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Take the Devil Out Your Social Marketing Details

New data visualization tool provides a true picture of what's working and what isn't . / Credit: Scrteenshot of SumAll Instagram dashbaord display courtesy of SumAll

Measuring the return on investment from your company's social media marketing initiatives in channels such as Facebook and Twitter is a notoriously squishy proposition. Even when you have the numbers in front of you, it can be daunting to separate the forest from the trees to get a true picture of what's working and what's not.

A new data-visualization tool aims to help small and medium businesses solve that problem.

SumAll is an analytics tool that links a company's social activity with metrics such as Web traffic and revenue to reveal the ROI on social marketing. Users can now track their activities in Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or any of the other 12 data sets it can integrate with, alongside their purchase transaction and Web traffic data. The data sources also include Google Analytics, eBay, PayPal and Shopify. 

SumAll presents all key data sets together to form a unified view that eliminates data silos. When data sets intersect, users can see patterns and trends that give them a basis for informed business decisions about what is truly driving traffic, sales and revenue.

The company, whose service is still in the beta stage, recently added Instagram, the wildly popular smartphone photo-sharing service, to the portfolio of data sets it can analyze and track through its real-time data visualization dashboard. 

Because so many businesses are using Instagram to augment their marketing activities, its addition to the data mix enhances SumAll's ability to provide businesses with meaningful metrics, Dane Atkinson, the company's CEO, told BusinessNewsDaily.

"This is a huge value add," Atkinson said. "Instagram has fast become a major piece of the marketing strategy for many social media managers. Connecting the dots from pictures to traffics to revenue is the critical piece in leveraging its role."

SumAll shows which pictures performed well, drove more traffic or increased sales/revenue, he said.

Users can slice and dice multiple social data sets and filter them for information on followers and advocacy.

"They are getting the ability to see the data they're creating in the cloud," Atkinson said.

SumAll is free and its basic services always will remain so, he said. In the future the company also will offer a premium paid service that will include deeper analysis of data sets, additional filters and correlation of multiple data sets.

"We wanted to get it right before we put in artificial barriers," Atkinson said.

Reach BusinessNewsDaily senior writer Ned Smith at nsmith@techmedianetwork.com. Follow him on Twitter @nedbsmith.We're also on Facebook & Google+.

Ned Smith

Ned was senior writer at Sweeney Vesty, an international consulting firm, and was Vice President of communications for iQuest Analytics. Before that, he has been a web editor and managed the Internet and intranet sites for Citizens Communications. He began his journalism career as a police reporter with the Roanoke (Va.) Times, and was managing editor of American Way magazine and senior editor of Us. He was a Captain in the U.S. Air Force and has a masters in journalism from the University of Arizona.