I got briefed a few weeks ago by a company called Meteor Solutions. It’s based in Seattle and being run by Ben Straley, who was with Judy’s Book. The company measures so-called “earned media” and social media ROI. I was impressed with what I heard.
The company was founded earlier this year and already has a fair amount of traction with marketers and publishers. The company groups media into three categories: paid media (ads), owned media (publisher and marketer sites) and “earned media” (passed links and social media conversations). Here’s the company’s chart:
Directed at the third category, Meteor tracks online word of mouth and identifies “influencers” and “where they share content.” Unlike many “buzz tracking” applications and platforms that are based on inferences, Meteor’s is based on actually tracking who passes links and what happens thereafter. The system has the ability to track a shared link from its originator to a conversion of some sort and see who was most influential in that process.
In other words: I pass an offer link to you (50% off NY Hotel X) and you send it to others, who in turn send it to others. Some people click; some people “convert.” All that is tracked. Within that melee of passed links, the system can determine who’s having the biggest effect on conversions: me, you or somebody else. In this way it can identify the biggest influencers, which opens the door to do targeted promotions to those individuals. It’s very interesting because you’re actually seeing what’s happening as people disseminate links to one another.
Much of this activity would be totally invisible to marketers and publishers otherwise. In a different way AgendiZe has the ability to do something similar and is doing that with local directory publishers.
Meteor is also helping to power Microsoft’s new experimental “Looking Glass” social media monitoring and tracking tool.
Because it’s analytics are real and it “fills in the blanks” in many ways, Meteor is likely to be a near-term acquisition candidate by an analytics provider or by one of the big ad platforms/search engines.