Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Argyle Social Helps to Track Social Media Results

Summary: Argyle Social offers social media marketing with above-average features for tracking results.

I’ve had a couple of conversations in recent months with Argyle Social, one of the zillions* of companies offering social media marketing tools. Argyle’s particular focus is making social media measurable. It does this in two ways:

- embedding trackable URLs in social messages. The system provides a social media publishing tool that automatically creates links with embedded Google-Analytics-compatible identifiers for campaign, content, and source. This overcomes the fact that social media traffic often can’t be tied to a referring Web site. The identifiers can also include custom parameters for other Web analytics packages. The URLs are sent to an Argyle-controlled destination which logs the traffic before redirecting the Web visitor to the original target page.

- adding cookies to visitors’ computers when they view Argyle-generated social media content, and checking for those cookies when visitors reach a “conversion” page (i.e., make a purchase or take some other targeted action). The conversion pages can be created outside of Argyle but must contain Argyle tags. Results are used to identify visitors who are "influenced" by social media.

Argyle uses its tracking features to generate reports on direct responses to social media campaigns (i.e., clicks on Argyle-generated messages) and on influenced responses (i.e., conversions of visitors whose cookie shows they previously saw social content). Although this is far from the ideal of measuring the true incremental impact of a campaign, it's a step in the right direction. It also provides data that could be the foundation of a more sophisticated analysis.

These features are not technically difficult, so it's quite possible they're available in some other social media systems. But that matters less than knowing they're available in Argyle if you need them.

Argyle's tracking features are combined with a publishing interface that lets users set up accounts, create posts, and deliver them immediately or on schedule. It can currently post to Facebook, Twitter and Linked In. It can also scan for social messages containing specified keywords and store these messages for future reference. The publishing features don’t yet include enterprise-level capabilities such as response templates, approval work flows, case management, or relationship tracking, although these are on the horizon. A rules-based inbox filtering feature will launch tomorrow.

Argyle launched its product at the end of last year and is nearing 100 customers. A basic edition (three users, ten social properties, one conversion goal, one inbox filtering rule) is priced at $149 per month and the advanced edition (five users, unlimited social properties, five goals, ten advanced rules) costs $499 per month.

*at last count. Here are the first three lists I found via a Google search, plus others whose authors were SEO-savvy enough to find a nice, round 100, and one with a cool infographic:

[INFOGRAPHIC] What Are The Best Social Media Monitoring Tools?

22 Social Media Marketing Management Tools (Lee Odden)

42+ Social Media Marketing Tools (Joe Pulizzi)

List of Social Media Management Systems (SMMS) (Jeremiah Owyang)

100+ Social Media Monitoring Tools
(Pam Dyer)

Top 100 social media monitoring tools

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