Tips And Tools For Measuring Social Media Influence
Social influence is that nebulous thing that you know you want, but you’re not sure how to get it, where to find it, or how to measure it. At least, not entirely. The good news is that there are tools you can use to measure influence, and you can use them to make the most of your current strategy.
Why is Social Media Influence Important?
Influence is more than the ability to bring traffic to your website, which is something that you can just as easily accomplish with enough PPC ads. Instead, your social influence is your ability to spark conversations, retain a loyal audience, and make waves in the online community.
Influence is, in many ways, more important than traffic because it builds trust and increases conversions. It is also the power to build even more influential relationships, leading to self-propelled growth. It’s just as much about what you can do with each visitor as it is about how many visitors you have.
How Do You Build Influence?
Start by using social networks yourself in order to find some of the most influential people in your niche, or closely related ones. Pay attention to what they are doing differently from everybody else, and learn from them. Watch what gets popular on Reddit. Use StumbleUpon to see what gets popular there. Follow some of the biggest Twitter personalities and find out what they’re up to.
Now start making friends. Dedicate about half of your networking time to some of the most influential people in your niche, and spend the other half talking with everyday people with an interest in your topic. This balance will help you foster powerful relationships that can be leveraged, as well as close relationships with your audience that keep them loyal and interested.
Finally, start sharing your content on as many networks as possible, leveraging the relationships that you have already built in order to expand your reach.
Social Media and SEO
Spokespeople for both Google and Bing have confirmed that social signals are being used to rank sites. This means that if you want people to find you in the search results, you’ll have more luck with a significant social following.
Case studies have found that tweets and Facebook shares are correlated with higher rankings in the search results. This appears to be true even when controlled for links. In other words, it looks like social sharing is influencing rankings even in the absence of links.
Enough said. Even if you didn’t care about direct referrals from social media, you should still care about the influence it has on your search engine traffic.
Tools For Measuring Social Media Influence
If influence is so important, is there anyway to know how much of it you have? How about others. Is there any way to know whether or not they’re influential, so you can focus your efforts on the most powerful relationships?
Yes, there is. Here are some of the tools to use. Take advantage of them and your strategy will prove more effective:
1. Klout – Uses data from your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Foursquare, and Google+ accounts.
2. Empire Avenue – Uses virtual currency as a way of measuring your social influence.
3. WhoSay – An invite only network that includes only highly influential web presences.
4. TweetStats – Just as it says. Use it to compare yourself to other tweeters.
5. My Web Career – Uses Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Quora data.
6. TwentyFeet – Aggregates all of your stats in one place.
7. Crowdbooster – Recommends when to post your content based on your existing data.
8. PeerIndex – Allows you to compare yourself with others in the industry.
9. PostRank – Tracks user engagement.
Stay on top of your influence and measure what’s working. The results are well worth the trouble.
Ben Sawyer is a passionate blogger who often writes about SEO and Internet marketing. He is also a content contributor for wholesale candle New York company.