It's a given these days that before at least 50% of the first-time meetings you're about to have you and the person you're meeting will have Googled each other to learn a bit more about the person. It used to be this would return a list of scholarly papers, some nasty pictures of you at a bachelor party, a random smattering of form posts about cupcakes or software and possibly your connections on some social networks.
These days however, it can mean a whole lot more. Looking for a job in marketing? A potential employer can use a variety of tools to see how well you manage your personal brand online. After all, if you can't make your own brand stand out how are you going to help them with theirs?
If any part of your job relates to social engagement you'd best have a good look at your numbers on some of the ranking sites and see how you're doing before you stick your foot in your mouth and say you're fantastic at creating an online presence.
I suggest you do it now-before you need it-so you can make amends and improve your results if necessary, and that may take some time and hard work.
Here's a game plan.
Run some of the evaluation tools below to determine what somebody sees when they look you up. Run it on more than one site so you get a good feel of what's out there.
This is a brand new tool to see how engaged your Facebook page is with your fans. I ran quite a few pages and it's interesting to see how some of the big brands like Snickers and Red Bull stacked up against smaller brands like Thirsty Girl (yes they're a client) and some un-expected successes like AARP (who says us over 50′s don't use Facebook??)
What I like about this one is that it ranks not on how many users are on a page but how engaged they are, and it gives you, the page owner, real insight into how your page is doing. Does it give you more info than Facebook's insights reports? Yep. Because it shows you the rankings of other pages too so you can see your page in perspective.
Want to look at your performance across multiple platforms? My Web Career scores you based on your Facebook and/or Linkedin profiles. It supposedly also rates your search engine visibility but that's a paid service that's not available yet, so I haven't evaluated it. My web Career also plans to share advice to improve your score, which could be very useful in getting your brand better visibility.
Is one of the best blog metrics tools out there, and now they're reaching deeper into your traffic incorporating Google Analytics and Feedburner. a look at your engagement on your blogs based on actions taken by your users.They call them "engagement points" and it's basically a tally of page views, clicks, Tweets and shares on other networks, comments as well as how many are reading your RSS stream. Literally when someone actually engages with your content.
Looks at your blo, Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter presences and rates you by your apparent influence, activity level and authority on topics you frequently discuss.. It also shows your most frequent sources and allows you to browse the same information on your social connections. Like Momentus Media's application it can be quite revealing to see how it scores your friends and competitors and even compare them through a nifty drag-and-drop interface.
Klout is all about identifying influencers on particular topics through their social media presence.Want to know the most influential colleges on Twitter? or the top 10 food trucks? Klout has used their knowledge of influencers to leverage their Klout with programs like the much lauded Virgin America campaign. (disclosure: I'm listed as a Klout influencer and have received Klout perks.) Klout scores now show up in the Twitter streams of those who use Seesmic and some other apps.
Think objectively about all of the date you just saw. Are you as much of an influence on your network as you think you are? What topics are you showing up about? Is that what you want to be known for? Who ranks higher than you do for the areas you're interested in? What do they do differently and can you learn from their example? Do you need to share more, re-tweet or mention more? Is the overall impression you get of your brand what you want it to be?
If yes, congratulations! If no, start thinking about how you can improve.
Of course all of these services will differ because the algorithms they use differ. None of this is really the gold standard but people do use them to make business decisions, hiring decisions and even decisions on who they want to talk to more. Please don't take increasing your influence score as the holy grail of community. Use it as a tool to gauge how effective you are at delivering the message you think you're delivering.