Quick & Free Ways to Find Out Who Your Real Friends Are on the Web

lady-gaga*

On the Web we often strive to either stay friends with people we know from real life or we attempt to become friends with influencers who are beyond our reach.

Sure, you can follow Lady Gaga on Twitter or Snoop Doog on Google+

but they won’t be able to follow you even if they do technically. Even in the SEO world everybody is trying to become friends with Rand Fishkin while he is on the next plane and hasn’t even time to read his emails.

Personally I refuse for example to connect with my former schoolmates on Facebook. I wasn’t particularly popular in high school so they aren’t that many but either I haven’t seen these people in 20 years for a reason or I’d simply prefer to meet them in person or speak with them on the phone at least.

Why would I want former shool-buddies to read the resources I share about SEO?

Even in case they’d see them would they be interested at all? It’s still a niche topic for nerds like you and me. Maybe in case I’d become an artist, designer or architect I could make them take a look. Even in such a case it would be a double-edged sword. I wouldn’t like people showing off their stuff to me either.

I haven’t met you in 20 years but now you brag about your new job, car or baby? Maybe I’m just too old for Facebook or haven’t enough kids. On the other hand I fare pretty well on Twitter, Google+ or Pinterest with so called strangers.

No, on the Web your friends are those who listen to you and support you without necessarily having to know you in person.

As a blogger I also cultivate an audience that is people who don’t have to be my friends but who follow me and read my articles. Many so called “lurkers” aren’t on social media to make friends, they just want your valuable advice, your choices when you curate content or your entertaining writing-style and trustworthy opinion.

Your real friends do not really need your advice but they spot a good one.

site-blog.serps.com-topsy-search-30

Your real friends on the Web don’t follow you out of selfish reasons at all sometimes, they just like you because of what you do online and share your vision in the ideal case. Usually they at least re-share your content when you publish and share it on social sites. You wouldn’t even notice in many cases unless you really actively look after it. Who shares your content?

There are are many super-advanced and expensive social media tools for listening and tracking mentions of you and your brand.

I haven’t been tempted enough to invest in one of them yet. I prefer the quick look up in-between tasks instead of even more time spent studying analytics. I already use plenty of website analytics tools. I don’t even have the time left to add some social media analytics to my task list. I have tried advanced but free ones but let these bookmarks rot instead

I still rely on the quick ways to find who your real friends are on the Web for free.

Twitter

topsy-search

In case you have installed a Twitter button on your blog you can see the number of tweets in there and click it. Sadly after the click you’ll see only a few people who shared it. That’s one of the reasons I used the Topsy button instead until it was discontinued recently. Nonetheless Topsy shows who tweeted your articles.

You can see either search for site:site.com or site:blog.serps.com in our case to find out. There is only one drawback, you the posts aren’t showing up by their popularity but by time frame, that is latest first.

So in case you won’t to detect the most popular postings and who shared them on Twitter you may want to use Social Crawlytics first. There you can run a free report and get an overview which content gets popular on social media. Social Crawlytics includes several services not only Twitter.

Then you simply search for that URL on Topsy to see the actual people who shared it. Before Google acquired and shut down Postrank Analytics you could look both things up at once there. Now the reports are buried somewhere inside of the feature-creepy Google Analytics where they are too hard to find to use them in an efficient manner. On Postrank they would show up on top of the personalized frontpage.

Google+

social-crawlytics-google-plus-report

Social Crawlytics and Topsy also support Google+ so that you can simply repeat the steps above. First schedule a report on SC and then sort the shares by the Google+ number of shares by clicking on the “G+” column. Then you can see which articles where most successful on Google+ and check the URL on Topsy to see who shared it publicly. You won’t see shares inside of “circles only”.

google-plus-shares

I used my most popular post from SEO 2.0 on Google+ – “Why I am Banning Google on my Blog.”

Pinterest 

On Pinterest it’s every easy to check out who actually pins your content by just checking your URL as a source:

http://pinterest.com/source/seo2.0.onreact.com/

will show you the pins taken from my SEO 2.0 blog. There is one drawback though, you won’t be able to track or see repins easily, you have to click them manually. Also it seems for some URLs the older pins tend to disappear so you only see the pins from the recent months.

Business users can the new Pinterest analytics where you can look everything up in a modern interface. You need to have a business account and a verified website to do that. Both steps take just minutes.

Facebook, LinkedIn, Tumblr etc.

There is a service many people love to hate: Klout. When you sign up to Klout you can connect several services to it, Facebook, Linkedin, Tumblr among them. Twitter and Google+ as well. Then you can see who engaged with you and when. The only drawback: you will only see who interacted with when you are already to connected with them aka friends with. Even people who aren’t yet on Klout will show up with a generic avatar:

klout-engagement

General Advice

Follow like-minded people on the Web! They can become your real friends online. People you’ve known from school or celebrities you know from TV don’t care about you and your business. Make sure to find those who do.

Publishing comes first of course, without content there are no friends on the Web as without content you do not really exist online unless you have an already well-known brand.

* Creative Commons image by Graham Blackall

3 responses to “Quick & Free Ways to Find Out Who Your Real Friends Are on the Web

  1. “…on the Web your friends are those who listen to you and support you without necessarily having to know you in person.” – well put. I like the ending, too đŸ™‚ There’s almost an added layer of sincerity with online friends because they are usually not trying to use you or get something from you.

  2. “…on the Web your friends are those who listen to you and support you without necessarily having to know you in person.” – well put. I like the ending, too đŸ™‚ There’s almost an added layer of sincerity with online friends because they are usually not trying to use you or get something from you.

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