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Geofeedia’s $6.8 Funding Leads To A Hiring Spree

News and advertising are largely local, and this Indianapolis social media company is listening — and tagging.

Geofeedia's neighborhood view.
Geofeedia’s neighborhood view.

Location-based social media monitoring platform Geofeedia plans to add 336 jobs to its Indianapolis-based operations over the next five years. R.J. Talyor, VP, product management at Geofeedia says the company is seeking top minds in software engineering, product management, sales, marketing, and customer success. The expansion is being powered by recent venture funding.

“In the past six months we’ve raised $6.8 million,” says Talyor. More than half of that funding was secured last October, while another $3 million was rounded last month.

“We’re excited to use this [funding] to expand our current offering [with] more data, deeper data, more insights as well as expanding even more into our current markets and into future markets,” Talyor says.

Location Tags Not Hashtags

Geofeedia, which works with brands and agencies in addition to public safety organizations, corporate security firms, and media organizations, provides its clients access to real-time location data from social networking sites. The company aggregates location tags — as opposed to hashtags and keywords, the province of most social media monitoring companies.

“About 6 percent of [social media] posts don’t have any keywords or hashtags at all, they’re just pictures or videos within a location,” Talyor says. “Often times we’ll find ourselves as a complementary tool to those social media marketing tools or social media listing tools that might be used as well.”

Geofeedia has 11 patents on the aggregation of location tagged social media, Talyor adds, noting, “We really like to [think of] ourselves as the pioneers or the inventors of the location-based social media aggregation space.”

Geofeedia's R.J. Talyor
Geofeedia’s R.J. Talyor

Beyond The News

Formed in 2011, Geofeedia initially focused strictly on serving news sites, as they naturally have an interest in what’s happening in a given location at an exact moment and technology that can allow them to be “first on the scene,” as Talyor says. “News [sites] will put a geo-fence around an area of interest, then be alerted when someone in that area is posting images or photos that might have a something the news agency is looking for in that location.”

As the company picked up steam, forming partnerships with major news outlets like CNN’s digital properties and Mashable, Talyor says, it opened up to brands. Geofeedia courts a few brands with brick-and-mortar locations including the shopping plaza, Mall of America.

“A brand is also interested in real-time types of things — like someone complaining about a burger or a coffee or a hotel room within one of their properties; a situation where they want to take immediate action,” Talyor says. “Often times we’re seeing that combined with brands wanting to gather their market intelligence about what’s going on in their locations, they set up a geofence around all their different stores and aggregate the content that the people are posting [on social media].”

Brands often read into location tags to address problems or customer complaints, but there are marketing angles brands can explore using Geofeedia. It comes down to leveraging what people are talking about in your locations.

Data Building

“There’s all sorts of different ways brands and marketers can use Geofeedia to learn about its [customers],’” says Talyor, adding that a brand may answer, “‘What are the types of things people talk about? What are the types of words being used to describe the place? How does that compare to [my] competitors?’”

Potentially, brands may use this information to tailor location-based ads and promotions.

“Some brands are doing campaigns whether those are ‘surprise and delight’ campaigns or real-time interactions with people who land at an airport or come to a store and tweet that they like a certain pair of clothing or furniture,” Talyor says, but when it comes to specifics, he is reluctant to describe too much, saying that at present, the company “doesn’t have enough data” to make a generalization about what brands definitively want.

This expansion should help things along.