LinkedIn has been on quite a tear for the last few months. Beyond the significant product and interface changes, they’ve made a full-on commitment to content. It’s seen in their influencer program, which has been amazing to follow and read, as well as their commitment to groups and company pages, the latter of which saw its first company (HP) break 1 million followers in late-February. This is clearly exciting for us, as we believe content is the lifeblood of social and LinkedIn is the leading platform for professionals. But beyond that it’s fascinating to watch a platform with 200 million global members ship new product at the speed and quality they have.
All of that is a somewhat long and glowing preamble to announce that we’re excited to be the newest member of the LinkedIn Social Media Management program. Our newfound status means that clients will be able to publish, target and track posts on their LinkedIn company pages right inside Percolate. This has been the single most-requested feature from our B2B clients over the last six months and now they’ll be able to publish, manage and analyze across LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr using the Percolate platform.
To show off the functionality we’ll use Tidy B2B, a fictitious cleaning company catering to small and large enterprises. To set the stage, Tidy B2B is on the (imaginary) cutting edge of eco/cleaning solutions and using Percolate to raise status around their green, design and innovation practices. Based on what the system knows about them, Percolate bubbles up a story about the London Underground’s carbon-reducing campaign that seems relevant to the brands interests, messaging and UK-heavy audience. The Tidy B2B community manager is inspired to create a post around the story and decides to push it out to their LinkedIn company page.
Since Percolate has already scraped the article’s keywords, the system is able to use those to recommend images that the brand owns or has the right to license through our partnership with Getty Images. Tidy B2B selects one, crops it and adds a bit of context for their LinkedIn audience about why this is relevant to the Tidy B2B mission.
As you can see below, Tidy B2B’s has now published an original piece of content on their LinkedIn company page all within Percolate. Percolate handled the entire workflow from inspiration to creation, editing, stakeholder approvals and publishing.
If you have any questions about our LinkedIn integration or would like to see a demo, please get in touch.
Every day 300 million photos are shared on Facebook, another 40 million on Instagram, and, while Twitter, Tumblr, and Pinterest don’t report daily photos shares, we believe it’s safe to say nearly 500 million photos are shared daily across just these five social platforms. Another way to look at our photo production is of the 3.8 trillion photos that have been taken in history, 10% were shot in the past 12 months. And this is just the beginning, as the world continues its march from 2 billion connected internet users to 6 billion in the coming years we’re only going to see the numbers of photos shared online continue to explode.
In the past twelve months, we have significantly grown our client base from nine to 43 of the world’s top brands. Over that time, each client has approached us with a similar problem: How to create timely, relevant, visual content. The visual piece has become especially important over the last year as platforms have shifted to focus more on images. Facebook Timeline, Twitter Media Cards, Tumblr, Pinterest, and Instagram all point to a future where engagement revolves around people and companies creating and sharing images in real-time.
Before today, brands didn’t have an easy way to create real-time images that addressed the quality and legal guidelines Fortune 500 companies require for all of their visual content. Today, we’re changing that by introducing two new product features for the Percolate platform that help clients create engaging content in a legal manner and at the speed and scale social platforms now require.
1) Percolate Media Library: Intelligently surfacing millions of Getty Images
We’re partnering with Getty Images to solve one of the biggest challenges for our clients: The lack of access to images that they can tailor to the specific needs of their brand and share across social channels.
To solve for this challenge, we intelligently surface images based on topics, colors, events and a brand’s interest graph, inspiring community managers to create highly-relevant, real-time content for their social channels.
In addition to our clients having access to their own media libraries through the Percolate Media Library, they now have access to millions of royalty-free Getty Images in the Percolate publishing workflow, thus inspiring visual creativity and removing any copyright concerns.
To illustrate the functionality we’ll use Tidy Soaps, a fictitious soap company on the (imaginary) cutting edge of cleaning products. Below is Tidy Soaps’ new Visual Homepage and Media Library. It’s ever-changing images constantly inspires their community manager’s visual content creation.
2) Percolate Image Editor: Creative editing tools built in partnership with Aviary specifically for brands’ social needs
Through our partnership with Aviary, we’ve built out a unique set of social brand editing tools. With this new tool, brands are able to filter, crop, add custom text, and, in a first for Aviary (and we believe the web) add custom brand logos/assets all within the Percolate platform. From our research, these four attributes cover nearly all the use cases brands need to make the biggest impact with their images in social.
Here’s an example of Tidy Soaps pulling a image from their Image Library into the Percolate Image Editor where they’ll add two soap bottles, apply a filter and add the text “#SolarDay”. From there the system makes it easy to preview the newly-created image across their social channels before publishing.
Both partnerships push the Percolate platform forward and change the speed in which brands can create content in social. We’re looking forward to seeing and sharing the creative examples our clients produce. If you have any questions about our new partnerships or would like to see a demo, please get in touch.
Monday marked a day that many who live on the internet have had on their calendars for months, Community Manager Appreciation Day.
It’s the little things that make a community manager’s job worthwhile and on the fourth Monday of January 2013, those little things transformed into a flowing river of appreciation if you followed the Twitter hashtag #CMAD.
Percolate celebrated community managers by hosting #SPEAKEASY #CMAD. A mix of brands, platforms and agencies presented their learnings on community building and social to a room full of eager community managers.
If you weren’t able to join us or want to review the presentations once more, we’ve archived the slides below with links and brief descriptions of the presenters and their presentations.
Noah Brier, Percolate co-founder, presented the Evolution of Social Content.
Summary: The endless information ‘stream’ which has proliferated across social channels means that no one thing defines a brand anymore. Social platforms are mirrors reflecting consumer attention in real time, and good content lives at the intersection of brand message and cultural relevance.
Keith Cowing from LinkedIn presented marketing solutions for brands on the LinkedIn platform.
Summary: LinkedIn has evolved from being “who I am at work” to a much broader personalized professional content source. In fact, LinkedIn content creates five times the activity that job postings do. LinkedIn’s newest features, like LinkedIn Today, Groups, Slideshare and Network Updates, all aim at bringing the platform towards recognition as a community for professional content.
Tyler Fonda, Strategy Director at Gotham Inc., presented on the learnings of Denny’s social strategy “Cats and Babies.”
Summary: To create content, community managers and all social publishers need to optimize through experimentation: the risk is simply too low not to (no one will view the content). Gotham was able to experiment with content creation for its client, Denny’s, by creating memes around cats and babies. Here, and on other campaigns, Gotham has successfully used memes as trojan horses for getting into people’s facebook feeds.
Danielle Strle of Tumblr presented “why Tumblr should be your brand’s social hub”.
Summary: Tumblr is a special platform because brands can post anything they want and customize the look and feel. Many brands are seeing unmatched longevity and engagement around their content on Tumblr and the best examples of brands using the platform are available at http://brands.tumblr.com/.
Adam Sandler of American Express presented on how they’re building a community from scratch.
Summary: While a community is united around a certain shared interest, a social network is defined by shared existing relationships. The purpose of Amex’s OPEN Forum was to create a community of thought-leaders to drive “engagement, endorsement, and loyalty” around topics relevant to small businesses and entrepreneurs.
Jon Lombardo of GE presented on “How General Electric became a content company”.
Summary: GE has fascinating social content across virtually all the platforms and they achieved this by knowing their context, thinking about why people share and letting go of the brand (kind of). The result has been increased engagement and content creation across all their social presences.
Jennifer Stalzer of MasterCard talked about the evolution of their corporate newsroom.
Summary: Corporate Communications is currently at the intersection of content and code. In its strategy for building its own corporate newsroom, MasterCard focused on integrating its various social channels, curating content to fuel conversations around context, and creating content with third-party validation. For Mastercard, content creation is never a “one n’ done” process, and MasterCard uses the Percolate Brew to syndicate its content around owned media, bringing new relevancy to dated stock media content.
Matthew Murray of Getty Images showed how brands can co-create with Getty Images. To view please enter your email and password Percolate2013.
Summary: Getty Images now provides brands with a digital, rights-free multimedia library to assist in the content creation process.
Kristin Maverick of The Barbarian Group discussed how Pepsi NEXT and TaskRabbit tested the boundaries of community sampling in their latest campaign.
Summary: To introduce Pepsi NEXT on digital channels, the Barbarian Group partnered with an up-and-coming startup called TaskRabbit, an online marketplace for users to outsource their simple errands and tasks to local trustworthy people. Select contest winners outsourced their errands/tasks for an hour and spent their newfound extra time sampling Pepsi’s new low-sugar product.
Jack Pollock of IPG Media Labs talked about how they’re employees are signals for innovation externally.
Summary: Building an internal community within your own company can be difficult, yet it relies on bringing together technology, content, and audience and avoiding the challenge of diversification. IPG Media Labs consists of 60 thought-leaders across five continents vetting potential media technologies for use at scale.
After a day full of information sharing, Noah concluded with the following threads for the audience to consider: the evolving role of the community manager; the proliferation of new platforms; the diversification of social media presence; how brands are turning user-experiences into user-generated content; and how the industry has moved away from talk of ‘influence’.
Did you attend the event? Let us know your thoughts.
Thanks again to those who attended, presented and our friends, partner and sponsor Tumblr for helping make #SPEAKEASY #CMAD a success. We’re looking forward to doing it again next year and we’ll be post details for the next #SPEAKEASY community manager happy hour soon.
We have great relationships across all the platforms. Some of those relationships are formal like Tumblr and others remain regular check-ins. Today, after many months of helping brands determine “What should I tweet about?”, we have officially joined the Twitter Certified Products Program (TCPP) to help brands and additional partners create engaging content.
Should you have any questions, please get in touch.
Today, Tumblr announced the A-List Partnership Program . We are proud to be included as Tumblr’s technology partner. Through the partnership, Percolate will be providing our technology and lightweight services to brands to help them build their audiences and content strategies on Tumblr in a scalable way.
Tumblr is a unique platform for brands that want to manage all of their digital assets within a single, socially connected environment. We are also excited by the sheer scale of Tumblr’s reach and engagement:
With the scale for brands in place, Tumblr is now laying the foundation for how brands can natively communicate and build a sustained presence on the platform. We have long been fans of Tumblr and we even wrote about the potential we saw in a post sixth months ago explaining how Tumblr was important in the larger social ecosystem. From that post:
Tumblr is a unique channel for brands as it relates to how they think about social content strategies in the future. There is the ability to have your own branded domain (eg.brand.com), enough of an infrastructure in place that you can create unique stock content and house it there (permalinks), while also using the channel to curate 1st party and 3rd party content that flows through the channel with a networked community behind it…..
Why does this all matter? The future of marketing lies in how brands best create content in real-time and showcase it to their audiences. The brands that will set themselves apart from the rest will have an real-time strategy that supports both stock & flow content.
We are stoked and we hope you are as well. If you are interested in seeing how our platform seamlessly works with Tumblr, case studies for how we’re leveraging this partnership with our current clients or how Percolate might help you, please get in touch and say hello.
A few months ago I was talking to my mom about an afterschool program she works with called The Lighthouse Program. Lighthouse is based in Bridgeport and gives about 2800 children in 26 schools a safe and enriching place to spend the hours after school until their parents return home. Bridgeport is one of the poorest cities in the northeast, and the program can’t afford all the necessities it would like and they were looking for iPads to use for educational purposes by students.
The question was how to get these iPads donated, since the program certainly couldn’t afford to go out and buy them.
So we at Percolate got together to spend a bit of time thinking about how we might be able to help. Rumors of the iPad 3 were swirling and we were all coveting the next big gadget. However, like so many, we had older, perfectly serviceable models and no matter how fancy the new screen was going to be, it’s hard to justify $500 on something you definitely don’t need.
Which got us thinking, what if we ran an “iPad Appeal” and played into exactly that sort of thinking? Rather than asking people to give us money for iPads or donate their old ones, we would ask people who were thinking of upgrading to make the purchase they really wanted and we would make it as easy as possible. The Lighthouse Program could even offer tax deductible receipts. They were willing to sweeten the pot with free shipping, an expense they could manage. (They’ll send a prepaid box to send your iPad back in).
So we spent a bit of time putting together a site for them and now we’re ready to start appealing. So … Do you have an old iPad? Do you wish you had a new one? (That retina display is oh so nice.) Maybe you’ve got an iPad 1 and you really wish you had the new version instead of that crappy black case, but you just can’t justify the upgrade since a new case isn’t really worth the $499 price tag. Perfect. Let us take the guilt away. Just head over to iPadAppeal.org and sign up to send us your old iPad. All the instructions are there, but in case you’re not up for reading them, it’s simple: Fill out the form on the site and The Lighthouse Program will send a prepaid box for you to ship your old iPad in. As soon as they receive it they’ll send you a tax deductible receipt and you will have a new iPad, along with the knowledge that you made a difference for a kid who couldn’t afford the tech we all enjoy on a daily basis. Come on, what are you waiting for?
Our friend Bud Caddell is cooking up some awesome thoughts over at his site, what consumes me. His latest project and post is a call to action to help him build the definitive inspiration engine for the creative community. We like the idea, support it and want to see others help out as well. Check out his post, and let’s build it together.
Last week The Next Web announced our recent partnership with American Express and their small business platform, OPEN Forum. With the help of Percolate, OPEN Forum is expanding their footprint to Tumblr by using it as a channel to curate high-quality small business content from around the web.
We’re very excited about this for lots of reasons. First off, we believe the OPEN Forum brand and strategy is a best-in-class example of a brand buying into the value of being a content creator. In just a few years they’ve built a platform that the rest of the industry looks to with admiration and we’re excited to say we’re a part of. Second, with their foray into Tumblr, OPEN Forum is doing something that many brands and media companies struggle with: Accepting that the platform dictates the content. Their tone, content and style on Tumblr is catering to the visual and networked nature of the platform.
Scott Roen, Vice President at American Express, spoke a bit to The Next Web about how Percolate is powering the Tumblr experience for them:
“It’s early stage, but a really interesting player as far as a brand is concerned. We were lucky to get an early start in building out a community and content site for small business owners. Percolate has given us some pretty good insights and helps manage some of the assets we are building out. While we started with Tumblr, we want to pull Percolate into the other channels like Facebook and Twitter as well.”
Additionally, here’s OPEN Forum editor, Tara Fuller, explaining how Percolate helps her in creating content day-in-and-day-out:
“Percolate provide us with a workflow that aggregates the most relevant content from the sources we tell it to follow, puts it in one place, and makes it easy for us to comment and share—getting rid of the various steps this would require otherwise. Since using the tool, we’ve gone from a Tumblr mostly posting OPEN Forum content, to a hub of small business resources from around the web with much more reader engagement.”
We’re stoked to share this partnership with you and look forward to announcing more partners in the coming months. If you are interested in working with us, you can see more about our business offerings here or get in touch with us here .
Now that we’re a few months into Percolating we’re starting to see some of our brand partnerships come to life. Back in August it was Counterparties with Reuters and this time it’s the redesigned Healthymagination site with GE.
What’s extra exciting about this is that it’s the first really good example of Stock and Flow, which I started to explain in an AdAge article a few months ago:
Brands can learn from the best publishers on the web, like Huffington Post or Gawker/Gizmodo. These outlets combine small amounts of stock content with large amounts of flow content. The former is used to attract new audience and the latter to keep them engaged.
In this case the stock is the Longreads column: Long form posts from talented writers on topics around health. The right side, Shortreads, is the flow: Powered by Percolate, Lisa and the editorial team at GE is curating the best content from around the web, linking off to awesome content from the likes of Technology Review and New York Times. It makes for a pretty great site and we’re very excited to be involved.
Subscribing to the Percolate blog will keep you updated on our insights, trends and what is brewing around the office.