This post is by Erik Deckers, blogger, speaker and co-owner of Professional Blog Service in Indianapolis. Deckers is the co-author of “Branding Yourself: Using Social Media to Invent or Reinvent Yourself,” and helped write “Twitter Marketing for Dummies.”
You can’t be a SmartBrief on Social Media reader without knowing that measuring and analyzing your company’s online efforts are important. But what about your personal branding? Knowing whether you’re effectively promoting yourself is also important.
This is the type of article that invariably mentions Klout, but I’m willing to bet that most SmartBrief readers are also Klout users, so I won’t bother with it. Instead, here are five other tools you can use to see what kind of impact you’re making with your personal branding.
Twitalyzer is a Twitter influence-measurement tool that looks at your network, your reach and what sort of influence you have on your followers. Twitalyzer measures your impact in a percentage score, based on a lot of the same measurements as Klout, but with a different look and terminology. Twitalyzer has an added bonus of pulling in your Klout and your PeerIndex scores, as well.
Twitalyzer is also a subscription-based service, which may not be of interest to a lot of personal-influence users, but could be a benefit to professionals who need a tool to measure a client’s influence.
What’s really cool about Twitalyzer is its Metrics page. This gives you a better idea of where you’re performing well and where you’re not. I often find Klout’s terminology and rankings a little confusing, but Twitalyzer is easier to understand.
BackType can be thought of as a simpler Klout with more features — sounds contradictory, doesn’t it? Not only does it measure your Twitter influence, but you can also see what sort of effect your URLs and certain topics have.
Enter your name or Twitter handle to see what kind of reach you have. Backtype will tell you your follower count, your reach and your BackType score. Or enter a URL to see the number of retweets and comments a particular blog post, or even an entire blog, is getting.
It doesn’t have as many features and stats as Klout, but it’s a good alternative if you’re in the “I don’t believe in Klout” camp, but still want to know how cool you are.
PostRank measures your blog’s performance, using a point-based ranking system. But unlike regular analytics packages, this doesn’t just measure visits and time on site. It also measures user actions, such as comments, retweets, bookmarking on Digg, Delicious and Diigo, as well as Facebook likes.
Each time a visitor completes an engagement event, you are awarded a certain number of points, adding up to a point total for each post. Different events are worth different point values, so your score will vary based on what people do with each post.
The neat thing about PostRank is that it will measure a URL’s performance even when your Twitter handle is not attached to it. So, if you have a post that goes viral, PostRank keeps track of who’s retweeting it, who’s Digging it, Liking it, etc., even when your Twitter handle has been dropped from the tweet. PostRank has its own WordPress plugin, so you can get a quick glimpse at how your posts have been performing in your post dashboard.
Your LinkedIn Profile Stats can show you who has looked at your profile over the last 90 days, how many times you appeared in search results, and how many of those appearances resulted in a visit. It’s basic analytics for your LinkedIn profile, and it can be very useful during a job search or a due-diligence process by a potential client.
Not only can you see how many times people have viewed your profile, but you can get an idea of the actual people who looked at it. If you have a basic account, you can see the five most recent people who have seen your profile.
Job-seekers can get an idea of how they’re progressing in a search. Forward your profile on to a hiring manager, and you can tell if it’s been viewed by your target group. Even if the searcher is an anonymous profile, like “Someone in the Executive Leadership function in the Consumer Services industry from Columbus, Ohio, Area” or “Someone at Indiana University,” you can click on the link to see a group of people who fit that profile.
Depending on how specific the searcher profile is, you may be able to pinpoint your one contact from that group. While that won’t help you land your next job, you’ll at least know that someone has taken enough of an interest in you to find out more about you.
However, upgrading to the Business Plan will expand your view, letting you see everyone who found your profile in the past 90 days, their geography, and even how they found you.
Bit.ly is the ubiquitous URL shortener that gained prominence thanks to Twitter’s favoring bit.ly over other URL shorteners (is anyone still using cli.gs?). I can use bit.ly as my default shortener in TweetDeck, TwitterFeed and my own blog’s automatic ping feature. I like bit.ly because it tracks clicks to a URL I shorten, regardless of where I shorten it, and lets me see how many clicks I received. It’s great for tracking performance, because it lets you see how much traffic you sent to a particular URL.
It’s also a good way for determine the engagement of your network, as well as the best times to post an article. For example, tweet a blog post at 8 a.m. with one bit.ly URL, then tweet it again with a different bit.ly URL at 1 p.m., and see which time gets you the most clicks. Do this a few times, and see if you can figure out what time of day is the best time to regularly publish your blog posts.
These measurement tools are by no means the final word on measurement. But they’re the ones that are used the most in determining success in a personal branding campaign.
Which tools do you use? Do you have any new tools or techniques that are better or have more features than these?
Image credit: Pablo631, via iStockphoto