Fresh off Adaptly’s introduction of its Momentum analytics tool for Facebook and other social networks, we spoke with Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer Nikhil Sethi about what makes his company’s approach to a progressively more crowded field different.

Adaptly was founded in January 2010 by Northwestern University engineering students Sethi and Garrett Ullom, and Sethi said the company received “400 calls within 24 hours” after launching its platform in August of that year.

“A lot of us have never really been in advertising before, so there are no pre-conceptions,” Sethi said of Adaptly’s staff of 30 in the Flatiron district of New York and its new London office, adding that many of its employees are able to bring a fresh perspective without being hamstrung by “the way we’ve always done it.”

“Facebook has all the power,” Sethi said on the subject of marketing via the social network, “they’re not letting someone else commoditize that inventory.”

He added that for social media in general, each platform has its own customized operating principles.

Adaptly’s goal with Momentum is to allow users to drill beyond traditional paid metrics such as clicks, impressions, and clickthrough rates, and factor in earned and owned metrics, such as “people talking about this,” likes, comments, and shares.

Sethi said Momentum tracks more than 160 social metrics, and one example he offered was a metric that calculates number of fans divided by “people talking about this, which gives page administrators a way to measure the effectiveness of content on their pages.

He added:

By no means am I saying that Momentum is the golden bullet. Social becomes a really good reflection of reality. Marketers must stop thinking about buying on social as just another distribution event. Social is a layer that sits on top of all the other channels.

Social and Facebook aren’t just about campaigns: It’s this idea of always-on — consistently, not just bursts and spikes. It is a flowing river, which users enter whenever they want. Brands that do it the best are always on the river.