With the recent conversation about different lists of “influential” real estate people to follow on twitter, there was renewed discussion about what constitutes an influential person on-line. Of course the decision to follow someone or not follow them really needs to revolve around your needs or business plan, but its easy to see that that where and how you are found online is an important part of being considered influential in your industry. In addition, for most business people, it may determine how you are found by the communities on-line that you want to influence or market to.
Google search and search.twitter.com are tried and true methods of finding out who is talking about you and what they are saying. They have become so ubiquitous that we talk about “googling ourselves” regularly in reputation management discussions. But they really don’t provide you with any kind of metrics, and they are mostly text searches of your “mentions”. Twittergrader, Facebookgrader and the other products from Hubspot also provide you with an arbitrary number based on internal calculations, but there are other tools out there to halp you determine the success of your social media efforts. But since they are all free and based on differing thought processes, you might as well use a variety of them.
For more visual displays of your online presence I might recommend spezify and addictomatic. They don’t pretend to provide metrics, but they can provide you with a visual collage of your appearances in a number of venues. Of the two, Spezify is a little more graphically alluring, but addictomatic is organized by the sites it searches, and therefore has the benefit of showing you where you are not present – allowing you to correct that omission if you wish.
For measuring your online presence, klout.com and onlineidentitycalculator.com each have their own internal mechanisms for determining your impact in cyberspace ( did I really just use that term? It seems so dated..) and displaying that in a visual manner, showing you if you have created the on-line identity you wish to have. A similar service, socialmention also “grades” your results based upon your appearances in a variety of places, and has the benefit of allowing you to limit your search to anyone section of the social media sphere so you can see where your influence is greatest or might be increased.
Though I don’t think that any of these are definitive or should completely determine your social media activity, they do provide some general information that might prove beneficial in determining the effectiveness of your communication efforts and the impact they have on the communities that you participate in. Though it is a challenge to measure the ROI in the social media space, these tools do allow us to at least measure the impact of our social media efforts. Do you have any other services you use to measure or manage your efforts? Please feel free to share them in the comments section.