Percolate’s latest brew aims to make brands better social curators, content creators

New York-based Percolate is ready to serve up its latest brew. The startup, which helps brands act like savvy curators of the social Web, launched last year with a platform that filters through hundreds of sources of content, bubbles up the most relevant pieces and then lets brands share them on Facebook, Twitter and other social channels.
But the company’s newest version, which it released to clients last week, goes beyond the curation of content from other sources to making it easier for brands to tap into their own reserves of digital content. In addition to indexing and tagging brands’ owned content, a few other updates include enhancing the algorithms that recommend the best content, providing extra monitoring and notifications around the performance of posts, and automatic optimizing for the different social platforms.
“The biggest challenge brands have is, ‘what should I be talking about now?,’” said Percolate co-founder James Gross. “It’s not audience acquisition – you can buy followers – and distribution is also taken care of [with Facebook’s reach generator, for example]… The challenge is what content do I create right now.”
To help a brand figure out the kinds of content that it should be sharing, Percolate maps the brand’s “interest graph” against more than six million sources and finds the references, which can include from 500 to 1,500 sources, that are unique to each brand. From there, Percolate’s algorithms consider a number of variables, including recency, popularity, authority and, most recently, keywords, to suggest the different content that a brand’s social editor should share everyday.
The company’s latest update, which more intelligently indexes a brand’s owned content and expands the function to YouTube, Vimeo and Instagram in addition to RSS, Twitter and Facebook, could help brands better adapt to Facebook’s new Timeline-centric pages, which demand more content, including historic content. It could also help brands really take advantage of their collections of videos, ads, images and more (which could go back decades, in the cases of companies like Apple, IBM and GE).
“[This is] a more sophisticated way to allow what people are talking about and the sources they’re talking about to map against content that a brand already owns,” he said.
Social media management platforms like Salesforce’s Buddy Media, Hearsay Social and Wildfire help brands manage their presence on different social media platforms, but Percolate’s big selling point is that it helps brands become better participants in social media by helping them figure out what to say.
In the past year, Percolate, which raised $1.5 million in seed funding, has attracted 25 top-tier clients, including American Express, Samsung and GE, who pay the company’s subscription fee.