Everything You Need To Know About Social Payments

This week, I’m going to follow the money. And no, I’m not investigating a corruption scheme or a political scandal—after all, we talk about social media on this blog. And social media is where the money seems to be going.

In a recent Time Magazine article, Hootsuite CEO Ryan Holmes chose social payments as one of the top social media trends to watch for in 2015. We also brought up social payments in several episodes of our news summary video series, Social Update.  This week, the ephemeral video messaging app Snapchat, notorious among millennials, announced the launch of their money transfer system, Snapcash. Users can send money to their friends by simply typing the amount, preceded by a dollar sign, into the chat box and pressing the “Send” button.

Powered by Square, the payment processing startup founded by Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey, Snapcash connects to the users’ debit card account. The Square back-end allows for instant deposits and withdrawals—skipping a step required for storing cash in a peer-to-peer mobile payment app Venmo, for example. This answers the biggest question for analysts about whether Snapcash will take off: how much friction will new users face? While some say the video messaging app is bound to succeed, catering to the demographic that expects the instant gratification and trusts the app with their most private images, others say that even a single malfunction or privacy breach will be enough to break that trust.

However, one thing is certain: social payments are on the rise. With the concurrent spike in popularity of mobile messaging apps, portion of total online time spent on social networks, and referral power of social media, my guess is that it’s only a matter of time until we see a social payment option on each of the major networks.

TL;DR – Social Payments

social payments

Two kinds of social payments

Brands are aware that a significant amount of purchases have been made as a result of social advertising. For example, one study found that almost 8 percent of traffic to online retailers comes from social networks, which is a 1 percent increase from last year’s findings. With similar results reported by several marketing research agencies, it’s only natural that major social networks are looking to cut out the middle man, and introduce payment methods directly on the channel’s sponsored messaging.

Two major questions that remain are whether the social payment trend will actually take off, and if it does, what form it will take. Currently, social payment branches out into two major categories: peer-to-peer transfers and online purchases. Snapcash is testing the waters in the former category, while Twitter made a foray into e-commerce earlier this fall.

Twitter’s first step towards its role as an e-commerce tool was the launch of a test run for its Buy button. This feature adds a button to sponsored Tweets and Twitter Cards from the network’s partners, which enables users to purchase advertised products or services directly in the network. Twitter has launched the first round of testing to a small portion of its US users in September, so we might hear results of the experiment soon.

Twitter Buy Social Payments

Now, let’s let our imaginations run wild for a bit: if Facebook had a money transfer system, what form would it take? With both ads and messaging features, the network has the potential to go either way when it comes to social payments. When Facebook standalone Messenger app was released, there was talk about Facebook’s plans for a money transferring feature in the app. These rumours were based on the discovery of money transferring capabilities built into Facebook Messenger’s source code. Considering Snapchat’s recent reveal, the truth behind these plans isn’t difficult to imagine, although the rumours are yet to be confirmed. And, as we’ve seen from KLM Royal Dutch Airlines’ campaign launched earlier this year, direct purchases using Facebook are also very much within the realm of possibility.

The future of social payments

In a way, we have been preparing for the social payment takeover for a long time: from mobile banking apps to scannable Starbucks card codes, payment has been shifting to smartphone screen. The test runs for both Apple Pay and Google Wallet are getting smartphone users more comfortable with the idea of using their phone to pay while also simplifying the process to skip opening apps or retrieving banking information.

While social networks are just dipping their toes into social payments, successful payment apps include a social element to their transfers. I’m talking about Venmo, a mobile monetary transfer service that allows users to send instant payments to their contacts. To use the app, you need to make an account using your email address, or log in with Facebook. Writer Felix Gillette explains Venmo’s social functions best: “Part of the Venmo experience is the continuous scroll of your friends’ microeconomic activity as told through droll synopsis, inside jokes, and emoji. Such is the avant-garde of home economics circa 2014,” Gillette writes in his Businessweek article.

Gillette isn’t the only one who sees significance in Venmo’s descriptive transfers. In a Medium piece called Public Displays of Transaction, Chiara Atik ponders on the fact that, in many ways, money transfer apps are the most genuine kind of social network. “Would You Rather: A date see you naked, or a date see your 2013 tax return?” Atik muses. Perhaps this is the greatest cultural significance of social payments—a willing end to Internet anonymity, where we move into an age when social enables us to both exchange money and show off our latest purchases for anyone to see.

Do you think the social payment trend will take off? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

How to Adapt Your Facebook Strategy to the Coming News Feed Changes

Facebook recently announced changes designed to improve the News Feed experience for their users by restricting how some types of organic page posts will appear in users’ News Feeds.

After Facebook conducted a massive survey of their users, it was clear that they want to reduce overly promotional posts in the News Feed. As a result, beginning in January, Facebook will be severely restricting these types of posts. In their words, “Pages that post promotional content should expect their organic distribution to fall significantly over time.”

Facebook singles out three specific types of content that users have taken issue with: content whose sole purpose to push people to install an app or buy a product, content that pushes people to enter contests or promotions without context, and posts that reuse ad content.

Here are examples from Facebook of Page posts that they will be cracking down on: 

Facebook Example 2

Facebook Example 1

These changes will affect many businesses using Facebook Pages primarily as a promotional tool to sell products or drive app downloads. But you’ve invested time and resources into building a Facebook Page audience and there is still lots of value to be found there. Here are three things to focus on to get the most out of your Facebook presence in light of the recent changes:

Follow Facebook’s guidelines for posting

The Facebook algorithm is always improving as the social network responds to user feedback. For best Page results, you should therefore be paying attention to Facebook’s own guidelines for what to post. Their Page posting tips and best practices provide valuable insight—here’s what they recommend that can help maintain the organic reach your Pages posts:

Post consistently

Consistency is critical in content marketing. To make sure you’re posting regularly and staying relevant for your audience, Facebook recommends creating a content calendar.

Target your posts

Facebook offers businesses a variety of targeting options in the Post Targeting and Privacy section under “Settings.” Posts targeted by gender, interests, age, or location are more likely to reach the desired audience.

Connect with words and pictures

Facebook recommends short, descriptive phrases and high-quality lifestyle images. Businesses are advised to avoid sales messaging, such as “buy now” and “shop now.”

Use Facebook Pages as a touchpoint for your customers

According to Facebook, Pages are an “easy-to-maintain online presence for people to discover and learn about a business,” that are mobile- and tablet-optimized, unlike many websites. Pages are also used as a customer service channel, and this won’t change anytime soon.

The point Facebook is trying to make is that businesses should be thinking of Pages as “a cornerstone of their online identity, not simply as a publishing service.” In other words, yes publishing is part of Facebook, but it’s only one of many parts. As you decrease the promotional messaging on your page, you can still find value in it as a customer service tool or as another informational online property. In fact, according to an Accent Marketing report, one third of consumers have used Facebook as a customer service channel.

Consider turning to Facebook ads

While the announced changes will impact the organic reach of promotional Page content, it will not affect Facebook ads. According to Facebook, the surveyed users generally didn’t mind promotional content that’s identified as advertising. They just don’t like promotional organic content clogging up their News Feeds.

This is a reason to start considering Facebook ads. In the third quarter of 2014, Facebook brought in $2.96 billion in advertising revenue, with good reason. Businesses can pay Facebook to show custom ads to a specific audience, with costs varying based on the number of clicks and the reach of the ad. This has the big advantage of allowing you to hone in on a target audience by only displaying your ads to specific demographics and interest groups. Yes, they come at a price, but Facebook ads are more likely to generate targeted leads than organic posts anyway.

Bing Strives Toward Mobile Friendliness

Perhaps in an effort to keep up with Google’s new mobile-friendly labels in its search results, Bing is also taking some time to discuss the importance of mobile to search.

Though back in March Bing’s mobile search results weren’t any different from those you’d see on desktop, Microsoft’s chief executive (CEO) Satya Nadella spoke then about our “mobile-first, cloud-first” world. Since then, Bing has taken to using device-specific crawlers that probe websites to gauge the user experience and inform algorithms on various devices and platforms. In other words, mobile friendliness.

According to comScore research, the number of mobile Web users has been on a steady increase, jumping from 400 million in 2007 to nearly 1.8 billion in 2014. comScore expects this year to be the first in which mobile Web usage is expected to surpass that of desktop, despite mobile’s inherent difficulties. Those include the difficulty of typing URLs correctly on a tiny phone keyboard, sites that aren’t optimized for mobile with tiny fonts or Flash pages, and the frequency with which URLs redirect users to mobile versions. All of these challenges are taken into account when Bing ranks pages on its mobile searches.

The rankings are based on general mobile friendliness, taking into consideration factors like content compatibility, content readability, and mobile functionality. Since different devices don’t automatically direct users to the appropriately optimized page, Bing recommends responsive Web design and granting its crawlers access.

“The recent update marks the beginning of our journey toward increased mobile relevance and is now improving a small but steadily growing percentage of our mobile queries,” wrote Mir Rosenberg, principal program manager, in a blog post, promising more enhancements in the near future.


ClickZ Live New York What’s New for 2015?
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5 Tips To Set Yourself Up For Success Using Twitter—And Drive Holiday Sales

60% of users have made a purchase from a small or medium business on Twitter. If you’re not on Twitter—or don’t have an active presence—you’re missing out on highly-engaged potential customers and sales.

The idea of creating, monitoring and maintaining another social media account may be daunting to you—but it doesn’t have to be.

Learn how you can use social media to build meaningful relationships that drive ROI in our on-demand webinar, co-presented by Twitter:

5 Tips to get the most out of your holiday sales using social

Social Update: 11 • 21 • 2014

Hootsuite’s news summary series, Social Update, is all about bringing social media professionals like yourself up to date with all the latest trends in the world of social web.

New features tested throughout the year has got people talking about Twitter’s plans for the future, which were finally revealed at a tech event last week. In this week’s episode, Sunny Lenarduzzi will discuss the highlights from the microblogging network’s announcement, and how these changes may affect your own social media plan for the upcoming year. And Twitter’s not the only network changing things up—you can also find out why brands have to get creative with their Facebook business strategies in 2015, and how you can transfer money using Snapchat.

Are you excited about Snapcash? Worried about Facebook’s algorithm changes? Leave us a comment below, or share your thoughts on YouTube!

Don’t miss out on the latest social news—subscribe to Hootsuite’s YouTube channel to watch all Social Update episodes.

6 Tips On Social Media Marketing For Small Business

As a new business, it’s important to choose a marketing channel that offers the best results with the most prudent resources. Nowadays, more small businesses prefer social media marketing to other marketing channels, to help increase their brand’s reach, increase sales, and expand their professional network.

In order to know how social media can help promote your business while saving you valuable time and resources, we’ve compiled six tips on social media marketing for small businesses.

Here are 6 tips on social media marketing for small businesses

Tip #1: Use social media marketing to sell your products and services

Before major social media networks made the foray into e-commerce, the selling relationship for businesses looked like this: listen, help solve problems, and make the sale. With the rise of social selling, the opportunity to connect with potential customers during the research phase got much easier with social media monitoring and social media engagement tactics. These tactics changed the game for social media marketing for small business.

Tip #2: Large networks like Twitter can improve your customer relationships

With 72% of people more likely to make a future purchase from a small business after they interact with them on Twitter, there’s no reason for companies not to be on Twitter. The key to finding success on social media is on the same channels as your customers—and with over 200 million active users, there’s a high chance many of your customers are on Twitter. Twitter can help your business build relationships with customers, and connect you with the businesses and communities you are interested in. Using features like advanced Twitter search and Twitter lists, building and improving customer relationships online is manageable even with a small team.

Tip #3: Social media marketing can drastically increase your reach

Facebook and Twitter advertising have made it possible for companies to increase their reach through targeted ads and sponsored messaging. Social media marketing provides businesses with an opportunity to reach customers across the world—as opposed to a more traditional advertising medium such as a billboard, which is only visible to people on a particular route in a single city.

Tip #4: A LinkedIn business page can expand your professional network

One of the most important social networks, where all businesses, big or small, should have a presence, is LinkedIn. LinkedIn allows businesses to provide authenticity and credibility of their brand through a business page that houses information covering the bases of who, what, and where of your business. It also allows small businesses to be in a space where professionals, potential investors, and customers are on. A LinkedIn company page is also a free marketing tool and if used correctly, can be an highly effective one.

Tip #5: Facebook Page can improve your business’s customer support

Providing customer support can be expensive and time-consuming. But, with social media networks like Facebook, you are provided with an outlet to effectively solve customer problems. With the availability to post on your Facebook wall or send private messages, customers can connect directly to companies if and when they have a problem or feedback.

Tip #6: Use your social media presence to manage your brand’s online reputation

Trust is an important element in obtaining customer loyalty, and one of the best ways to gain this trust is giving people easy online access to information about your company. Neglecting your social media presence is one way of losing the opportunity to gain new customers or nurture current relationships. Gain the trust of your current and potential customers by creating social media profiles like a LinkedIn company page, Facebook business Page, Twitter profile, or an Instagram account. This puts a voice (and a face) to your company, which will give people more incentive to trust your brand.

Learn more about social media marketing for small business with this e-book:

Social media marketing for small business starts with Hootsuite Pro.

Try Hootsuite Pro for free, for 30 days.

The Rise of the User Experience Marketer

This week’s big mobile search news – that Google is adding mobile-friendly site labels in mobile SERPs – highlights the rising importance of user experience in search marketing. But this crossover goes beyond mobile search.

It’s happening everywhere. Agencies and in-house teams are beginning to realize that the overlap between digital marketing and user experience is significant. Both marketers and UX professionals provide valuable insights into user behavior before a site is developed. Both marketers and UX professionals have an interest in creating a user-friendly interface so that customers achieve the business’ end goal. Both marketers and UX professionals must focus on creating a positive customer experience in order for a website or product to be successful.

So why do we often work in silos? Perhaps its because UX focuses on how users feel and marketing concentrates on what users do. This may ruffle some feathers, but it’s time to find the intersection between user feelings and user action.

In particular, marketers can achieve great success by learning the tools our UX friends have mastered and embrace the overlap between the quantitative and qualitative sides of the customer experience.

marketing-ux-overlap

UX Tools for Marketers

The strongest marketers will be those who are comfortable analyzing behavior data, while also conducting and incorporating qualitative research about users. Mastering these tools and ideas can help marketers understand their users’ feelings about a site or product.

UserTesting: Become an expert in creating and evaluating user tests. UserTesting allows you ask real users questions while they use your site or application. You receive their feedback in a video format. Whenever you’re updating a site’s content structure, building new product pages, or changing a conversion process UserTesting can help you better understand user pain points and make proactive adjustments. Never assume your users will feel how you feel. Get real-life feedback and apply a qualitative, test-and-learn approach to your marketing strategy.

Sketching: Whether you use an online sketch tool or a pen and paper, you should become comfortable creating basic sketches so you can contribute comfortably during design brainstorming sessions. Sketching can also help you think of a variety of solutions to one opportunity, which will give you a chance to test the best option.

UX Site Audits: Master the art of completing an initial UX site evaluation, so you can help guide your own content strategy and areas that need to be reevaluated when developing or redeveloping a website.

Share Marketing Knowledge With UX

Hopefully you’re already crossing paths with your UX team during your project lifecycle, but why just cross paths when you can walk together? Just as marketers can benefit from learning a few basic UX practices, UX professionals can learn a lot about our field and favorite tools.

Basic SEO: Our UX counterparts should rely on details about how Google indexes, crawls, and ranks websites. They don’t need to be experts, but basic principles will help them do an even better job striking a balance between creating a simple, lean website and a website that is too thin for a search engine to adequately index. Content delivery, from a design and a copy perspective, is incredibly important. A combined effort to deliver content that has a helpful message, a targeted keyword strategy, and logical internal-linking structure will have a positive impact on users and ultimately bring more traffic to your site. And best of all, Google continues to place greater emphasis on user experience metrics like bounce rate and time on page, bringing UX and SEO closer than ever.

Analytics Analysis: They don’t need to become data-mining experts, but UX professionals can benefit from learning basic analytics tools. Data-informed decisions can fill in the gaps after usability testing is complete. Tools like Visual Website Optimizer can help UX professionals better understand user behavior and A/B test design elements and copy. Data derived from these tests can then further justify or disprove qualitative information about how users feel.

With greater knowledge of each other’s disciplines, UX and marketing experts can ensure business goals are met by fulfilling the user’s needs and avoid the marketer’s fear of missing an opportunity to measure success.

The Elephant in the Room

Search marketers have improved their reputation as we’ve all worked to put the dark days of SEO behind us. The majority of the industry has placed greater emphasis on quality content and the customer experience, but there is still a stigma when it comes to the goals of a marketer versus the goals of a UX professional.

Comments like this one, from Steve Krug, author of Don’t Make Me Think, which indicate that quantitative data is second to qualitative data make it clear that we still have some ground to cover before marketing and UX have truly mutual goals.

steve-krug-tweet

Comments like this make me sigh, though I understand where he’s coming from. I’ve seen firsthand the power of user testing, but usability tests deliver well-known diminishing returns. One user provides value, and five users can get you 80 percent of the way – but hard data fills the gaps.

One user’s input and the data from one thousand users should be equally valuable. Web development decision-making should be informed by both UX and marketing insights, but never dictated by one in a vacuum.

As user experience marketers we must strive to win the user’s trust. Once we do that, through understanding their feelings and behavior, we will turn window shoppers into customers and customers into super fans. And ultimately that is the greatest success for a UX professional and a marketer – happy customers and thriving businesses.

Homepage image via Shutterstock.


SimilarWeb
Search and traffic sourcing are both crucial to luring shoppers to your website. In this article, “2 Successful Holiday Strategies for Online Retail“, you’ll learn how to use a two-pronged approach for your holiday search campaigns that combine top keywords with the best referral sites. Data in this article comes from SimilarWeb.

5 Tools to Land Media Mentions (and Links)

tools for media mentions

Do you sometimes wonder where does your client’s competition get all that media love from?

Did you ever have to explain to them why their business isn’t featured as often?

Media mentions are a great way to promote a brand, build authority and raise expert status. And hell, they send great quality links too.

But it’s getting harder and harder to break through the noise of everyone trying to get the media’s attention.

In this article I’ll show you 5 tools that will help you land media mentions and build links for your clients.

1. HARO

HARO

Help a Reporter Out (HARO) is by far the most popular service offering a chance for free publicity. HARO does it by connecting journalists and bloggers with expert sources.

Once you sign up and choose topics you would like to contribute to, HARO will deliver media queries in a digest email three times a day.

You can pick a story you want to contribute to and submit your response. If you are picked up, you’ll get further interviewed for the story.

I have been using HARO as a writer for almost a year and have included stories from small business owners in many articles.

HARO

(My latest pitch on HARO. Note the requirements section.)

Best practices when pitching a story on HARO

Because HARO’s service is free, writers often get flooded with responses, many of which are in fact irrelevant. Many people tend to take their chances and respond to stories even if they either don’t meet the criteria or have little to add to.

So, my best advice when pitching you as a source on HARO – follow the writer’s instructions. And unless you meet all their criteria, don’t apply.

2. ProfNet

ProfNet

ProfNet is a similar service to HARO, connecting media with experts. Unlike HARO, not only journalists or bloggers use the system.

According to the site, government officials and academic researchers also submit their pitches. In theory this gives you the opportunity to get a client featured on related websites.

Just like HARO, ProfNet delivers pitches via email. As a source, you can also create expert profile and include your current press releases accessible to media.

Unlike HARO, ProfNet is a paid platform. The basic membership start at $55 per month but the final price will depend on the size and type of your institution.

If the cost of ProfNet membership is too steep for you, you can avail of ProfNet Connect. This is a free online community of PR agents, experts and media professionals to network, communicate and request sources too.

3. SourceBottle

SourceBottle

SourceBottle is another service like HARO through which you can provide expert input. What’s sets SourceBottle from other similar platforms is the amoutn of categories choose from. You can also specify which countries you want to receive queries from.

Just like HARO and ProfNet, SourceBottle sends queries via email aptly called “DrinkUp”.

The basic service is free and for a monthly fee you can set up an expert profile to promote yourself.

4. Cision

Cision

If you don’t want to sit around and prefer to proactively seek media connections, Cision might be for you.

Cision is a suite of PR tools as well as a media database which helps you to identify influencers. Cision also provides reporters’ contact information, including location, email, phone, social media profiles and area of focus.

The platform also helps to engage with influencers, distribute press releases and amplify your content to its partners, including TIME, The New York Times, Fast Company, CNN and others.

5. Pitchbox

Pitchbox

Just like Cision, Pitchbox is a platform for those who don’t want to wait for opportunities but prefer to take matters in their own hands.

Pitchbox helps you to find new media prospects, outreach, follow up and manage their relationships.

If your strategies rely on media and influencer connections or you need to scale up your efforts, Pitchbox might be just the tool you need.

Pitchbox is a premium platform with prices starting at $150/mo and goes up to $850/mo depending on number of users and functionality.

 

Creative commons image by Chase Elliot Clark / Flickr

Last updated by at November 20, 2014.

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The Value of Social Media for Health Care Providers and Practitioners

Medical professionals are in an unprecedented position to connect with, educate, and assist those in need. With social media, they have an unparalleled opportunity to converse with patients and promote good health decisions. And health care providers can support practitioners with the security, education, and compliance solutions they need to meet these ethical obligations.

There is also a growing recognition within the industry that prohibiting health care professionals from using social media is neither realistic nor in the interest of patients.

We’ve created The 4-Step Guide to Driving Greater Patient Engagement to provide you with tactical steps to preparing your organization for greater patient engagement.

Learn how your health care organization can take advantage of the opportunities social media offers by:

  • Building a social media strategy around your organization’s specific business goals. During the planning stages, make sure to define specific and measurable objectives that support your organization’s primary goals. This will help focus your efforts and demonstrate ROI.
  • Following the evolving patient journey. Social media has changed how people view their own health and access health care information. Your organization can learn what patients are interested in or have questions about by monitoring social media channels, blogs, forums, review sites, and other digital sources. This valuable information can help your social media tWeam create relevant content and communities.
  • Planning around security and compliance. By having a pre-emptive strategy in place, you won’t be caught off guard when security issues arise. The guide lays out the measures your organization can take to not only deal with issues effectively, but to ensure they don’t happen in the first place.
  • Empowering your employees through education. When employees are using social media professionally, legally, and effectively, health care organizations protect those employees, their patients, as well as their own data. Education is key to making sure employees are fully aware of their responsibilities and the consequences of inadvertently disclosing identifiable patient information.

Why Social Media Influence Matters, and 5 Ways to Measure It

What is social media influence? Back in the early days of the web, when savvy meant having your own Geocities site, influence was evaluated based on the number of pageviews displayed on your fancy counter widget. The arrival of Myspace and Facebook gave us more to measure: the size of your social media audience. Then came Twitter, which meant users’ social media influence was also judged based on the reach and resonance of their messages.

Criteria that make up someone’s social media influence haven’t changed much over the years; what has changed is the value of having power in an online community. Once business owners and employers recognized social media as a multipurpose business tool, social media influence became the way organizations evaluated potential employees, and gaining that influence became a top priority for social media professionals—in turn, creating new jobs.

Why does social media influence matter now?

Social media influence matters on multiple levels. For businesses, online influence signals better engagement with customers and a smarter social media strategy. On an individual level, social media influence can be a sign of advanced digital skills and an ability to create interesting social media content.

To break this down further: for business owners, a better social media influence of the company social accounts can improve their brand’s visibility in the online community and increase the reach of their social messaging. This is an implicit purpose behind investing valuable resources into a social media team or a social media manager.

How can you measure social media influence?

Just a few years ago, we didn’t know how to measure how “good” someone was at social media beyond the number of Twitter followers or Facebook friends on their account, or the number of likes or favourites they received on an average post. Now, we have more meaningful metrics such as reach and engagement that allow us to assess how well someone manages their social networks. There is also a wide selection of social media influence measurement tools, each offering a slightly different method of evaluation of social media worth.

For example, Hootsuite allows you to see each user’s Klout score when viewing their profile in the dashboard. A Klout score is a number from 1 to 100 that reflects the user’s social media influence, calculated based the user’s levels of reach and engagement with their audience—the bigger the influence, the higher the score. While Klout is the most straightforward way to evaluate someone’s social media influence—you can’t argue with a number—it doesn’t provide you with many other numbers to justify the score. Other social media influence measurement tools often don’t give a conclusive verdict, but instead show you the statistics on metrics such as reach, engagement, sentiment, number of retweets, and let you make up your own mind about that user’s level of influence.

Here are 5 tools to measure social media influence

Topsy

Topsy measures social media influence based on other users’ interactions with the content an individual shares. This tool ranks your profile based on how much your social media content is shared and, in turn, the influence of the user who shares it. Topsy uses these metrics to create an approximation of your content’s reach, with reach determining relative value of that piece of content.

However, Topsy’s influence measurement functions are not always obvious. The most explicit signal to it is the “Influencer” search option, where you can input a topic keyword to see who is considered an expert in the subject. Searching by any other category also displays the most influential content first, as well as the overall sentiment associated with the topic, and the trend over the past month.

Additionally, Topsy’s Analytics tool can point to an overall influence trend of up to three keywords, domain names or users. The latter trend search can be particularly interesting for those who want to compare their social media influence to their competitors’, for example, by inputting the official Twitter handles.

PeerIndex

The focus of PeerIndex’s social media influence evaluation tool is audience measurement. The app allows you to search for influential followers in your field; you can search by hashtag or keyword and filter by geographical location. Similar to Klout, PeerIndex also provides a score, which is based on how active the user is on social media, how often other users engage with them, and how influential their social media following currently is.

Fun fact: PeerIndex PiQ app is newly available in Hootsuite’s App Directory. Find out more about the app, as well as how you can use it in your dashboard here.

SumAll

Formerly known as TwentyFeet, SumAll measures activity on multiple platforms, including all the major social networks—Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+ and YouTube. This tool displays stats specific to each network—such as retweets on Twitter and most popular photos on Instagram—and it also visualizes all the results to show how the performance of each network compares across other platforms, and which social media channel works the hardest for you.

SumAll analytics is a great way to track your social media influence across several networks and over time—it’s also one of the few tools that includes YouTube, the ‘dark horse’ social network that is overlooked in many measurement tools. It’s a good starter analytics tool for small social media management teams or small businesses, since it shows the bigger picture instead of bogging you down with confusing statistics.

Kred

Similar to Klout, Kred also gives your social media account a score. The score is composed of influence and outreach: influence is based on the amount of mentions, retweets, and replies to you, and outreach relies on mentions, retweets and replies sent by you. This social media influence measurement tool displays the Global Kred by default, but you can also see the breakdown of your Kred score based on different fields in case you want to increase your influence or reach to a certain kind of professional. You can also endorse other users by giving them Kred, which increases their Global score.

Kred gives a map with geographical locations showing where their social media influence is the highest, which is advantageous to businesses wishing to expand to a different region. It also summarizes your account’s best-performing posts, as well as a mention summary for each month to see which users you interact with the most.

Twtrland

Twtrland measures social media influence based on statistics it collects from Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

There is also an opportunity to search influencers on Twtrland by skill, location, or name. If you are hiring, and want to check the social media influence of a candidate, you can look them up by name. The user’s Twtrland’s profile shows what fields they are influential in, an overview of top content, as well as the influential users in their network. While the basic influence measurement is free, a more in-depth analysis of the network is available for Pro users.

If you are looking to connect with other professionals in your field, Twtrland allows you to see the social media accounts of users it deems to be most influential. It also displays similar fields, if you’re looking to expand to other professional areas or looking for social media influencers in a field similar to yours.

Improve your social media influence with Hootsuite.

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