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5 Tools for Measuring & Managing Your On-line Reputation

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tapemeasureWith 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.

(Photo by AussieGall)

Bill is an unusual blend of Old & New - The CEO Century 21 Advantage Gold (Philadelphia's Largest Century 21 company and BuzzBuilderz (a Social Media Marketing Company), He is a Ninja CEO, blending the Web 1 and 2.0 world together in a fashion that stretches the fabric of the universe. You can follow him on twitter @Billlublin or Facebook or LinkedIn.

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13 Comments

13 Comments

  1. Joe Loomer

    October 21, 2009 at 1:32 pm

    You were spot on about the difference between spezify and addictomatic – one’s more visually appealing but the other more concise and easier to understand. Thanks for more great tips Bill!

    Navy Chief, Navy Pride

  2. Atlanta Real Estate

    October 21, 2009 at 7:23 pm

    “Cyberspace” is pretty old, but how many people still call MP3 players, iPODs, etc., WALK MANs?

    Dropped this one on the wife today and she was like, “how old ARE you anyway..”

    LOL

  3. Ken Brand

    October 21, 2009 at 9:41 pm

    Man-O-Man, things move fast. Today, Bing and Google announced that they will index Tweets and I don’t know about Google, but Bing is going to index Facebook status updates (if the setting are wide open).

    It’s a crazy world. I know people, including me, some time question the value of Twitter and Facebook. But space-alien-smart people are working on making both of these tools, powerful and relevant.

    All I have to say is, “Better hop onboard or you’ll be left shivering in the cold, damp, darkness, wondering how you became irrelevant and invisible so quickly. I mean really, time is screaming by and the velocity of change is ricochet-rabbit fast.

    My 2cents. The right stuff Bill. Cheers.

  4. Tony Arkles

    October 22, 2009 at 10:15 am

    Another tool you can use is StepRep (steprep.com). This will monitor search results from a number of different sources and report back to you when there is new results for you.

    [Full disclosure: In a past life, I was a developer on the StepRep team. I’ve since moved on, but it’s definitely a useful product for monitoring your online reputation]

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Social Media

Reactions to Twitter Blue from real subscribers, p.s. its not worth it

(SOCIAL MEDIA) Twitter’s paid subscription service, Twitter Blue, gives more control over tweets and custom UI, but subscriber reception has been lukewarm.

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Twitter Blue Sign Up Page

Twitter Blue, a paid subscription service that gives users increased control over their tweets and the appearance of their interfaces, launched this summer. Subscriber reception has been lukewarm, foreshadowing some resistance to shifts away from advertising-based revenue models for social media platforms.

The allure of Twitter Blue isn’t immediately apparent; beyond a relatively low price tag and increased exclusivity on a platform that emphasizes individuality, the service doesn’t offer much to alter the Twitter experience. Twitter Blue’s main selling point – the ability to preview and alter tweets before sending them – may not be enough to convince users to shell out the requisite three dollars per month.

Other features include the option to change the theme color and icon appearances. Twitter Blue subscribers can also read some ad-supported news articles without having to view ads courtesy of Twitter’s acquisition of Scroll, a company that provides ad-free news browsing.

But even with this variety of small customization options and the promise of more to come, users are skeptical. Android Central’s Shruti Shekar is one such user, beginning her review with, “Right off the bat, this feature isn’t worth the money you’d be spending on it every month.”

Shekar posits that the majority of the features are wasted on long-term users. “I think a lot of my opinions come from a place of using Twitter for so long in a certain way that I’ve gotten used to it, and now I find it challenging to adapt to something that would theoretically make my life easier,” she explains.

One of those adaptations centers on Twitter Blue’s “Undo Tweet” feature – something that belies the notion of proofreading and using common sense before sending thoughts into the nether.

“For me, 95% of the time, I really do pay attention to my tweets before I send them out,” says Shekar.

Twitter Blue checking Tweets before sending.

Shekar does praise Twitter Blue’s “Reader Mode” feature that allows users to view threads as uninterrupted columns but argues that the feature would probably end up being underutilized despite being a cool concept.

The aforementioned color and theme customization was of little interest to Shekar. “I actually found it a bit challenging to get used to the other colors, not because they’re ugly, but again because I am just so used to the classic blue,” she says.

One problem here is that the options to change link and theme colors and put threads in reader mode seem more like accessibility features than premium content. Twitter might do well to make these available to all users, if for no other reason than to avoid criticism about locking quality of life updates behind a subscription paywall.

Shekar’s criticism hits on a crucial point for any social media company looking to emulate Twitter Blue’s subscription model: Even if the subscription price is low, companies have to be prepared to make actual meaningful changes to the user experience if they want satisfied subscribers. That includes building in options that don’t fundamentally alter the basic aspects (or appearance) of the platform.

For more on Twitter Blue, check out their blog post on it here.

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Instagram flaunts new features, including a decked out desktop experience  

(SOCIAL MEDIA) It’s been a time of exciting product and feature announcements for Instagram with additions of Collabs, fundraisers, and desktop posts on deck

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Instagram displayed on a desktop

It’s been a time of exciting product and feature announcements for Instagram on both mobile and desktop.

Collabs Feature

“Collabs” allows up to 2 accounts to co-author a post or Reel, both sharing joint ownership of what is ultimately published. The post or Reel will show up equally on both users’ feeds with the same amount of engagement numbers, but combined, including comments, view numbers, and like counts. This is initiated through the tagging screen and the invited account will have to accept the offer before the collab can be complete.

Examples of adding a co-author in Instagram Collabs feature

Fundraiser & Reel Features

Instagram was quick to jump on the short-form content trends taking the social media world by storm. With the rise of TikTok, the Insta platform that was originally focused on static photos added Reels, along the same wavelength of short 15, 30, or 60-second videos, though the competitor has now expanded with the option of 3 minutes. Even so, Instagram is taking the time to improve music-related features within the Reels section of the app, adding “Superbeat” and “Dynamic.” The first adds effects to the video matching the beat of the chosen song, while the latter offers unique and interesting ways to display the song’s lyrics on screen. In addition, they are beginning to test the option to run fundraisers on a post by clicking the + button in the top right corner of the interface.

Examples of Dynamic for Reels feature

 Desktop Feature

FINALLY! Instagram is now realizing just how many users truly enjoy the desktop experience. If one were to compare the platform on the mobile app vs. desktop, they would see the slew of differences between the two with the desktop interface looking like the 1st year Instagram was even introduced. Functionality is no comparison; they only just added the ability to DM on desktop last year. As one can see, there is an extremely limited experience on desktop, but Instagram is now rolling out the ability for users to post from their browsers. Catch us enjoying posts on the big screen!

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Truth Social: Trump’s long-standing battle against Big Tech backfires

(SOCIAL MEDIA) Truth Social is an example of how a new platform, though necessary to keep competition alive, can prove to be fallible before it succeeds.

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Man holding iPhone with Truth Social app download page up, as well as the stock market and Trump in the background on computer screens.

Former President Donald J. Trump announced a new social media platform, dubbed “Truth Social” last week. The platform has since been the recipient of cyber attacks by hacker collective Anonymous and the Software Freedom Conservancy has accused the Trump Media and Technology Group of violating the terms of their software agreement.

The circumstances plaguing Truth Social provide a small (if nuanced) look into the rigors of creating and sustaining new social media platforms in the modern-day. While expanding the number of social media platforms available creates more competition, this platform, in particular, raises some questions about the wisdom of investing in a service that creates an ideological echo chamber, as well as demonstrating that not just anyone can run a social media site.

There’s no denying that this new entry into the world of social media is off to a rocky start. Cyberattacks just hours after Truth Social’s test run left the site in disarray, with fake user accounts for Mike Pence, Steve Bannon, and Donald Trump appearing at various stages of the launch. Truth Social’s hosts eventually took it offline, and the sign-up process is halted for the time being.

Woman holding iPhone showing Truth Social's feed.

Truth Social also has some interesting rules regarding user interactions on their platform, including a non-disparagement clause and the assertion that users can be sued for the content they post, Time reports.

“In addition to terminating or suspending your account, we reserve the right to take appropriate legal action, including without limitation pursuing civil, criminal, and injunctive redress,” says one section of the Truth Social terms of use.

This clause is in stark contrast to the ethos behind Truth Social – a platform that, according to the press release, was “founded with a mission to give a voice to all” and “stand up to the tyranny of Big Tech.”

The disparity in messaging versus reality is an understandable mistake, as much of Trump’s mindset was most likely impacted by criticism levied against him on mainstream social media when he had his accounts – and anyone in the same position might reasonably make the same call. However, restricting users to agree with one set political ideology is a perilous precedent to set. Echo chambers aren’t particularly conducive to longevity.

iPhone showing Trump's suspended Twitter account.

The Trump Media and Technology Group also violated the terms of their open-source software of choice when they uploaded the pilot version of Truth Social. According to the licensing agreement associated with Mastodon – the software company TMTG used – users must have access to the source code for the product in question (in this case, Truth Social).

Since the initial users of Truth Social did not receive that access, the social media platform is at risk of permanently losing its rights to the code.

While some of these pitfalls feel proprietary to Trump insofar as his high-profile battle against social media is concerned, the truth is that any development of new social media entries will be messy and fraught with obstacles. Truth Social is just one example of how a new platform – something that is absolutely necessary to keep competition alive – can prove to be publicly fallible far before it ever succeeds.

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