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Trapit launches its new life today, going from a general content curation service to a content curation service married to employee advocacy.

That revamped identity is embodied in the launch of the new Trapit enterprise platform, which generates content libraries for employees to share on their social networks. The company says this is the first employee social selling platform that intelligently finds and collects outside expert content.

In December, the San Francisco-based company merged with Addvocate, which provided a platform for employees to spread company-related information over their social networks.

Trapit started life as the offspring of the post-9/11, Defense Department-funded CALO (Cognitive Assistant that Learns and Organizes) project. Apple’s Siri was another child of that $200 million parent. At birth, Trapit was a news aggregator that intelligently found content related your interests.

While that standalone curation service still exists, Trapit’s main purpose these days is solving what CEO and founder Hank Nothhaft Jr. told me was the central problem of employee advocacy platforms like SocialChorus and Dynamic Signal.

“They’re just a CMS system,” he said, with the C primarily being company material plus an uncurated RSS feed.

Without the right content, he said, “You’re just another echo in the echo system.”

A Trapit screen of curated content for CEO Hank Nothhaft, Jr.

Above: A Trapit screen of curated content for CEO Hank Nothhaft Jr.

Image Credit: Trapit

Trapit’s pivot could find an audience. Social selling platform PeopleLinx contends that 79 percent of salespeople who actively use social media make more sales than others. An IBM study found that a third of its B2B buyers commonly use social media to learn about products.

Nothhaft said that employees in companies with other employee advocacy platforms are asked to share white papers or find relevant information in an unfiltered feed, a time-consuming and less-than-attractive way to endear yourself to friends and colleagues in your social networks. The result, he said, is a participation rate of about one percent in many employee advocacy programs.

By contrast, Trapit claims a participation rate of over 50 percent in its pilot phase.

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Why would an employee want to spend their time — sometimes away from work — sending work-related material to their friends?

A key reason, he said, is to build one’s credibility and “personal brand.” An insurance salesman, for instance, might send out a New York Times article about estimating how much life insurance you really need. When her friends think about their insurance needs, they think about her. A number of Trapit’s clients are in the financial and insurance industries.

Most of the sharing is done on LinkedIn and Twitter, he said, not on Facebook, which supports the idea that the motivation is professional.

A curator can set up discovery searches for internal or external sources, collect the resulting material into “traps” or categories, and assign them to teams. Employees can then share content designated for their team. Content sharing and use can be tracked, and the platform integrates with marketing automation platforms like Marketo or Eloqua to capture relationships and status with contacts.

Although the content discovery and aggregation tools rely on artificial intelligence and machine learning that improve with results, the sources for that information — more than 100,000 publications, blogs, and services — are vetted by human Trapits to make sure they’re credible.

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