Just recently, Ad Week released a monetary dollar figure attached to Facebook Fan (now Like) Pages. Based on Virtue's research of their own clients, they determined the average value of a Fan is $3.60. This is the first ROI evaluation I have found that places a value squarely on a personal network. If your friend, fans, connections, subscribers, and followers are now being seen as having value.
Having a strong online brand and presence is essential to your future success in the workforce. I believe over the 12 months, jobs seekers will begin to be evaluated for more than just their education and work experience but social media and networking presence as well. It's already happening by some very progressive companies like Best Buy who requires 250 Twitter followers to be considered for their social media positions.
Since reputation and the perception by contacts, clients, co-workers, and companies are so important. Your online brand should be closely monitored so you can quickly and immediately be alerted to any negative comments or perceptions so that you can work to rebuild or clarify comments, concerns, or misrepresentations expressed or implied by others.
BackType is a tool that monitors your brand and key words of blog comments. If you are mentioned, represented, or comment on a blog or page, you will receive an email alert. This is a great way to make sure that your brand isn't being misrepresented. As a company or individual, I would also encourage signing up for alerts of company names, competitors and common mis-spellings of your name and your competitors.
BoardTracker does exactly what it says. It tracks brand and key work mentions on discussion boards and forum sites. You control the key words and when it is distributed. This is a great way to go beyond Google Alerts and really dive into your brand outside of what the Google web crawlers find.
TweetBeep is not necessarily a new tool but one worth mentioning. It allows you to set up key word alerts from Twitter sent to your email at regular intervals. The basic service is free but if you are looking for instant and real time alerts, you will pay a nominal fee.
SocialMention is another site that manages your social brand and key word content but across social networks and blogs. Visitors can use the key word search option for real time and immediate search or set up alerts. One of the drawbacks to the site is that if you have a large presence on social media, it Social Mention is difficult to navigate, but it does provide you with an all in one option.