Advocacy marketing platform SocialChorus has nabbed $7.5 million to help more employees spread the word about their companies.
“This category is happening,” CEO and founder Gregory Shove told VentureBeat, “because social media has been trapped inside the social-media team.”
“Our customers are deploying [our] software initially in PR, corporate communications, and sales,” he said, “and in some cases are expanding out to all employees.”
SocialChorus, he said, is helping organizations become social businesses by going outside those small teams, utilizing employees for social selling, recruiting, content marketing, and employee engagement initiatives. In these ways, the firm, which currently has about 50 customer companies, enables employees to do more than just their job descriptions.
While it also supports nonemployee “brand ambassadors,” the company aims the platform at “global employee advocacy” — that is, helping employees who are going to use social and other media anyway stay with brand-appropriate content and maintain industry compliance, such as the Federal Trade Commission requires.
The new Series B funding, which Kohlberg Ventures led, brings the total investment in the company thus far to $15.5 million. The San Francisco-based firm, which recently opened an engineering and product development facility in Vancouver, said the money will further develop the platform for the needs of the Fortune 1000.
Shove pointed to AT&T’s Social Circle on SocialChorus as one example. Employees join it to get real-time delivery “of relevant content for them to consume, share and personalize,” he said. This might include, for instance, a white paper, an invitation to a conference, or a webinar. If the brand was entirely a consumer one, he said, the shareable content might include a product offer.
Shove said he founded SocialChorus in 2008 because “people are more trusted than brands [and] word of mouth has been around forever.”
He said competitors include Dynamic Signal, but “our special sauce is creating a [social media] experience for all advocates, from novice to experts.”