Hong Kong, April 18, 2012
The fact of the matter is that the notion of “Influence” can be a tricky thing… Ask yourself these questions: What does it mean to be influential? Is influence in social media and online about the number of followers that a brand has?
Having a sizable community to engage with and who engages back is certainly critical to social media influence. Does it also matter on how many networks a company has communities and followings?
And if it is indeed about more than only the numbers, then what other qualitative metrics that can be considered to measure influence? Quality of comments? Frequency of posts…?
At Burson-Marsteller Asia-Pacific, across our social media network, we believe that the concept of “influence” plays a central role when defining the utility of social media for companies as they manage communications and marketing successfully.
In Asia, with the rapid rise of social media influence strategies, to deliver better digitally-driven reputation management and brand marketing success for companies, has come the challenge of “how to measure” influence effectively and meaningfully.
Engaging for – and towards – influence can only be credible for marketing and communications if a robust measurement framework is made possible; a reporting framework that accounts for the nature of social media.
Think real-time content, conversations, comments, reposts, and the constantly changing paradigms of social technology, not to mention the evolution of individual personas, digital communities, and social networks themselves. A robust measurement framework for social media influence must ultimately be integrated into digital marketing measurement.
Social Influence is after all, a piece of the larger puzzle in marketing-communications, ie. brand-building, reputation and perception management, leads generation, and sales.
Social media influence has brought with it the birth of a great number of innovative start-up companies, looking to become “the leading authority” on how to measure Social Influence, and on how to capture and provide sophisticated data analytics around digital consumer behavior and mapping.
I recently reviewed some of the more popular services accessible today, who are playing the social media influence measurement game, around the world, and in Asia-Pacific.
For instance, take Peoplebrowsr, a web analytics product from Kred. Kred plays in the space of how to measure the “social media influence” of individuals and brands. For these analytic start ups and their influence monitoring technologies, the key challenge to overcome going forward to develop large-scale credibility within the marketing industry will be transparency to their methodologies.
For example, many social media influence analytics are mainly Twitter-centric (and therefore not representative of the social web as a whole). Overall, the value of these services can be considered as ambiguous within the digital marketing measurement mix – at least for the time-being.
Or Klout. Considered by many in the marketing-communications industry as the leader in international social media influence measurement. Klouts service measures influence based on a users activity and ability to spur engagement. Delivering a “Klout Score” to all Twitter accounts, using data from Twiiter, Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, and other global social media sites, Klout measures that influence on a scale of 100. Klout defines a social media presence’s true reach, how much you influence them (amplification), and how influential they are (network score), and delivers a score.
Then there’s PostRank. A service that monitors digital content and events in real time across the social web. The services gathers data about which stories generate the most comments, likes and shares, from a list of the top international social networks.
Or TwentyFeet. A metrics aggregator for major international social media and Web properties. The service delivers metrics by gathering data from Twitter, Facebook, bit.ly, YouTube, Google, and RSS feeds. With its cool interface, it delivers these metrics in an accessibly manner. It also has a cool notification feature.
Don’t miss checking out Appinions. Useful for digital publishers, Appinions is an opinions-powered platform that makes it easy to identify and engage with social media influencers. Appinions features an opinions database extracted from blogs, Twitter, Facebook, forums, newspaper and magazines around the world, including other media channels like TV and Radio. My Web Career lets users measure their “digital footprint”.
Useful for exploring the way various social personas and presences connect across the social web, the service is a good mapping tool. And finally, last but not least, the PeerIndex service that uses social activity on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to measure an influence score.
With the catchy title of “Own Your Influence” this start-up service, at first deceivingly simple, is definitely one to watch out for as its technology scales across markets and geographies. The above social media influence measurement and analytics services are just a few of the most notable start-up and early-growth companies in the global social media influence analytic tech space.
At Burson-Marsteller in Asia-Pacific, we find social media influence to be, arguably, the most exciting field within social media strategy planning. Let us know anytime if you need help and want to discuss more.
- Zaheer Nooruddin Zaheer Nooruddin is the lead digital strategist and regional social media practice leader at Burson-Marsteller Asia-Pacific.
D/BM is Burson-Marsteller Asia-Pacific’s social media network. At D/BM we listen to communities and influencers, plan social media strategy, and mobilize campaigns for better brand marketing and reputation management in the digital age.