8 Tools to Help You Become A Thought Leader
It’s an exciting time for anyone looking to measure and track their impact, influence, and share of voice. Are you one of the top thought leaders in your niche? How rapidly are others adopting your ideas? Which of your ideas are gaining the most traction, and where?
Even a few years ago, trying to answer these questions meant hiring a PR agency or a clipping service. Today, the tools available to map your influence online are very good and continue to evolve rapidly. Use them properly, and, as Ellen Leanse of Eastwick Communications points out, you’ll be able to see how your work challenges competitors, influences conversations, underlines the key messages you’re trying to get across, and improves the way your audience perceives you and your company.
If you are ready to measure your own reach, relevance, and resonance, here are a few of my favorite tools to get you started:
1. If you are using a blogging tool like WordPress or an email list manager like iContact (and I recommend that you do!), take a look at their analytics to see which of your posts or emails get the best response from your audience.
2. If you are using Twitter, it is quite easy to determine which of your posts are forwarded or commented on by your community using a tool like HootSuite. If you want to take it to the next level, try a Twitter analyzer like Twitalyzer that will let you track and monitor your influence to your heart’s content. Or try TweetBinder, which will help you monitor and analyze hashtags.
3. If you'd like to measure your overall social brand, I recommend a tool like Klout. Klout gives you a score between 1 and 100 to show how influential you are based on the number of your social posts are followed, liked, etc. They also have other great tools for increasing your social rank.
4. If you'd like to better control your Google results--what people see when they Google you--try Brand Yourself. What's great about this tool is you can boost the ranking of items you want people to find and (more quickly) push down those that you don't. Brand Yourself also tracks those who are linking to you, so that you can assure all links are accurate.
5. Recently, I’ve been playing with a new tool called GaggleAMP, which lets brands "leverage employees, partners, customers and fans to share your company’s social media messages on your behalf." This is one way to enroll others in helping you (yes, you are a brand!) spread the word about your curated content.
6. If you are looking for more ways to track your social media activities across different services, try TwentyFeet. I love that they call themselves an "egotracking" service. They help you understand which of your activities are valuable so you don't waste time on the wrong things. Unlike the other services, they alert you when something is going on online that needs your attention.
7. If you’re ready to take it to the next level, there is Traackr and their influencer discovery and mapping tool, A-List Platform. Traackr is designed to be used by journalists looking for sources, conference organizers looking for speakers, and others who are trying to find people like you--influencers and thought leaders in a particular niche. When you understand what they are measuring--your topics and keywords, your site traffic and followers, your social conversations and associated social responses (shares, mentions, comments, and so on)--you can focus on those things that will raise your ranking.
8. My newest favorite is still in beta. Feedspot lets you organize and read all the sites you visit in one place. This makes keeping up with your favorite sites--like those of your competitors--as easy as checking your email. They also have keyword tracking technology which will let you track news using just keywords.
It can take a lot of time to be an effective and sought-after thought leader in your niche. These tools can keep you on track and assure that you are relevant and resonating with your preferred audience.
Denise Brosseau is co-founder of Springboard Enterprises and CEO of Thought Leadership Lab, which works with entrepreneurs and executives to amplify their impact, multiply their influence, and leave a legacy that matters. Follow her on twitter at @thoughtleadrlab.
SPRINGBOARD ENTERPRISES | Columnist
Springboard Enterprises is where influencers, investors, and innovators meet to build great women-led businesses. Our 537 women-led companies have raised $6.2 billion, including 10 IPOs. Springboard is a nonprofit 501c3 organization based in the U.S. but acting globally to accelerate women entrepreneurs' access to growth capital.