We’ve gotten more sophisticated in our thinking about social media and I see a general consensus that it’s not about raw followers – it’s about reaching “influencers.” What I am not seeing are any tools that have caught up with this thinking.
You can see your number of twitter followers. You can see your Facebook fans. You can see the number of views on YouTube. But, how do you know if you are connected with the influencers around your brand or topic?
Here are my proposed characteristics of influencers:
- Popular: visible, vocal, has a substantial following, reach. A user with plenty of links, subscribers, bookmarks, followers, friends, views, downloads, etc.
- Controversial: a clearly positive or negative view
- Frequent: many and regular posts, tweets, etc.
- Authoritative: highly connected and engaged in conversations
Listing these attributes is a lot easier than finding actual influencers, I find. Some tools that help (but none definitively identify influencers).
One of the first monitoring tools and still one of the best. Through daily reports on traffic around keywords Google Alerts lets you see who is generating the most volume around a topic.
HowSociable is a tool that measures your brand’s visibility on the social web. While the formula behind the measurement is not clear, it does provide a baseline to measure your brand against many others.
In addition to seeing the overall score, you can:
- See places of exposure
- Click through to mentions
- Sign up for monthly updates
So, what do you think makes an influencer. And, how do you measure influence. Looking forward to your thoughts.