Social media is getting more and more important in terms of influencing the search rankings. It is undoubtedly the manner in which much of search is heading, though there is still much more to come in how social behavior directly influences rankings. It means that as a website or business owner you need to get yourself equipped to welcome this soon-to-be potent new force in search.Setting up an AudienceJust creating accounts or pages in Twitter, Facebook or Google+ would not be enough. You may need to employ smart techniques and also smart tools to speed up your social media influence. Twitter Advertising and Facebook Ads can be two of these solutions that will help you to effectively target audience.Facebook Ad CreatorThe Facebook Ad Creator can help you analyze the social media and search engine audiences, without paying up. All you need to do is set the demographics in this ad creator. Then you can have a clear picture of your competitors’ audience through the Precise Interests option. With this option you can enter the brand pages of your competitors and get valuable information about their viewers or audience.You can also enter various specifications of your audience such as age group, gender and geographic location. This will give you info regarding the number of men or women of a particular age or location who have ‘liked’ your rival on Facebook. This free tool is really useful to get some vital data about not only your competitors’ audience but also their activity on Facebook.Simply MeasuredSimply Measured is a comprehensive tool that provides valuable social media analytics through its free and paid offerings. Its free reports can help you analyze any website or brand page across the various social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google+ as well as Google Analytics and Instagram.Social CrawlyticsSocial Crawlytics is a totally free tool that offers even greater insights. Just enter a URL and get to know which of the social networks have most mentions as well as content shares. Now what Social Crawlytics can help you do is gauge on which social network your potential audience hangs out most by checking out the behavior of your competitors’ audience. With Social Crawlytics you can also know the content pieces on your rival sites that get the most social media attention.Tracking Social Media MentionsPeople, usually satisfied customers, their contacts or friends, or those who have come to know about your business could mention you in the social media conversations. In some cases that could be a linked mention (@ mention) which could result in people reading those comments clicking upon it, either purposefully or by chance, and ending up in your page. But whatever be the kind of mentions made, whether they are linked or not, and even negative mentions, they need to be monitored by you. They could provide you with new opportunities.Social MentionSocial Mention is one such free tool that can help you monitor your mentions. All you need to do is type in your brand and check out the number of mentions made. Now this can also help you keep track of sentiments expressed by those who mentioned you. As you can see from the image below, Social Mention classifies ‘Sentiments’ into ‘Positive,’ ‘Neutral’ and ‘Negative’ on the left side of the results. Above the Sentiments section there are other parameters measured such as ‘strength,’ ‘passion,’ ‘reach’ and sentiment ratio.Updating AccountsUpdating your various social media accounts can be quite time consuming. Many businesses resort to automating the updating process, but this could be dangerous. A balance needs to be maintained here and scheduling the posts is certainly a better option. Tools such as Sprout Social, which is a paid service, and Buffer, which is free for up to two social accounts, could help here.Measuring PerformanceMeasuring your social media performance is a very important element of your marketing. There are some tools around for this too. Cyfe is one comprehensive dashboard reporting tool which also integrates smoothly with many third party services. Offered in free as well as paid versions, Cyfe can give you vital insights about your Facebook performance. Adding suitable widgets can give you data from Google Alerts, AdWords, Google Analytics, Pinterest, WordPress, and Twitter. The data which is most relevant to you can also be emailed.With all these smart tools, you can pump up your SMM efforts through increased and conspicuous social media presence. You can exploit the massive potential of social networking that is yet to be fully tapped. With social media optimization services offered by an experienced SEO company you can surely capitalize on the influence of the social media.