Postrank Expands Engagement Measurement

by Jason Falls |

Disclosure: Postrank is a sponsor of Social Media Explorer which pays to advertise in the right hand side bar space. I have written extensively about them before they became a sponsor and will continue to do so because they offer a service relevant to you. Their advertising here does not effect my editorial comments or recommendations about them (I’m free to criticize), but it’s safe to say I dig Postrank. Fair?

If you’re in charge of reporting how successful your website is and you’re still relying solely on Google Analytics, WebTrends or some other such tool, you’re under-reporting your success. I’ve offered up some explanation of this before, explaining that the new metric for Internet marketers is not how many people see your website, but how many see your content.

We now operate in a world of really simple syndication or RSS. Your site may have RSS feeds but it doesn’t have to in order to be syndicated. Using services like FeedYes you can effectively scrape new content off any website and create an RSS feed. I could be reading your content in my feed reader without you ever knowing it.

Because content is king and must be made ultimately portable for today’s online audience to consume it (audiences will consume content where they are … not where you are) website analytics becomes less definitive of a metric. We must now practice content metrics to quantify and understand how many people we reach and how effectively.

Postrank has recently expanded their services to help us draw better insights from the content metrics around our blogs, websites and more. The Waterloo, Ontario-based company started by giving us a plug-in for Google Reader and other feed readers that gave posts a 1-10 score based on how engaging they were compared to others on that blog, in that particular folder in your reader, etc. We had a way to say one post was better received than another.

Postrank Posts - Social Media Explorer
Click for a larger version.

Not too long ago, Postrank unveiled Postrank Analytics, a subscription service ($9 monthly, U.S.) which allows bloggers (or content producers of any sort, so long as your effort includes an RSS feed of your content) to judge how socially engaging their content is. The image here shows two recent Social Media Explorer posts with their 1-10 Postrank score in yellow. On the right side, you can see how many times the posts were Tweeted, discussed (comments), posted on FriendFeed, bookmarked on Delicious and more. While I’m not 100-percent sure how the engagement points are determined, it’s an algorithm that is consistent across everyone’s content. (You can learn more about their measure of “engagement” on the Postrank Blog.)

These numbers by themselves don’t mean much, but looking at them over time gives you trending information about how your content is doing. That is relevant in measuring and reporting the value of your efforts as a content producer, blogger, public relations professional or community manager. Postrank offers a Trends tab where you can view these numbers in convenient charts and graphs as well.

And to one-up themselves again, Postrank recently released Data Services which allows your developers to request Postrank API access. Your team can take the Postrank service and use it to develop your own custom reporting and dashboard platforms for your clients.

I’m dying to be able to afford a full-time developer to start wearing this API out, by the way.

The biggest reason to familiarize yourself with Postrank and its various services is they are the one service out there that is giving marketers, public relations folks and bloggers a deep, meaningful set of measures of online content. There are lots of blogs and websites that get hundreds of thousands of website visitors. You can go out and buy traffic if you want. There are dozens of blogs that get dozens of comments, but a lot of them are meaningless, “Great post!’ type entries. Postrank gives you a look at how impactful a given piece of content or website is, both within your site and across social channels. They also allow you to judge posts in comparison to one another on a given website or in comparison to other blogs in the same category.

Postrank is systematically organizing and prioritizing blogs and websites for us based on how engaging the content is. That’s pretty valuable.

Is Postrank the know-all and end-all to the measurement piece of social media? Heck no. But they’re offering a damn fine start. Please do check them out.

Have you used Postrank’s Feed Reader plugin to filter out the best posts? (Check it out here if you haven’t.) Are you an analytics subscriber? Jump in the comments and tell us how you’re using it or how it can get better.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]


About the Author

Jason Falls

Jason Falls is a leading thinker, speaker and strategist in the world of digital marketing and is co-author of two books, No Bullshit Social Media: The All-Business, No-Hype Guide To Social Media Marketing and The Rebel's Guide To Email Marketing. By day, he leads digital strategy for Elasticity, one of the world's most innovative digital marketing and public relations firms. Follow him on Twitter (@JasonFalls).