One of the biggest gripes that small businesses have with engaging customers on social media platforms such as Facebook or Twitter is that short of fan counts or "likes" for certain posts, it can be difficult to see the connections between specific campaigns or outreach initiatives and their impact on sales.
That's a challenge being addressed by SumAll, a service that integrates with social media and networks as well as Google AdWords to offer more insight into how social activity relates to revenue trends.
SumAll works by connecting data from all of a company's various web or social network silos into one dashboard, providing a more digestible way to look at all of the related analytics in one place. You can compare which platforms are doing best for your business.
One early beta customer is Diamond Candles, a small company in Durham, NC, that makes soy candles that contain a surprise inside (sort of like the old Cracker Jacks gimmick). After you're through burning the candle, you'll find a ring inside (worth various amounts of money up to $5,000). "We are around because Facebook exists," said Justin Winter, co-founder and CEO of Diamond Candles, which has about 260,000 fans on the social network.
In fact, almost 90 percent of Diamond Candles' website traffic comes from unpaid social channels and searches, estimated Winter. "SumAll makes it far easier to look at individual silos," he says.
What sorts of data does SumAll help surface? Mostly, it focuses on engagement, such as how many people are clicking through on links, how many are looking at pictures, and what sort of activities drives sales with existing customers versus new ones. "We can start to draw some conclusions about what is working," Winter said.
For example, Diamond Candles has begun seeing far more activity linked to its efforts on Instagram, where customers post pictures of the rings found inside the candles.
Diamond Candles has been using SumAll for about two years. During that time, it has grown from annual revenue of about $1 million to a monthly run rate of that amount, Winter said.
Right now, SumAll is offering the service for free, and more than 25,000 companies are using the analytics tool. It is developing a paid pricing plan, but has pledged to continue offering a basic version of the service at no cost.