Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Measuring Your Social Media Influence

By Eve Hemsley

For those of us working in the PR world, measuring the reach and impact of the messages we send out is a big part of the job. Finding values for traditional media outlets can be a challenge, but when you add social media marketing into the mix, measuring our effectiveness becomes even harder. But it’s not just public relations firms that have to deal with such a quandary, every company from Ford to Joe’s Backyard BBQ is on Facebook these days trying to promote their services and spread the word about their products. Companies are creating entire departments dedicated to the strategic upkeep of their social media networks, and, when managed correctly, can use social media as an effective tool to increase their company’ visibility and influence. But how does anyone really know that they are making an impact and achieving their desired results? What percentage of posts, pics and tweets are actually reaching your audience in a productive way?

While an exact science for figuring out these questions has yet to be discovered, a few sites have popped up that are a good first step in measuring how effective your social media accounts are. Social Media Examiner put together a list of the top five tools that offer easy ways to keep track of your influence. Among the more well-known is Klout, a resource that uses data from your Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Foursquare accounts to evaluate user’s behavior and analyze content to measure a user’s influence. Klout’s influence score is based on a user’s ability to drive action through tweets, mentions, etc. Similar to Klout is TwentyFeet. TwentyFeet analyzes much of the same information while also giving a quick overview of your activity and influence over a period of time as well as in-depth information about your followers.

My Web Career gathers information from your various social networking accounts as well as web search results to determine the size of your network, your overall social media presence, and the strength of your connections. It also provides insight into exploring your connections and taking advantage of your network.

Number four and five on the list are focused on a user’s Twitter account. Crowdbooster, which I find extremely interesting and potentially quite useful, determines when your posts will receive the most interaction and have the most influence. It can recommend the best times for you to tweet and shows stats for your account like your number of replies, retweets, likes, comments and the number of people that have been reached.

Last but not least is TweetStats. TweetStats provides a general overview of how you use Twitter and can even compare your account to others. Generally focused on your Twitter activity, TweetStats creates graphs, timelines and ‘clouds’ detailing which days you are most active, whom you interact with the most, which interfaces you use most regularly, friend and follower growth and finally what user names and hashtags you use on a regular basis.

Eve Hemsley is an Associate Account Executive at Maroon PR.  Contact her

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