Just over a month ago, Alex Taub and Michael Schonfeld launched SocialRank, a startup that has developed a Twitter tool for brands. Though the product is one in a long line of social media analytics tools--which includes Topsy, 33Across, and Brandwatch, to name a few--it helps brands answer one very important question. 

SocialRank "tells you one really simple thing: not what your followers are talking about on Twitter, but who they are," Taub says. 

The New York City-based startup takes a pretty straightforward approach to Twitter. It doesn't provide brands with thousands of metrics like suggestions for when they should be sending tweets or the number of new favorites they got that week.  

Instead, SocialRank identifies what it calls brands' Most Valuable Followers, Most Engaged Followers, and Best Followers. The Most Valuable Followers are determined based on whether followers are verified, their personal following, and the ratio of their number of followers to the number of people they follow. Unsurprisingly, the Most Engaged Followers are the people that interact the most frequently with the brand on the platform--think retweets, mentions, and favorites. A brand's Best Followers are based on a combination of all of these metrics. 

Launched with about $150,000 in funding--enough to pay rent and feed the founders--SocialRank seeks to identify the followers who can truly make a difference to a business. The approach is intended to make it easier for companies to figure out which followers they should reward on the platform, which hopefully translates into a greater return. 

"[Companies] want more information about the people that follow them," Taub says. "We built a product around that." 

Thus far, camera maker GoPro, music-streaming service Spotify, e-newsletter theSkimm, activewear company Cory Vines, and gourmet recipe-delivery service Plated have already used SocialRank. Companies can sign up for free to get their top 10 Most Valuable, Most Engaged, and Best Followers, along with a monthly report with user details. Daily and weekly reports with longer lists of top followers cost $25 per month.