Link ListeningBy Gini Dietrich

A little housekeeping before we begin: Don’t forget today at noon ET is our webinar on how to use media relations to increase your search engine optimization.

Even if you can’t attend live, go ahead and register. That’ll tell us to send you a copy of the recording this afternoon. You’ll have a lot of work to do during and after the webinar, but I promise it’ll be worth the time investment.

And now on to your regularly scheduled programming.

A few years ago, I met Robert Moore on Twitter. He was launching a business and wanted me to take a look at his link listening technology.

But the timing was off for me. It was October of 2011 and we had just finished negotiating out of our lease and were moving to a virtual organization.

If you’ve ever done a business move of any kind, you know it takes up every moment of your time…and then some.

Well, fast forward to earlier this year when Laura Petrolino said to me, “You have to take a look at this link listening technology Robert Moore has built.”

OK, OK! Jeez. Leave me alone!

The link listening technology of which I speak of is Spider, which is billed as a social listening tool.

I know. We don’t need another social listening tool. But hear me out on this.

What is Spider?

They say Spider is:

The next generation of technology to drive real-time relevance in social media and the enterprise.

Here is what that means.

You can now listen to conversations on Twitter about you, your organization, your competitors, or anything you like.

Nothing super special if it stops there, but it doesn’t.

Sure, you can use hashtags and put in keywords and do all of the same stuff you do with other social media listening tools, but what I like most about Spider is it provides link listening.

Which means I can input or and listen to what people have to say about it on Twitter.

So, let’s say I want to know how many people not only tweet this blog post, but have conversation around it.

Right now, unless they use @ginidietrich or @spinsucks (or one of our other team members), I don’t know they’ve tweeted it.

Do you know how many people share your stuff without tagging you?!

The number is incredibly high. I was shocked, actually.

What is Link Listening?

I didn’t really get it, get it until Robert wrote a blog post for us a few weeks ago.

Titled Grow Your Business with Social Listening, it walks you through exactly how link listening works.

If you didn’t read it last month, I highly encourage you to go check it out now. Don’t worry. I’ll wait.

Good? OK.

But even that, while interesting, still isn’t what got me.

What got me was the email he sent to Laura and me six days after his guest blog ran.

He tracked that one blog post—just that one—by putting the link into Spider. Then he let it collect data for a few days.

This is what he told us:

  • 18% of the people that shared that post are “super-influencers,” which means they are on more than 500 Twitter lists.  Big sites such as Forbes or Mashable have about a 1.5% super-influencer rate.
  • 86% have a link in their bio, which indicates a highly professional group. Forbes only has 40% of sharers with a link in bio.
  • 15% of amplifiers meet decision-maker criteria: CEO, founder, president, owner, or entrepreneur. Forbes has only 7%.
  • 10% were bloggers, writers, reporters or journalists. Forbes has only 4.5%.
  • 1% of your amplifiers are karaoke singing, dirty martini drinking founders of social listening companies.

Now I’m super intrigued. This is the kind of data I can sell.

If you were looking to advertise with or sponsor content on a website or blog, this is the kind of data you’d want to know, particularly if you want to reach decision makers or super-influencers.

It also gives hard data to prove that Danny Brown and Sam Fiorella are right (as much as I hate to admit that).

In Influence Marketing, one of their biggest arguments about influencers is not everyone has to be the big guys. Some of the biggest influencers can have only 100 followers or a really niched blog.

What About Spin Sucks, as a Whole?

So now we know Robert’s post did really well, but what about Spin Sucks, as a whole?

For comparison purposes, we continued to use Forbes as the control, even though it isn’t the best comparison from a vertical perspective, it does attract the same social business audience as we do.

The analysis is based on 2,660 profiles that have shared Spin Sucks content in the last 30 days and the 244,000 Forbes profiles collected over only nine days.

So we had significantly less shares in a month than they did in nine days.

We looked at decision makers, super-influencers, and professionals.

Here’s what we found:

  • For decision makers, Spin Sucks has 12.5% and Forbes has only 7%;
  • For super-influencers, Spin Sucks has 7.2% and Forbes has only 1.2%;
  • For professionals, Spin Sucks has 50% and Forbes has only 18%.


So what does this mean? 

Although we are a fraction of the size of Forbes (which kills my competitive heart), our content attracts more decision makers, influencers, and professionals than they do. 

But not only that. Now we can use social listening to find and attract new audiences.

Forbes has 17,000 decision makers who read and share their content on Twitter.

Because of Spider, I now have a list of those people and can target them in our connecting and engaging process.

Even if only one percent convert, that’s 170 new readers who now go into our marketing funnel.

Can I Get Spider?

So I gave in and bought a subscription. It’s as low as $49 per month; I bought the power subscription.

Here’s why: We can use it for several of our clients and for new business pitches.

In fact, I used it for a proposal I wrote last week and the prospect called and said, “No one else has shown me this kind of data. Where did you find this?”

That’s what I’m talking about! It was worth the investment for that, alone, considering they’ll spend about $150,000 annually with us.

No brainer, right?

Go check it out! Robert has kindly offered to let Spin Sucks readers bypass their application process for a free trial.

Do not go to the free trial button on their home page; go directly to the registration link instead and use SPINSUCKS as your invite key.

This will tell them you came from here and don’t have to go through the application. You’ll be right into the software and can start using it immediately.

I recommend using an exact URL first and then start to build your link listening from there. That will give you comparative data.

So there you have it. Let me know how you like it!

P.S. I don’t get anything from writing this post. I’m just really excited about the data I’ve already collected from Spider and think you’ll like it, too.

Gini Dietrich

Gini Dietrich is the founder, CEO, and author of Spin Sucks, host of the Spin Sucks podcast, and author of Spin Sucks (the book). She is the creator of the PESO Model and has crafted a certification for it in partnership with Syracuse University. She has run and grown an agency for the past 15 years. She is co-author of Marketing in the Round, co-host of Inside PR, and co-host of The Agency Leadership podcast.

View all posts by Gini Dietrich