Cesar Christoforidis: Every company wants to measure, understand and compare its social media performance

At the mediaME Forum:2012, we spoke to Cesar Christoforidis, Director of ROW Territories at Socialbakers, a social media analytics platform. Cesar shared his views on social media measurement methods, client awarness, as well as the establishment of a Socialbakers office in the MENA region. 

Q. Kindly introduce yourself and your company.

I am the director of the Rest of World (ROW) territories for Socialbakers. Basically it’s my job to widen Socialbakers' footprint across key markets including Latin America, Southern Europe, Central and Eastern Europe and now the Middle East. That’s why I’m here. 
Q. You have recently announced the establishment of a Middle East office in Dubai. What prompted you to do so and do you have plans for more local offices (or operations) in the MENA region?
Right now the Middle East is one of our key focuses. The reason is because we have created a number of new relationships here. We have lots of clients in the Middle East now and we need to be close to them. We need to make sure that we can respond to them and that we can see them face to face. It is a really exciting area for us. There are a lot of things happening here. 
Q. Tell us about the measurement benchmarks created by (or adopted by) Socialbakers and how they differ from typical digital measurements.
The metrics that we have created have been adopted by a number of multinationals. Already we’ve seen them integrated by Henkel, Nestle, Loreal, LVMH, as well as some of the top agencies. We’ve been quite pioneering in the way we’ve calculated engagement and response rates. We differentiate ourselves from other measuring houses and we are quite unique. Many organizations have now adopted our services and they have been recognized around the world.
Q. What social mediums are covered by SocialBakers monitoring services today and the near future?
So right now we are focusing on what happens on Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube. We also have stats on Linkedin and Google+. We are also looking at some other really important social media platforms which will be integrated into our suite in the near future. 
Q. In your opinion, how critical is such information to digital brand managers and digital marketing agencies in the Middle East? And how have they responded so far? Tell us some success stories. 
Everybody wants to know how well they are performing against their peers. They are also wondering how well they are performing against international brands in general, so the adaptation of our Freemium service has been absolutely incredible. We are now up to about half a million unique visitors per month. All these people are marketers, and they seek to know information about who the top players are, what the top pages are, and what content they are publishing. As a result, we have secured global contracts with global agencies so they can integrate our analytics into each and every one of their offices worldwide. 
Q. How do you deliver your service to clients and agencies, what’s the model whereby they benefit the most and receive the best added value?
We are a sophisticated SAAS business. The best way to deliver our services is through our SAAS platforms. People will subscribe to a number of services, depending on the level of investment. We are also developing a consultancy arm where we get to crunch numbers a little bit more, be more creative and maybe recommend and build apps for clients.
Q. Your services also appeal to online publishers. Tell us more about that both globally and regionally.
It’s a bit of a content war out there at the moment, and therefore the publishers love what we do. We already work with some of the big publishers out there (News International, BBC) and what is really key for them is to understand what content is working well in their vertical. Our ‘Market Insights’ tool actually allows you to understand what the best content being published is. 
Q. Socialbakers is expanding and has recently received a new round of funding. Tell us more about that and what you aim to achieve in terms of markets to be covered.
We are really happy that we have gone through this second round of funding. It now means that we can invest in the things we want to, like geographical expansion, bringing new products into the market, staying competitive and staying ahead of the curve. It is what we do best.
Q. Anything else you would like to add?
I have really enjoyed the opportunity to come to the mediamME Forum:2012 and I look forward to attending it again next year. Thank you.


Shireen Mufti