster, so you should definitely take the time to appreciate the highs and pay attention to the lows — that is usually when you learn the most.

techstars-casinoEditor’s note: This month, GeekWire will be featuring the 11 startups participating in TechStars Seattle. This marks the seventh of those profiles.  Make sure to check out TechStars Demo Day on Oct. 24th, and GeekWire Startup Day on Oct. 25th, both part of Seattle Startup Week. You will also get a chance to meet the Inside Social team at the Demo Day after party, a fantastic opportunity to hang out with hundreds of Seattle entrepreneurs, investors and members of the Seattle startup ecosystem.

Past TechStars Seattle Startup Spotlights:

Vetted matches big companies with independent consultants

Codementor offers real-time, screen-sharing coding support for developers

Perfect helps you edit, share videos filmed with Google Glass

Shippable helps developers speed up software deployment

Designlab teaches you web design skills with interactive lessons, in-browser tools

Ex-Amazonians helping teachers create and sell online courses with Everpath

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