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Turning social media influence into gold is one thing, but measuring how you did it is quite another, according to social commerce startup Moontoast.

Moontoast provides musicians, celebrities, and brands with a way to generate money from the often large followings they have on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter. The startup  does this primarily by letting its clients embed a “distributed store” into a social network status update or third-party website (Walmart, Target or an affiliate blog). Users can make purchases from those embedded stores seamlessly without having to navigate away from the site — thus enhancing impulse purchases and/or removing hassle that would prevent an online sale of things like merchandise, special deal coupons, digital music files, and more.

Today the company launched its Social Analytics Suite, which collects data from each time a client uses a “distributed store” as well as the corresponding social media activity. So for instance, if a client tweets three exclusive t-shirt offers and shares one exclusive signed poster offer on Facebook, the dashboard would show data for four separate “stores.”

“We found that most of our clients behave more like an agency than a brand, so we built the analytics dashboard to accommodate that,” said Moontoast VP of Marketing and Client Services Tim Putnam in an interview with VentureBeat.

Each client sees a one-page analytics dashboard consisting of four unique rows, which adds a touch of simplicity for people who aren’t super familiar with making sense of digital impact data (see screenshots below). The first row allows clients to customize the data by date range, brand, campaign type, and distributed store type. Below that is a row dedicated to social influence reach and revenue. Basically, the second row is an easy way for people to gauge their return on investment, but it doesn’t provide you with enough information to understand how to duplicate successes and avoid failures.

The third row consists of a comprehensive graph that combines all the different sales and social reach data with their social media activity. Looking at this should give people an accurate measure of how well they’re doing, as well as how they can improve. Each time someone initiates social activity (such as a tweet), a dot is placed on the graph, which clients can click for additional information. Clients can then see how the activity impacted sales, social engagement, etc. It’s a pretty cool tool most digital marketing managers are likely to fall in love with.

A collection of purely social media engagement and participation is displayed on the dashboard’s fourth row. It’s very similar to what you’d find in Facebook’s advertising dashboard, but far more useful since it tracks multiple social networks.

Moontoast currently offers all clients a free version of the analytics tool that doesn’t show the entire scope of social data collected from each campaign. The full Social Analytic Suite is, however, a paid service. We’ve embedded a video demo of the new tool below.

Founded in 2008, Moontoast originally began as a social knowledge base that allowed “experts” within specialized fields to turn a profit by performing various services. The company, which has offices in Nashville, Tenn. and Boston, Mass., pivoted in 2010 and brought on interim CEO Stephen Collins, formerly of DoubleClick. Its early investors include country music artists such as co-founder Bucky Baxter, Wynona Judd, Vince Gill, Amy Grant and Kip Winger. Moontoast closed a $6 million round of funding in January 2012 from The Martin Companies, with participation from prior investors. The startup has raised a total of just over $9 million in funding to date.


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