When Jon McGinley stopped by the Sparksheet booth at DX3 Canada this winter, he echoed a comment made by a more than a few speakers at the event: Social isn’t just a PR tool anymore.

And he should know. He’s the director of marketing for Radian6, a small town Canadian startup that made it big – to the tune of $326 million – when it was snapped up by cloud computing company Salesforce in 2011. Its client roster includes half the Fortune 100 companies and the White House.

Essentially, the company creates tools that allow brands to analyze content on social media sites like Twitter. So when Obama hosted a town hall meeting in the summer of 2011, Radian6 was there to track the conversations, “listen” to the questions posed on Twitter, and then provide the White House with the resulting data.

Radian6 also measures social data from its application across different sectors of a business, from R&D to investor relations to customer support.

Here’s McGinley’s take on why social media metrics are more relevant than ever, and how content marketing has helped grow Radian6’s business.