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What's a social media campaign really worth?

Posted by Scott Kirsner  May 19, 2010 09:43 AM

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klurig.png A new social media analytics company, Klurig Analytics, has been making the rounds of local angel groups this spring. Founded by Dag Holmboe, its goal is to help executives understand which of their social media initiatives are producing a positive return-on-investment, and which ones may be less effective. Cisco Systems, he says, is one of his early customers.

"The problem the app is solving," says Holmboe, "is that today you have the social media marketers who are facing pressure from upper management, or agencies facing pressure from their clients, to figure out what the return is in dollars and cents on a Twitter account, a Facebook page, or a YouTube channel."

Right now, the app is built atop Microsoft Excel, but Holmboe's hope is that raising some funds will enable him to create a Web-based version. Basic functionality would be free, but more sophisticated features would require a subscription.

The app doesn't go out and gather data automatically about things like YouTube video views or Twitter followers; rather, users enter it themselves. But the app helps them analyze (and visualize with charts and graphs) which campaigns are generating the best return. For instance, is doing customer support via Twitter helping to reduce the number of calls to a call center? Is customer input collected in online forums helping you avoid spending money on focus groups? "You can look at graphs, and see where the best return is maybe it's creating brand awareness, or collecting customer insight and then you can move your investment around based on what's working," Holmboe says. He adds that users can also use the app to estimate the return of various campaigns that are in the works.

Holmboe says he's got a handful of early paying customers: "I wanted to be able to talk to angels and ask for money based not just on the app itself, but a number of customers."

Klurig is part of what I think of as the "analytics cluster" in Boston companies like Visible Measures, Localytics, Crimson Hexagon, and Compete that help businesses collect and analyze data.

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Scott Kirsner was part of the team that launched Boston.com in 1995, and has been writing a column for the Globe since 2000. His work has also appeared in Wired, Fast Company, The New York Times, BusinessWeek, Newsweek, and Variety. Scott is also the author of the books "Fans, Friends & Followers" and "Inventing the Movies," was the editor of "The Convergence Guide: Life Sciences in New England," and was a contributor to "The Good City: Writers Explore 21st Century Boston." Scott also helps organize several local events on entrepreneurship, including the Nantucket Conference and Future Forward. Here's some background on how Scott decides what to cover, and how to pitch him a story idea.

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