Demonstrating what you know online is an excellent vehicle to position domain expertise.  Dr. Robert Cialdini (Prof. Psychology and Marketing) states, "people will follow credible knowledgeable experts" when explaining his principle of authority - Science of Persuasion.  

Applying this principle in an online format, you are much more likely to influence your contacts and achieve positive business outcomes with an established online presence. Not only does this act as a differentiator from your competition, if you regularly showcase subject matter expertise you can act as a trusted advisor for your contacts

Whilst a great amount of time can be spent building your digital footprint, monitoring key metrics will indicate how you can maximise impact.  Below are a list of tools which will help you measure growth, track performance, and highlight where there may be a requirement to refine your digital strategy: 

1. LinkedIn - Social Selling Index - Free tool, monitoring four key elements of growing your presence on LinkedIn: 

  1. Establishing your professional brand
  2. Finding the right people
  3. Engaging with insights
  4. Building relationships

2. Klout - Free tool for entry-level features, leverages analytics derived from social media channels to measure a user's online social influence.  Klout aggregates, measures, and analyses users' social media activities to identify their overall Klout Score - this is useful for comparing against industry peers. 

3. BuzzSumo - Free with premium features, particularly helpful for the following tasks: 

  • Content analysis, 
  • Influencer research, 
  • and gathering content ideas.

You can search for topics, events, brands and see what is most prominently being shared and the individuals that are sharing them.

4. Google Analytics - Free tool with enterprise packages available, a brilliant add-on to derive actionable insights from your overall web traffic.  If you have a blog, GA will help you understand where your visitors are coming from and show you how they are engaging with your content.  To learn more, Claire Trévien provides a webinar guide here

5. Twitter Analytics - Free tool, making it extremely easy to monitor your progress with Twitter's native analytics platform.  You can track the progress of your tweets, follower growth and use of their Audience Insight. 

6. Twitonomy  - Free basic option with extensive functionality, provides a deeper dive into your Twitter analytics. I find the breakdown of topics shared as an overall impression of your Twitter activity an interesting view - do your most shared topics correlate with your personal focus?  

Furthermore, you can search topics across the whole of Twitter to discover the other influencers in your field. 

7. Buffer - Free entry-level premium account around $10 per month, recommended upgrade for business usage. Buffer is a social media scheduling tool, an effective addition if you are looking to increase activity across your digital channels. With the subscription to premium you can connect an RSS feed making content curation a seamless process to deliver relevant content for your audience.  

Also comes with analytics such as showing your most engaged and influential followers and sharers and continuously reviews engagement on your posts.

8. Hootsuite - Free with option to upgrade to premium, another social scheduling tool that comes highly recommended. Also, provides useful reporting features on the following: 

  • Twitter profile overview
  • Facebook page overview
  • Click summaries

Premium accounts offer more in-depth insights, with reports including the following:

  • Linkedin page insights
  • Facebook insights
  • Twitter Engagement (detailed/summary)
  • Google Analytics

9. Talkwalker - Paid for tool - Basic option around $500p/m, Talkwalker is a social media analytics platform designed to let you optimise your brand.  This is more suitable from a marketing perspective in order to boost brand reputation and maintain marketing campaigns - but digesting the cost has tremendous value for highly engaged-with individuals.

Further to in-depth insight across your social channels, Talkwalker enables you to act in real time when it comes to how people are engaging with you and reacting to recent activities, announcements, and press releases.

10. Google Search - Free, whilst glaringly obvious, a Google Search of your name and/or company depicts what you are most prominently renowned for online. Not to feel narcissistic, but this will help you to see yourself through the lens of an external audience and how you are portrayed across the wider web. You can find hacks for better searching here.

In order to maximise impact, I would highly recommend building a plan and having a strategy when it comes to your online presence.  Consistency is key, and furthermore, will keep you forefront of mind when it comes to your closest and most valuable contacts.