Join Club

Georgetown Grad’s Startup Tells Companies How to Tweet

Startup Monday header

Editor’s Note: Sponsored by Monday Properties and written by, Startup Monday is a weekly column that profiles Arlington-based startups and their founders. The Ground Floor, Monday’s office space for young companies in Rosslyn, is now open. The Metro-accessible space features a 5,000-square-foot common area that includes a kitchen, lounge area, collaborative meeting spaces, and a stage for formal presentations.

Encore Alert Founder/CEO James LI works at his UberOffices workspaceWhen most early 20-somethings are getting ready to graduate college, they can usually be found furiously sending out job applications, cramming for final exams and enjoying their last few months until “real life” starts.

Encore Alert founder James Li, however, was preparing to take his seed of an idea for a business and supercharge it after he was accepted into Acceleprise, a technology startup accelerator in downtown D.C. that gives companies $30,000 and access to its mentors in exchange for a 5 percent stake.

He and his cofounders, Tammy Cho and Felipe Lopez, were originally accepted for their idea for an email newsletter platform for nonprofits right after Li graduated from Georgetown last year. (Cho, although full-time with the company, is a sophomore.) In August, they hit the “reset” button and launched Encore Alert as it is today: a tool that tells social media marketers when to tweet, how often, and about what, all in real time, all in email alert form.

“We talked to a lot of chief marketing officers,” Li said about his company’s reset, “and they told us a lot of the social media dashboards out today have become overkill, and they don’t enable the typical social media marketer to take action every day.”

Encore Alert’s system takes all tweets related to a company, including Twitter mentions, relevant articles or trending topics, and distills them into “action items.” It recommends when the social media marketer should reply to a tweet, link to an article, or try to jump on a hashtag, for instance. Encore Alert’s current clients include Georgetown University, Consumer Electronics Association and Wedding Wire.

An example of an Encore Alert emailEncore Alert boasts that it has parsed through more than 12 million tweets for its customers, and narrows it down into five to seven recommended actions the Twitter account should take. Li describes it as a “social media assistant,” whose job it is to be looking at Twitter 24/7 and giving reports to the marketing manager.

“The goal is to have all the work done before the marketer touches it,” Li said. “They can sit back and let the information come to them.”

Encore Alert moved into Rosslyn’s ÜberOffices last month after completing a $460,000 seed funding round. One of Li’s investors was the Virginia Center for Innovative Technology, which is why Encore Alert moved from Acceleprise to Arlington. The company now has six full-time employees, but, Li says they’re currently in “hiring and sales mode.”

That’s a shift for Li, who spent most of the early months of his company in meeting after meeting with mentors, advisers and, most of all, potential investors. His goal is still to get to a Series A funding round, but recently he’s been able to do what he envisioned doing when he launched his company: “sit down and execute.”

“It’s definitely a mixed bag,” Li says of the life of the CEO. “You’d rather be sitting and executing, and meetings tend to be a big distraction. But if we didn’t fundraise, we wouldn’t have these great advisors throwing their weight and advice behind us.”

The Encore Alert team outside their UberOffices workspaceLi’s parents emigrated from China before he was born, and he said they imbued him with the entrepreneurial spirit. They founded a computer software company, he said, and he can remember doing homework day after day in the back room of their shop.

That upbringing guides him today into a volatile marketplace. Twitter, Li says, is his focus because it’s “the most real-time, overwhelming and unstructured platform. It’s the major pain point of most of the companies we work for.”

Twitter is consistently growing its user base, but recent studies have indicated that user engagement is dropping and the company’s outlook for investors is down even from last year. Li says reports of the concern are mostly “overblown,” and, despite the fact that Encore Alert is exploring the potential for Facebook and other social media expansion, Twitter will remain its bread and butter.

“Most consumers are still going to Twitter to voice their happiness and complaints with certain brands,” Li said. Being a social media-dependent company “is a double-edged sword. You can be a stale space that’s very predictable, or be in an unstable space where there’s potential for rapid growth and some big winners.”

Recent Stories

Good Friday evening, Arlington. Today we published articles that were read a total of 14436 times… so far. 📈 Top stories The following are the most-read articles for today —…

Hamid Habib Zaba tabla photo

When Hamid Habib Zada and Negin Khwalpak fled Afghanistan with their daughter Maram two years ago in hopes of escaping the Taliban, all they brought to America was a backpack full of diapers.

Interested in Italian wine? Join the Arrowine team this Sunday, June 11 to learn and taste wines from Italy’s most prestigious regions.

When the pandemic hit, Arlington resident Matt White, like many others, could not get a haircut. He noticed his hair grew quickly and, rather than cut it, he decided to…

Camps are just the beginning of what’s in store at Art House 7 this summer. We’re thrilled to offer an array of exciting classes for both kids and adults!Rediscover your creativity with some of our AH7 favorites, such as drawing, hand-sewing, modern embroidery, and our popular 3-week Jump into Crochet classes. But that’s not all! We’ve added some fresh and exciting options to our summer class selection, guaranteed to spark your imagination.

To enhance your artistic journey, we have intensified some of our Ceramics: The Wheel classes to a full 3-hour duration. This extended time allows for more creativity and skill development in each class session. If you’re eager for a captivating twist, give Contemporary Still-Life Drawing & Painting a go. Or why not try an immersive outdoor painting adventure? We have a unique opportunity for you to bring your painting skills to life while learning and creating in the great outdoors with our Landscape Painting: Studio and Plein Air class!

We invite you to visit our website and explore our full Summer Session schedule, brimming with a diverse range of classes and camps. Classes and camps begin June 20th. Unleash your inner artist, broaden your horizons, and embark on a summer adventure like no other. Let’s make this a summer to remember at Art House 7!

Submit your own Announcement here.

🌿 𝐄𝐦𝐞𝐫𝐚𝐥𝐝 𝐌𝐚𝐬𝐬𝐚𝐠𝐞 𝐂𝐞𝐧𝐭𝐞𝐫: 𝐑𝐞𝐣𝐮𝐯𝐞𝐧𝐚𝐭𝐞 𝐘𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐁𝐨𝐝𝐲 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐒𝐨𝐮𝐥 🌿 Local business is the heart of a strong community, and at Emerald Massage Center, we’re proud to be a vital part of that heartbeat. Our passionate team of Licensed Massage Therapists is dedicated to providing you with a sanctuary of relaxation, rejuvenation, and renewal.

🌟 𝐖𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐖𝐞 𝐎𝐟𝐟𝐞𝐫 🌟

Our wide range of massage services includes Swedish, deep tissue, prenatal, sports massage, hot stone, aromatherapy, and more — all tailored to your individual needs. Whether you’re seeking relief from stress, muscle tension, or chronic pain, our skilled therapists will help you achieve total wellness.

🏆 𝐎𝐮𝐫 𝐂𝐨𝐦𝐦𝐢𝐭𝐦𝐞𝐧𝐭 🏆

Read More

Submit your own Announcement here.

Homebuying 102: Contract Closing and Beyond

You’ve found the perfect house and you’re under contract, now what? Navigating the closing process can be daunting, but it doesn’t have to be.

Join ACFCU’s mortgage loan officers on June 21 at 5:30pm for part two in our first-time

Explore Archery

Our archery classes start with the Explore Archery program. This is a six week course, with 60 minute classes for new archers ages 8 to 12.

Our indoor archery program is fun, rewarding and developmentally progressive. These classes are focused


Subscribe to our mailing list