Trapit Takes On LinkedIn with Social Selling Platform

Social-selling platform provider Trapit wants to help companies deliver "relevant and engaging" content to employees and manage sharing through social channels.

The company debuts a new platform today that combines Trapit's content discovery and curation technology with the employee advocacy tools it gained in the merger last December with Addvocate, officials said.

Trapit's CEO said it's a platform that can take on LinkedIn, which also released a similar solution.

"The key to this space is content," Hank Nothhaft Jr., CEO and founder of five-year-old Trapit, told CMSWire. "No matter what features a platform has built, if you don’t have the ability to deliver great content, you’ve got nothing. I’d argue that the winner in this space will be determined by their ability to source quality content that is highly relevant to each user it serves."

Content is King

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Trapit's content discovery engine is based on the $200 million CALO research project conducted by SRI, the largest artificial intelligence project in history that also resulted in Apple’s Siri.

"Nobody else has technology even remotely close to the sophistication of our content discovery engine," Nothhaft said, without a hint of modesty. "The difference between decent content and great content is the difference between a polite decline and a sale, or great conversations and blank stares."

Trapit officials said they serve both mid-market and enterprise customers, but its sweetspot are enterprises in the Fortune 5,000. Primarily, sales and marketing departments use the platform to distribute content to their teams that can be shared with leads and prospects.

Trapit officials see two types of users of its platform: curators and advocates.

  • Curators optimize and approve relevant content that gets shared with teams across an organization.
  • Advocates take that content and use it to start conversations with customers and prospects across their networks.

All users can access their accounts via mobile, web and email.

Nothhaft cited a curator at a large IT company who sets up a topic filter for Internet of Things articles and videos. Employees can add suggested text for a tweet or message and share it out to the advocates in the sales department.

An advocate then receives a digest via email with those articles in the morning.

"At that point, those employees have everything they need to reach out to a prospect (or their entire network) and start a conversation about the article, the trends it covers, and even discuss how their products might address the issues cited in the article," the CEO added.

An analytics engine tracks which content curators share that's used most by Advocates. It also tracks which content advocates share out to their networks.

"In doing so," Nothhaft said, "we give a complete understanding of how content is performing from curation to engagement."

Integrations At Play

Trapit is sold on a subscription model. Seats start at $10/month, with volume discounts available for larger enterprises.

Trapit already supports integrations with all the "major marketing platforms and social media management tools out there," from Marketo to Salesforce to Hootsuite and beyond, Nothhaft said. It is also integrated with Google Analytics and all the major social media platforms.

"We will soon announce integrations for ecosystems like the Salesforce AppExchange, and will continue to do so based on customer demand," the CEO said. "We are built as a true platform, so we have been able to quickly integrate with third party services and enterprise systems since our inception."

The product is available as of today.

Trapit’s last platform update was in mid-2014, which included support for video content and a new analytics module.

Better Than the Rest?

Asked about competitors, Nothhaft said social media management platforms like Hootsuite or Spredfast want to get into this category. Other "stodgy old advocacy platforms" exist, "but no employee ever uses them."

"A more relevant competitor would be LinkedIn’s 'Elevate,' which was announced this week," he added. "They have the right ideas, but the product won’t be available until Q3, and they’re limited to sharing on just LinkedIn or Twitter. In short -- it’s almost a closed system insofar as it’s goal is to lock a business into the LinkedIn ecosystem and increase engagement within their apps. The content is primarily curated from Pulse and LinkedIn’s publishing platform -- it’s low quality, limited, and stale by the time you see it. It’s like a poor-mans Medium for cube dwellers."

CMSWire's email to LinkedIn's press team was not immediately returned today. The Trapit platform reminds us of PeopleLinx.

Nothhaft founded Trapit in 2010. Trapit is backed by Rogers Venture Partners. It currently has 30 employees.

Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License Title image by BotheredByBees.