by James A. Martin

Traction Watch: Unmetric Grows By Helping Marketers Know What Works, What Doesn’t

News Analysis
May 18, 20154 mins

Editor’s note: Traction Watch is a new column focused obsessively on growth, and is a companion to the DEMO Traction conference series, which brings together high-growth startups with high-potential customers. The next DEMO Traction will take place in Boston on September 16, 2015. Growth companies can apply to present, attendees can register here.

This is the second in a series of posts profiling the Spring 2015 Demo Traction Champions. Judges and attendees at the one-day DEMO Traction conference, held April 22 in San Francisco, chose five startups that are using technology to solve big problems in innovative ways. Unmetric was named the Traction Watch: Marketing Champion. Read more about the winners in “Traction Watch: Meet The Spring 2015 DEMO Traction Champions.”

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In the traditional social media workflow, you publish updates to social networks using a platform such as Hootsuite. And you monitor what others are saying on social media using tools like Radian6.

In this workflow, though, marketers are often left wondering if their last piece of content or campaign “really struck a chord,” said Lakshmanan Narayan, CEO and co-founder of Unmetric, during his winning presentation at the April 2015 DEMO Traction conference in San Francisco. It’s also difficult to determine what will motivate your followers to comment, share, and like your content, he noted.

Unmetric offers a SaaS-based “social media intelligence platform” to solve these problems for brand marketers, Narayan said. Using the Unmetric platform, marketers don’t simply publish updates and monitor reaction to them. They can compare their efforts on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram, and LinkedIn with those of 30,000 other brands across 200 million pieces of content and 22 billion interactions the content has had in terms of likes, comments and shares, Narayan explained.

Armed with that data, marketers can “figure out what works and what doesn’t” and “use historical data to predict how well your content will do,” Narayan said. Thus, brands can publish social media content “more intelligently.”

There’s a growing need for marketers to make sure their content clicks, Narayan explained, as many people’s jobs today depend upon it, to some degree. As an example, he pointed out that 11 million LinkedIn user’s jobs have “something to do with social media.”

Following Unmetric’s DEMO Traction presentation, judge Kara Nortman said, “I thought the Unmetric team put together a compelling presentation and did a great job differentiating themselves from the competitive market by virtue of their customer list and focus on actions, not just data.” Nortman is a partner at Upfront Ventures, a Los Angeles-based venture capital firm.

Since Narayan co-founded Unmetric in 2011, the New York City-based startup has gained traction quickly in the social media analytics vertical. Unmetric currently has 141 brands and agencies as clients, including Walmart, General Motors, Havas Worldwide and Mindshare, across a variety of verticals in 16 countries. The company more than doubled its client base in 2014 and grew its staff by 50 percent in its U.S. and India offices. Unmetric currently has about 80 employees, Narayan said.

Forbes named Unmetric one of 15 Social Media Companies to Watch in 2015. “Rather than taking hours or days to analyze data, Unmetric can analyze your marketing efforts in minutes and compare them to relevant competition,” Forbes noted. “It even provides real-time alerts when content your competition posts is driving more engagement than usual.”

On May 5, Unmetric announced Paid Post Detection, designed to give marketers analytics of any brand’s paid vs. organic Facebook and Twitter posts and to compare engagement levels from one post to another.

Paid Post Detection is significant because Facebook doesn’t publicly identify the number of posts on its site that are paid, making it difficult for marketers to easily differentiate between a competitor’s paid vs. unpaid posts. This has been a problem some Unmetric users have cited. “As social platforms continue to add paid content opportunities, an even deeper understanding of what content is paid would be helpful,” noted a user in his Unmetric review posted on G2 Crowd, a software review platform, before Unmetric’s Paid Post Detection announcement.