LeadSift has rolled out an API for developers that want to integrate its brand of social media intelligence into their platform.

Incorporating social data into the sales and marketing process has been a standard practice for several years now, of course, with products varying only in how deep the information goes, the number of sources tapped and how accurate it is.

LeadSift, using a blend of machine learning algorithms and natural language processing, can legitimately stake a claim for the latter, at least based on a impromptu test I gave the company. More on that in a moment.

Fingerprint Data

The API is aimed at developers of third-party sales and marketing platforms that want to embed real-time data about a customer base or prospects, CEO Tukan Das told CMSWire. Other users would be larger agencies or brands with dedicated IT teams that can write the necessary code to adapt the API.

The API delivers what Das called fingerprint consumer data -- that is, a profile of a consumer based on his or her public posts, Likes, Tweets and friend networks.

"We consider it the middle ware or back bone of a platform's real time insights," he said.

To get this data, the API crawls through a number of public social media networks including the big boys — Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn — to collect and index information on users. 

This information is then compiled to create, or enhance, a profile of the person in question. The platform has some 100 attributes it tries to fill out. The low-hanging fruit includes gender, favorite media outlets and marital status. Less obvious attributes include income category and behavior patterns.

The data is updated once a month. B2B companies are typical end users -- or any company, actually, that wants information about a prospect at a moment's notice.

Das says competitors in this space take a different approach by relying on a user's email address to match where he or she works. "We offer an extremely rich set of data," he said.

All About Me

To test this, I asked Das to run me through their engine to see what they had. He asked for my Twitter handle, and moments later came up with a profile on me.

It was a surprisingly accurate one considering I have an aversion to posting anything even remotely personal online. In addition, I am not one to "like" products or companies for their coupons or discounts or just to fly the company flag.  

The main way I use social media is to share articles of current events and business news as well as articles I have written. That's it.

Here is what they know about me: 

  • I am female (okay that was easy)
  • I am mostly active on social media in the afternoon (correct)
  • I am between the ages of 35 to 49 (sadly, correct)
  • I am a car owner (yes, but how did it know? I could care less about cars — I never talk about or look at them online). Granted, most people in my age group do own cars so this might have been an educated guess.
  • I am an online shopper (correct, and here I would assume that the frequently changing lineup of online ads displayed to me on Facebook based on my browsing is what gave me away)

But here's the thing: It also went on to list the top stores I shop, including, astoundingly, one that I only frequent in person. That would be Wal-Mart and I think I have visited its website perhaps once.

Finally, the API spit out my income status. No, I am not going to reveal it here -- I will say, though, that it was very accurate.

To be fair, I should also list what they should know about me but don't. The don't know, but should, that:

  • I am very active in trying to place homeless cats and dogs
  • I have a number of the aforementioned cats and dogs
  • I am considering volunteering to work with foster children
  • I recently moved
  • I have distinct political views (No, they will not be specified here)
  • I love reading about health news, exercise and whole foods

Come to think of it, they didn’t list the store where I probably spend most of my money, which is Whole Foods.

Nothing all that exciting I'll grant you, but these are data points that would come in handy for any marketer trying to customize an offer.

An Exciting Future

Now three years old, LeadSift is getting ready for its next phase of expansion and growth, Das said. "I am very excited about the future and what we have to offer the industry," he said.

The company will get an assist in marketing and further developing its product line with new funding it secured and announced with its API.

Omers Ventures, Salesforce Ventures and Innovacorp provided this second round of capital, the amount of which is undisclosed.