Now that Google have admitted that social signals from platforms such as Twitter and Facebook are going to be used in their algorithm for ranking, its never been more important to start building influence on social platforms. So how do you go about measuring how well your existing marketing efforts are performing?
There are brand monitoring tools, which will give a basic overview of how many mentions your website is receiving, and allows you to respond to positive and negative comments, however this is extremely hard to quantify over time. The following web applications make an attempt at putting a figure on that influence, that you can easily use to keep track of your progress.
Twitter Grader from Hubspot, offers a way to check your Twitter grade compared to other users. There is an overall “grade” out of 100 used to give your score, based on a algorithm created internally by the team. This algorithm currently includes the following factors in its calculation: Number of Followers, Power of Followers, Updates, Update Recency, Follower/Following Ratio, and finally Engagement. You can bet that these are the sort of things that Google will be able to look at to work out your own social score as well. One look at the following social circle link when you are logged in to your Google account, should provide us all with food for thought on how important social will be to the algorithm in the future.
Twinfluence is somewhat different to many analysis tools in that it analyses not only the number of followers you have, but also the quality of those followers. In other words if you’ve been following bots, or simply those who follow back automatically, that is likely to be reflected in your overall Twinfluence score. The site also analyses velocity (how quickly you’ve gained quality followers) and how many high-influence people follow you, giving an overall profile and score. There isn’t an API available, and due to the Twitter API call limit the service can be flakey at times, however overall, Twinfluence provides a good estimate of social worth.
Developed by the clever folks at Edelman, Tweetlevel uses data from some of the other services mentioned here (namely Twinfluence, and Twitter grader) to provide its final algorithmic score. A smart move all things considered, as it is likely to give a better overall feel for a users influence. The full explanation of their algorithm can be found here, but is based around the obvious retweet counts, influence score and popularity that you would expect.
Klout has made serious waves in 2010, connecting both Twitter and Facebook accounts, they now have a pretty awesome app to measure influence across the social web. Scores are updated on a daily basis, which makes it easier to monitor change, and they too have an API to integrate with third party services. A comprehensive breakdown is also provided on all aspects of your score which gives you both guidance and additional information on where you are strong, what your social profile reflects, and what you need to do to improve. Some existing customers include Hootsuite, CoTweet and LiveIntent.
Powered by the collection of data @ Infochimps (if you are developer – this is a must save bookmark) – trst.me offers Twitter User Influence metrics, which give back a number of different scores, based on different factors. For example: Feedness provides the Fraction of users tweets that contain urls, whether a user is Interesting, whether they are a Talkative, chatty person, and much more.
The real beauty of this particular offering is the openness of the API, and the simplicity of the application. It really doesn’t take alot of effort to map influence scores over time with their API, making it attractive to those of you looking to monitor your online influence.
It’s important to note that social media influence is only one small subset of the overall search picture, but one that is only likely to grow as the engines gain the data they need. What ways do you guys keep track of your influence online? Let me know if there’s anything I’ve missed in the comments.