While marketers are devoting more time and resources to social, only 52 percent believe their social media efforts will eventually produce return on investment (ROI), according to Exact Target's 2014 State of Marketing Report.
Maybe that is what's keeping you awake at night. And if the C-suite wants proof of your social media work by week's end, you're definitely sleepless over social. You may use one or a variety of social listening tools. However, it's never been clear how to measure users' response to the content on your website.
Now you can breathe a sigh of relief, and maybe get some rest. SocialRest is a new app that measures social shareability, engagement, and conversions made from a brand's website content across social platforms.
"SocialRest began as a tool to help developers create applications for social media," says Brad Neathery, co-founder of the startup founded in fall 2012. "After we made this tool, people continued to tell to us, 'This is pretty cool technology, but I am more interested in meaningful analytics.'" Neathery and his team pivoted and began whiteboarding their new direction. "Our team wanted to make sure that we were not just another social analytics tool," he says. "We had to be different."
Neathery and his three other co-founders set out to answer the most important elements businesses kept asking them about social:
- What is my ROI from social media?
- Is my business growing because of social? If so, how much?
- Who are our influencers, and what content generates the most success for our business?
"These questions created that 'ah-ha' moment for our team, and an extraordinary opportunity emerged," Neathery says about the Austin, Texas-based startup that launched in January.
They brought their idea to a 3 Day Startup (3DS) event at Geekdom in San Antonio where it received rave reviews, accelerating its growth. The Rackspace Startup Program, a sponsor of 3DS, advanced the app further. It was recently ranked by ClubLab as one of 12 startups to watch in 2014, next to high-caliber brands like Nest (acquired by Google) and Topsy (acquired by Apple). Last month, SocialRest increased Twitter followers by 1,200 percent and received more than 20,000 social mentions.
"SocialRest competitors measure the social shareability of website or blog content, but miss out on the most crucial piece of the equation, which is understanding how users convert and influence others to convert," Neatherly says. "When someone is moved by your content and click the share buttons to Facebook or Twitter, SocialRest kicks in to see how that user's followers react. If you wake up the next morning and see that this certain user has now referred 10, 20, or even 50 of their friends, you know you have a strong brand advocate on your hands. Or maybe you don't see any immediate referrals, but there are a couple of their friends who interact with likes, comments, or shares on a regular basis."
So let's say a social user friend or follower of yours clicks on the social link for this article when you share it, directing them to Social Media Today. SocialRest would measure their behavior on the site, including a purchase, subscribe, or click on a sponsor link. There's the ROI you can track back to goals, and it will also make it easier to measure whether the content you're writing on a regular basis is successful.
"As social media outlets evolve and progress, the need for understanding how users engage and convert becomes ever more complex."