Social media experts are a dime a dozen. Self-proclaimed gurus boast of their ability to manipulate the blogosphere, to make anything go viral—or, in the words of one social media satirist, to "jack the strat." But is there really a science behind having success on social media?
That's exactly what SocialFlow hopes to prove. The New York-based startup, a sister company of Bit.ly and Chartbeat under Betaworks, claims to have cracked the puzzle of real-time conversation, and boasts that it can "take the guesswork out of what to say and when to say it on Twitter, Facebook and Google."
SocialFlow's aim is to determine the best time and content for a tweet or Facebook message. It provides analytics to monitor what's resonating with online users, and uses that data to refine future posts. Metrics include clicks per tweet, clicks per follower, performance of retweets and mentions and shares—all using an algorithm integrated with Bit.ly's monthly clicks—all five billion of them.
For media companies, if a particular subject or topic has seen high resonance in the past, SocialFlow will suggest optimized times to publish that content and send out tweets and Facebook messages about it. For example, users can compare how social media performance ranks on Tuesdays ...
... with Fridays.
A tweet's success can be monitored by overall performance or by click distribution charts. Essentially, the idea is to measure content consumption patterns on a microscopic level, rather than just follow the common metrics of volume and quantity.
"There's a fair amount of guess work whether people will pay attention to your social media," says Michael Chin, SocialFlow's VP of marketing. "We want to maximize return on everything you send out."
[Image by Andrew Hur]