Soci Raises $1.5M to Expand Social Media Management System

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Peter Fisher, a San Diego angel investor, which included the Silicon Valley Growth Syndicate and other individual investors.

Khoury plans to use the fresh capital to expand the company’s technology, marketing, and business development efforts.

While raising capital for his Web startup wasn’t easy, Khoury says that finding capital in San Diego wasn’t impossible. “Almost all my investors were individuals who had recently exited their businesses. You just have to be smart about it.”

For example, Khoury says Soci investor Asaf Benhaim sold his San Diego-based Internet marketing firm iMatrix in late 2013 to Internet Brands, which was itself acquired in June for $1.1 billion by the private equity firm KKR). Likewise, investors Trevor and David Klein sold AutoAnything, a San Diego auto parts Web retailer, to Tennessee-based AutoZone, (NYSE: AZO) in late 2012.

While content is the key to social media marketing, Khoury says it also can be the hardest part to get right.

To help digital marketing firms manage social content, Khoury says that Soci searches social websites for content related to a client’s website. For example, if the client is a dentist, Soci searches the Web for every dental-related page and post, scores each one on relevance, and ranks the results according to how well target audiences are engaged.

The search results can be surprising, and enable marketing teams to identify topics that spur users to follow and share their relevant content through their own Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and other social media networks. As Khoury puts it, “Would you rather go fishing with what you like to eat, or what the fish like to eat? Soci goes out, and tells you what the fish like to eat.”

Khoury says the process also can help customers unify their marketing message.

For example, a car manufacture may have hundreds of dealerships across the United States, with each dealer managing its own website and social media. “Most are ineffective in the way they manage their social media, some are effective, and some are so bad they are actually hurting the brand,” Khoury says. By using Soci to manage their social media marketing, the content-scoring algorithms would be applied uniformly, Khoury says, providing dealers with more consistent results in terms of the most relevant social media content for their customers.

As promising as the technology might seem, Soci is entering an intensely competitive market with a number of well-established players, including Vancouver, BC-based Hootsuite, which has raised $285 million in venture capital and claims 10 million users, and Chicago’s Sprout Social, which has raised $27 million and claims 10,000 customers.

But Khoury says he’s undaunted. “Our ability to compete with Hootsuite and Sprout is very real,” he says.

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Bruce V. Bigelow was the editor of Xconomy San Diego from 2008 to 2018. Read more about his life and work here. Follow @bvbigelow

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One response to “Soci Raises $1.5M to Expand Social Media Management System”

  1. James says:

    these new tools are definitely commonly a compromise between automation and customisation. i have to wonder to what extent soci looks to take this