Saturday, April 12, 2014

Saturday BuzzSumo Reflections - How are we doing? Tracking the Performance of a Start-Up

It is early days in the world of BuzzSumo, our social tracking tool that finds the most shared content in any topic area across social networks and identifies the key influencers. Still even in these early days when we are designing and building new features, it is important to keep track of how well our beta tool is doing. We put the free tool out there a few months back in the hope it would address some of the real needs of people working in the areas of SEO, content marketing and social trends.

I have just been reflecting over coffee how to gauge the performance of a start-ups in the early days. The key for us is feedback on the beta product and learning how to improve it. However, we can only do this if people use BuzzSumo. So far we have had a positive response with 10,000 people signing up to use the tool and with a hard core using it regularly. Is this a good performance in the last three months, it is difficult to tell.

The traffic stats from Google Analytics below show a steady rise in traffic, rather than a dramatic rise, since January. The peak was from a LifeHacker post about the tool, which was very welcome. Other recommendations to use the tool on sites such as Moz, SocialMediaExaminer and Okdork have helped drive a steady increase in traffic.

web traffic

I am never sure how much value to put on Alexa rankings but I do have a look from time to time to see how we are doing. The individual numbers matter less than the trends I think. For BuzzSumo we have seen a steady improvement in our Alexa ranking over time as you can see below.

alexa rank

Alexa will never be as accurate as our own analytics tracking but it is helpful in judging how we are doing against other sites. Below is a comparison of our Alexa ranking against Talkwalker and Brandwatch which are two other social analytics tools, though different in many ways from BuzzSumo. The encouraging thing is that we seem to be heading in a similar direction.

alexa comparison

Alexa rankings, followers and even web traffic are at some level vanity metrics, the real metric for us I believe is the number of regular users. The number of subscribers is one thing but people can sign up, try the tool, not find it useful and not return. Having a core of regular users is the key indicator of how useful people find the tool. 

It has been encouraging to see the positive feedback we have received and how people are encouraging others to to use the tool. Word of mouth and recommendations from friends is one of the best ways to grow awareness and usage. I set out below some of the positive tweets we have had so far. We haven't spent a penny on advertising and so I think we can be pleased with the progress of the beta version. It would be great to have your feedback on how we are doing, especially if you have set up a similar company.

I can't thank the community of BuzzSumo users enough for their support and feedback. Here is a shout out to just some of them and their comments on BuzzSumo. 

Love using BuzzSumo today for content discovery! Thanks #SMCSLC for an informative night!

Loving the @BuzzSumo tool - what a game changer.

I think that @buzzsumo is my new favorite social media tool du jour. It surfaces amazing content and influencers. Good stuff!

I know I keep going on about this but @buzzsumo is such an awesome tool for finding content and influences!

Loving Buzzsumo - useful to see what content is popular on the social networks (sharecounts, etc)

Check out @BuzzSumo if you haven't already - one of the simplest, yet powerful #socialmedia #contentmarketing tools I have found!

My new personal favorite tool to ID influencers is @BuzzSumo. It's free and with a try if you're experimenting with new tools! #npprsa

@BuzzSumo you're my new BFF!

@iSocial_Fanz have been using @BuzzSumo and love it;

What are the most popular trends and links on social media today? BuzzSumo will help you find out

Been playing around with this tool the whole day >>>  #Awesome thanks @kirstycarrot for sharing #Influencers #content

I love @BuzzSumo! I have been using this app since day one. Excellent!!

That BuzzSumo tool is amazing. #contentmarketing

@BuzzSumo just found out about you guys through the Moz blog. What a great tool! Congrats on the success. #awesome #viral

Everyone should be using @BuzzSumo at  to research and track social media success! Check it out. #awesomeness

I love this RT @tomcritchlow: Who is behind @buzzsumo and why am I just learning about them now? Amazing data.

BuzzSumo is the best social media dashboard for tracking what is happening on the Internet for any topic. (via )

@BuzzSumo : Awesome tool for marketers. Find out what kind of content on ur niche are shared across the social media.

@BuzzSumo love it :)

Great #Content #Curation #Tool @BuzzSumo: Discover Most Shared Links & Key Influencers | @scoopit via @ScentTrail

@BuzzSumo Sharing is caring! You guys have really great content and insights

I love @BuzzSumo! because it's awesome.

Identify the most shared links and key influencers for any topic - brilliant website for content creation

Loving this tool:  [Follow them: @BuzzSumo]

Want to know whats popular in Social Media,Tech etc. @BuzzSumo can help. Loving this right now.  is a great resource to discover the top social influences in different areas of expertise.