Quick Update from the Social Media Startup World

Hi All, 

Man oh man, the start up world has been a lot of fun for me the last couple months! And thank you to everyone in my social media network who has given me support, feedback, and advice on our social media startup Hubnami. It has been invaluable.

I wanted to take a minute and share a few of things I’ve learned as I’ve gone deeper into the fast paced world of social media. While leading the global marketing team at The North Face for six years I learned a ton about social media but digging deeper the last couple months has taught me several key things:

1) The social media marketing industry is reaching a more mature state.

2) All businesses big and small are trying to figure it out and are using multiple tools to manage their social media presence.

3) There are two golden social media numbers that we all have to pay attention to: audience growth and engagement. 

Maturity of Social Media Marketing 
It’s easy to forget that Facebook and Twitter launched less than ten years ago, but in that short period of time social media has gone from a new phenomenon to maturing industry. As TrustRadius pointed out in a recent survey of social media managers, we all went through a “hype cycle”. At first social media was touted as the ultimate marketing solution, but then disillusionment hit as measurement and management proved difficult. But now in 2015 all agree it’s a foundational pillar to any brand strategy. 
See the Trust Radius Report. It’s clear that social media is maturing. TrustRadius pointed out that Google Trends shows a clear leveling off of searches for “Social Media Marketing” in 2011 after four years of rapid increases. 

Still No Magic Solution on the Social Media Management Side 
The interesting thing is that even with the formalization of the industry, the tools social media managers are using to monitor, post, and analyze social media efforts are as diverse as social media itself. No one has created an easy-to-use all-in-one solution. In fact of 1,133 social media managers interviewed by VentureBeat they found that on average brands are using five or more different tools to manage posting, social listening, and monitoring. See VentureBeat’s report.

In our meetings with brands and agencies we are hearing the same thing – “Can’t someone bring these tools together in one place? I’m tired of using multiple tools.” The entire industry, including our startup Hubnami, are racing toward that goal. 

The Two Magic Numbers we all Need to Track in Social Media 
After two months of listening to clients, reading the industry reports, and working on our own solution at Hubnami it’s crystal clear to me that two numbers are key for all CEOs, CMOs, and social media managers to understand: 1) your total social media audience vs. your competition and 2) your engagement rate vs. your competition.

I remember when I started my career at Levi’s in 1998 and ecommerce was just getting going. There were a million different KPIs that marketers were using to track digital marketing efforts but in the end two numbers became the common language: traffic and conversion. I believe the same is happening with total social audience and engagement. In the end we all need to ask our teams a couple key questions: 1) what’s our goal for total social media audience growth and how does it compare to our competition? And 2) what’s our total engagement goal and how does it compare to our competition? These two metrics keep it simple enough for all team members to understand and I would argue are the two most important numbers in a modern brand strategy. 

At Hubnami we are working tirelessly to build the perfect tool for social media managers around the globe. We have an incredible tool for competitor tracking right now (including automated weekly reporting on total audience and engagement). We are revamping our UX/UI for a July update that will greatly improve ease of use. Over the next several months we will be adding amazing functionality around broadcast and listening to deliver on what our clients in the US and Asia are asking for: more platforms, ease of use, broadcast, listening, and competitive analysis all in one tool. Stay tuned, we are going to nail it! 


Aaron Carpenter 
Chief Customer Officer