4 Tools for Measuring Your Online Influence

by Michelle McGinnis on Wednesday, August 3, 2011 in Social Media

In the online marketing world, you’re only as good as the content you create and the network you share it with. It’s no wonder that so many B2B and B2C brands have intensified their efforts to grow online influence and reach influencers through social media.

Measuring online influence is a difficult task at best. For the most part, marketers have been constrained to piecemeal metrics like page views, followers and likes. But now a cottage industry of startups that help personal and corporate brands capture just how influential they are online, as well as spot influencers in their industry, is emerging.

We decided to spotlight four of the most helpful social media influence measurement tools currently available. A look at each should help you better understand where your brand is and where you want take it.

1. Klout
Love ‘em or hate ‘em, Klout is by far the most cited site for measuring social media influence. Klout compiles engagement and activity levels for brands in social media, and then assigns each user a Klout score on a scale from 1 to 100. The startup is best known for scoring Facebook and Twitter, but has been adding more social platforms to its scoring matrix, recently including integrating LinkedIn and Foursquare. (There’s been so much activity that Klout is hosting a Twitter chat today on the newly added networks.) The company is also testing out identifying key subject areas social media users might be influential on.

2. PeerIndex
Like Klout, PeerIndex attempts to gauge social media influence across the Web. The company looks at a person’s level of authority on a subject, what kinds of actions their content triggers, the reach they have and how active they are. Some prefer the user experience because of its ability to find people based on category – like this recent post by Gini Dietrich comparing Klout and PeerIndex. By using both you can get a better sense of how the different algorithms calculate online influence.

3. Crowdbooster
Developed at the famous YCombinator, Crowdbooster is all about Twitter and Facebook. But the startup’s unique angle is that it offers advice on how to boost your Twitter influence. Individual tweets are measured across a graph showing the potential level of impressions your tweet generated. Also, it generates a report of your most influential followers. Finally, as it measures your activity, it makes suggestions, like the best time of the day to tweet, to maximize impact. Right now, Crowdbooster is in Beta and you need an invite to get on. But if you’re a Twitter junkie, this might be the dashboard for you.

4. EmpireAvenue
Serious about social media and seriously addictive, EmpireAvenue turns social media influence into a stock market-like game. The system measures your activity and engagement across a number of social media platforms and assesses a moving stock price for the user. Users can purchase shares in each other using a virtual currency called “Eaves” and re-deploy their earnings by making further investments. (You might want to read our blog post on tips for increasing share value.) EmpireAvenue might be a game, but it allows you to get a sense of your influence by seeing who is willing to put you in their portfolio.

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