As companies sink capital into social media marketing, many struggle to glean the proper analytics to measure the effectiveness of these efforts. Social media monitoring is emerging as a quickly growing tech sector, seeing increased interest from potential users and investors alike.Social media has worked its way into virtually every corner of our lives. It’s an impossible fact to deny, and from an investor perspective, even harder to overlook. As platforms rise (Twitter, Sina Weibo, YouTube, Facebook) and fall (Myspace, Flickr ), the data gleaned from these numerous and highly diverse platforms are potentially immensely helpful in enabling businesses to reach both new and loyal customers. Furthermore, today most social media platforms are integrated into more generalized social marketing products that can enhance a company's social media presence tremendously.
While many social media sites include basic analytic tools for page administrators, companies are either shifting their efforts or creating and acquiring existing companies in order to provide advanced social media monitoring tools to give admins access to more powerful data. This data can be used to help a company reach its customers, develop a better online identity, and increase its conversion rates.
In this post we’ll explore leaders in the social media monitoring space who focus on analytical tools for social media purposes nearly exclusively.
Starting as a small private company in 1992, Vocus has grown into an industry leader in the social media based marketing space. They are originators of the do-it-yourself approach with user friendly software. In April 2014, they were acquired by Chicago-based private equity firm GTCR for $446.5 million. GTCR will combine the Vocus platform with Cision Social Media and continue to develop that product along social media lines.
Along with a host of mobile apps, Hootsuite also specializes in enterprise and the university sector--an as-of-yet unexploited industry for monitoring social media data. With high Google search volume, and $190m in private funding, Hootsuite seems well prepared for its planned push into Asia.
Buddy Media’s parent company, Salesforce, is a success story in the overall cloud services space. The acquisition of Buddy Media in 2012 for $689 million allowed Salesforce to expand into the Social Media Monitoring space and integrate it’s already popular cloud-based services. They received their largest round of funding in 2011 from Institutional Venture Partners, GGV Capital, Bay Partners, and Insight Venture Partners, putting them over the $90 million mark.
These two companies were acquired by Oracle in 2007. Vitrue is a full-service social media marketing tool that focuses on the most popular major social media platforms. Involver is also involved in social media marketing, and boasts 1.6 billion fans across thousands of brands. Oracle purchased Vitrue for $300 million and Involver for an undisclosed amount the same year.