Top tools for measuring online influence

Social-Media

There is a steadily growing number of free tools online that businesses and individuals can use to get a handle on who has influence, who is popular and what platforms are the most engaging.

Regular readers of this blog know that I use Grader, TweetLevel and now Klout to compile my monthly ‘Twitter top 20‘ rankings. There are other, wider reaching analytics tools I use for social media analysis too.

I’ve just tried out a few other tools.

Twitalyzer

Subscriptions start at US$4.99 per month but there are some ‘free to use’ functions. The tool uses data to measure impact, engagement, velocity, reach and other metrics. It gave me an impact score of 5.5 which puts me in their 92 percentile. They’ve defined me as a ‘social butterfly’, someone very active within my own community. My take? Without signing up for the full service it’s difficult to say how useful Twitalyzer could be.

Crowdbooster

This is a nifty tool that’s still in private beta, but luckily enough I was invited to take part and already Crowdbooster is making my life as a community manager a little easier. It focuses on Twitter and tracks the full reach of my tweets. It keeps track of follower growth, top retweeters and the most influential followers. Tweets are presented on a scatter plot graph, making it easy to view which tweets and topics garnered the most engagement.

The tool also recommends specific times during the day to tweet, based on the times the most influential followers are most active. On Friday, it gave me a pleasant surprise by suggesting a few #FFs based on the previous week’s activity. That was really helpful. It allows me to schedule tweets and find new, relevant profiles to follow. My take? Overall I like it.

Klout

Klout seems to be becoming the ‘defacto’ standard to measure online influence. I’ve recently resorted to using it for my Twitter to 20 ranking because Edelman’s TweetLevel has become too unreliable in terms of availability. Klout measures more than 35 different variables grouped into three basic areas:

  • true reach, the size of the engaged audience
  • amplification, the likelihood content will be acted upon by others
  • network, the influence level of the engaged audience

These measures combine to create the overall Klout score, which is a number 1 to 100. Mine is 62.

If your online presence achieves a score above a certain threshold, you are deemed “influential,” and are eligible to enjoy some benefits. Klout connects influential members and brands together, so those with high Klout scores may receive premium service, prestige products or any other perks a brand wishes to bestow on those they feel have influence.

(I had decided yesterday to write this post today. So it was a little ironic that as I was half way through drafting it, the Isle of Man postie knocked at my door to deliver a box full of Audi-branded swag courtesy of Klout. But said swag does not influence my views on Klout).

My take: Overall I like Klout, but I fear it takes too broad a look by including LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter data. There is also discussion of including individual blogs too. But because it’s been taken up as ‘the standard’ by so many large, international corporates and brands, it’s definitely an important tool.

PeerIndex

PeerIndex is a UK-based start up and has been online since 2009. It pulls together data from a range of social media profiles to create three subscores: authority, activity and audience which comprise one overall score. Mine is 63.

PeerIndex differs in its approach to best understanding and engaging your social network by focusing on a ‘topic graph’. This highlights the subjects that are being tweeted and how those tweets resonate with other people on those subjects. The company claims that it can tell who’s likely to be a net promoter of your company, who’s likely to align very closely with the things your company stands for, but I can’t find any obvious tool for doing so in the dashboard. My take? It’s an interesting tool to analyse what you are tweeting about, what sources you use and who you engage with the most. I’m not sure about any higher level analysis.

Twitter Grader

Twitter Grader was the first such tool I’d used and I still use it as the basis for my’ Twitter top 20′ rankings. It plugs itself as providing a measure of authority of Twitter users. Basically, it’s a way to measure popularity. The more followers you have, the higher the Grade. Mine’s a perfect score of 100 but then again, so is Oprah’s. But it lets you slice and dice the profile data to see the ‘elite’ in any one city or location and also who’s tops in other categories such as ‘top women’, ‘top brands’ etc. My take? It is what it is. It’s not that smart of a tool, but it delivers the information it says it will.

Sherrilynne Starkie is a consultant at PDMS. For almost 18 years, Sherrilynne has been advising blue-chip organisations on both sides of the pond, covering Britain, Canada and the United States. For three years, Sherrilynne was the Tech Talk columnist for the Isle of Man newspapers. She serves on the steering committee for Isle of Man Women in Business, is on the Executive Council for the Isle of Man Junior Chamber of Commerce. In the past she was on the management committee for the Isle of Man British Computer Society and the marketing committee of Junior Achievement.

  • Hi Sherrilynne,

    Thanks for mentioning us. I loved how you highlighted our best features and we look forward to delighting you even more. Please let us know how we can help you spread the word!

    – Ricky

    • Forgot to say that I’m talking about Crowdbooster, and I am the co-founder / CEO. Take care.