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Facebook Analytics Service Goes Beyond Likes

MotiveQuest creates mass-market offering derived from its work with the Fortune 500.

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A market research firm that prides itself on delivering custom research for high-end clients is bringing some of its social media analytics tools to a broader audience, starting with a tool for Facebook.

MotiveQuest is forming a new business unit called Fathom to market a series of social media analytics apps, starting with Fathom for Facebook.

MotiveQuest has built its business by delivering social analytics as part of a custom research service for big companies. Rather than providing self-service tools, MotiveQuest analysts compile and present reports drawing conclusions based on the analytics. MotiveQuest CEO David Rabjohns had been in the habit of contrasting his firm's high-touch approach with that of competitors who deliver their software through Web-based dashboards alone. Now, the company has now distilled some of its best analytics into software that can be used on a more self-service basis, he said. "Small businesses that can't afford the full-service MotiveQuest solution can now come in and use the same powerful tools."

[ MotiveQuest shares its 20 Tips For Boosting Facebook Engagement. ]

Rather than selling dashboards, Fathom will deliver a series of focused tools, Rabjohns said. "I want them to be more like mobile phone apps, where each one does one thing really well." Fathom for Facebook subscriptions start at $50 per month. Expect similar products, like a Fathom for Twitter, to follow in the coming months, he said.

Keeping score on Facebook according to the number of "likes" your business page has accumulated can be deceptive, as this is as much a subscription mechanism as it is an indication of sentiment, Rabjohns said. "There are a lot of likes for Verizon, but if you look closer, you can see people are 'liking' Verizon just to say how much they hate them."

Fathom for Facebook analyzes sentiment across 12 dimensions--not just love versus hate, but variations on positive and negative sentiment such as excited, inspired, frustrated, or angry. Second, it lets you explore the "river of words" showing the posts behind that analysis, so you can see what people are saying about your company, compared to its competitors.

For example, in the case of BMW (one of the sample data sets posted to the site), you can see that the brand sentiment is more positive overall, with dimensions like happy and excited notably ranking higher than for competitive brands. Rabjohns said another thing he can see based on the comments is that "BMW is kicking Lexus' ass because BMW bothers to ask people questions," making for a more engaging experience than Lexus' more one-way marketing.

Rabjohns mentioned Socialbakers, a social analytics startup from the Czech Republic, as one model for the kind of focused tools he wants to deliver, except that Fathom's apps will be "the next wave of that, the next step further and deeper into the analysis."

Follow David F. Carr on Twitter @davidfcarr. The BrainYard is @thebyard

Is your company antisocial? Our latest research shows that business-oriented social networking platforms aren’t living up to their promises of better communication, collaboration and productivity. Download the report here (registration required).

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Deb Donston-Miller
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Deb Donston-Miller,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/6/2011 | 2:16:16 AM
re: Facebook Analytics Service Goes Beyond Likes
Analytics=social networking's missing link. The raw data really doesn't tell companies much. Companies that can read between the lines and connect the dots (can I throw in any more cliches?) with analytics will be able to effectively leverage their social interaction.

Deb Donston-Miller
Contributing Editor, The BrainYard
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