SEO Was Yesterday. 500 Startups’ PostRocket Fires Up $610K For Facebook News Feed Optimization

Businesses struggle to come up with what to post to their Facebook Page each day, and making those posts actually get seen is a difficult as the dark arts. That’s why PostRocket has raised $610,000 to help businesses blow up on Facebook thanks to news feed optimization. PostRocket analyzes your Facebook Page, and provides recommendations for when and what to post.

The 500 Startups Fall 2011/Winter 2012 company pulled in the syndicate seed round from Polaris Ventures, 500 Startups, and several angels. PostRocket’s CEO Tim Chae is actually the youngest founder ever funded by Dave McClure’s accelerator.

The money will build out the team, content recommendation tech, and marketing, and hopefully get it out of private beta. The investment seems like a smart little bet considering the bloated acquisition prices Facebook marketing companies have been commanding lately.

PostRocket’s team was originally managing the Facebook presence for multi-platinum selling musician Pitbull. They helped him go from reaching 650,000 fans a week with his news feed posts to 1.3 million in just three weeks. The team began building tools to more efficiently pull publishing insights and tactics from Facebook Page data.

Eventually the Boston-based co-founders dropped out of Babson College, drove across the country in 42 hours, and joined 500 Startups. Then three weeks before Demo Day this Winter they pivoted from another idea into selling access to their tools and service as a subscription.

The five-person team’s average age is 21 years and 3 months, with the youngest member just 18. With their $610K seed in hand from Polaris Ventures, 500 Startups, Maneesh Arora (founder of MightyText, ex-Google PM), Amar Chokhawala (Google engineering manager), Mehdi Maghsoodnia (CEO of Rafter, ex-CafePress VP), Roham Gharegozlou (Rising Tide partner), and some more angels, the spunky youngsters are eady to hustle

PostRocket fancies itself masters of EdgeRank, the secret formula Facebook uses to determine what appears in the news feed. It’s why the average Page post only reaches 16% of a Page’s fans. SEO is still important, business are getting an increasing share of the their traffic from Facebook, and need to be focusing on their Facebook EdgeRank as well as their Google PageRank.

While there are plenty of general best practices guides floating around the Internet, Chae tells me those don’t work because a brand’s Facebook strategy “all has to do with their demographic. The problem with NFO is that it requires marketers to spend a lot of time analyzing Insights data, and to have great knowledge and expertise in understanding EdgeRank.”

So PostRocket uses the Facebook Insights API to suck in data about a client’s Page performance. It analyzes what types of posts (photos, status updates, links, videos) work best, how frequently they should be published, and when they should be pushed out. These aren’t vague suggestions — they’re formatted as “Today’s Recommendations”, a checklist of exactly what to do to improve your Page’s reach, click-through rate, and virality. PostRocket says its tech is proven to double the fans a Page reaches.

Now the company is cranking on its content recommendations, which lets admins tag their posts with topics, sentiments, and other characteristics, and see which kinds of content are performing best. Along with paying for marketing and hiring a chief data scientist, its seed round will fund development of its recommendation engine so it can point admins towards relevant articles to publish or current events to mention. Since most Pages are best off posting multiple times a day, admins can quickly run out of things to say, but PostRocket’s data makes sure brands aren’t desperately fumbling for what to post.

PostRocket is definitely a software company, not an agency. The whole process is completely automated so it’s very scalable. It’ll be competing with PageLever and EdgeRank Checker, two experienced news feed optimization companies.

These types of analytics startups could have long legs, as while Facebook continues to stream roll Facebook Page management solutions by adding features like scheduled posts and admin permissions, it’s yet to offer real recommendations instead of pure performance data. Then again, you never know what the Facebook juggernaut will do next.

If brands are going to shift their spend from TV and other mediums to social, they want to get the best bang for their buck. PostRocket can help those brands blow up on Facebook. Boom.

PostRocket is still in private beta, but you can get an instant analysis of how well your Page is doing and request an invite here.