Starcom MediaVest Group, ShareThis Expand Metrics Partnership

Starcom MediaVest Group and ShareThis are expanding their engagement metrics alliance. The companies said Wednesday that SMG would integrate a ShareThis engagement measurement known as SQI (Social Quality Index) into its comScore Media Metrix online ratings software for media planning purposes.

According to Kurt Abrahamson, CEO ShareThis, the move is designed in part to spur publishers to do as much as they possibly can to ensure that their content is engaging audiences. “We’re working with publishers to help them understand social media optimization,” said Abrahamson. The goal, he said, is to make SQI an industry standard for engagement measurement.

Lisa Weinstein, president, global digital and data & analytics for SMG, said: “We encourage [publishers] to adopt SQI given its proven merit measuring marketing effectiveness.”

ShareThis, the social media sharing service, now reaches 2.4 million publisher sites and more than 120 social media channels. Its SQI metric calculates engagement levels of audiences by evaluating data such as outbound shares, inbound click-back traffic and page views of sites.

SMG and ShareThis started their collaboration two years ago with select SMG clients and ShareThis engagement data. Weinstein said the SQI data has been an “invaluable media planning and buying metric” for clients.

The companies haven’t disclosed a lot of data from their trials, but did disclose earlier some results from two campaigns involving SMG client Wendy’s. The campaigns both delivered 30 million impressions, but to two different sets of sites, one of which scored higher on the SQI Index. The campaign with the higher scoring SQI sites also delivered higher click-through rates, page views, locator inquiries and email sign-ups at lower cost, according to the companies.

Weinstein said that integrating the SQI data with comScore numbers “gives us the intelligence we need all in one place and makes our planning more efficient.”

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