About us

How Social Seeder came to life

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    It’s the kind of story met with, "No, way!" or "That’s crazy," but it’s still true. Founder Patrick De Pauw was invited to a lunch at Google headquarters. Some of the other guests? Then-President Barack Obama and Richard Branson to name a few. At the time, Patrick had spent nearly 30 years in the travel marketing industry, forming relationships and connections - one of whom invited him to this select roundtable.

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    On the flight home, Patrick reflected on the power of connections. In travel, he had seen that other people’s opinion was more influential than most marketing tools. As ads got more expensive and algorithms more unpredictable, Patrick decided to focus on the one thing that consistently worked: word-of-mouth.

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    Once he returned, Patrick promptly developed a concept around connections, social media being the obvious starting point. In reviewing online posts, likes, and discussions, he noticed people happily act as de facto ambassadors for things they like: a destination, brand, cause, or organization. They do it without wanting money for it. Often without even realizing it.

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    After mapping out specific ways to capture the untapped ambassador goodwill, Patrick joined forces with friends Jo Caudron and Dado Van Peteghem, who worked on a compatible idea that became Social Seeder in 2013. In 2020, Social Seeder had 16 full-time employees and 250+ customers worldwide.

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    To this day, Patrick never says no to a lunch opportunity because you never know who will be there at the table - or what idea it might inspire later.

The evolution of the Social Seeder platform

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    Social Seeder was launched in January 2013. At the outset, it had basic social media sharing features. It was meant to engage people naturally close to an organization (employees, clients, fans or any important business relationship) as powerful online ambassadors. Organizations that wanted to amplify their messages through their ambassadors’ social networks could buy credits to send Social Seeder campaigns to their fanbase. It was designed to promote social selling and extend the marketing reach, but with only top-down communication in mind.

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    We quickly understood that ambassadorship is about more than asking people to share messages. Ambassadorship is not a given. It is something that needs to be earned by the organization. Therefore, we moved away from the credit system to a subscription model. This allowed us to onboard and train organizations in cultivating brand ambassadorship. Our focus shifted from providing a mere tool to helping companies implement all aspects of an ambassador program. This ultimately lead to better results for Social Seeder clients.

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    At the beginning of our journey, our clients’ engagement efforts largely focused on making evangelists out of customers, widely considered the most authentic and valuable spokespeople. But while enterprises reached out to these external parties, the best potential advocates were hiding in plain sight: their own employees. Our data confirmed this: employees were amongst the best performing ambassadors from the get-go. They had by far the highest engagement rates.

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    In 2018, an evolution towards employer branding emerged. As employees willingly posted about their workplace - whether to recruit new co-workers or highlight various events within their company - Social Seeder resonated with a growing number of HR teams. Authentic conversations became essential.

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    By 2019, most HR teams started to see that the strategic insight and methodology Social Seeder offered was not just a budget “nice to have” but a must. We saw Social Seeder gradually become a new internal communications tool in many companies. As one-way communication doesn’t cut it when it comes to engaging employees, we’ve been slowly moving towards a bi-directional platform, predominantly designed to foster employee advocacy within companies. However, some companies run effective ambassador programs via Social Seeder too.

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    Over the years, our tool evolved into a platform, with more and more features and options for third-party integrations to enhance functionality. The huge dataset we have built up throughout our years of existence allows us to give valuable insights into the success factors that make good communication. In the future, we will increasingly use data to support managers in determining their ROI.

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    Our big dataset will ultimately allow us to inject artificial intelligence (AI) into the platform. AI can process a large amount of data and hand out valuable suggestions to further improve communication. However, to keep messaging authentic, we will never allow AI to take over the conversation. AI will solely be used to create an intelligent assistant. Check out our release plan if you are curious where we are heading next with our platform

Meet the leadership

Social Seeder is a diverse, dynamic team of enthusiastic people from all over the world: Brazil, USA, Italy etc.

Patrick-De-Pauw

Patrick De Pauw

Founder & CEO

Chief Evangelical Officer. Patrick is a frequent and enthusiastic public speaker on ambassadorship. During the rare moments he is not working, he is probably taking back-to-back spinning classes.

linkedin.com/in/patrickdepauw

T08CLE4LV-U02H8H69BQ8-6311fc5f8af6-512-1

Claire Selis

MANAGING DIRECTOR

Claire is the managing lead of the organisation. She's responsible for the future growth and success of the organisation.  Experienced executive with solid and proven expertise in value creation.

linkedin.com/in/claire-selis-b260306/

Kristof-Drossaert

Kristof Drossaert

CMO & CDO

Kristof is responsible for the marketing operations and the digital know-how within Social Seeder. He's a seasoned digital marketeer able to translate business needs into digital solutions.

linkedin.com/in/drostof