Can we calculate Social Influence?

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Have we ever thought of calculating online presence of a person/brand? Have we ever thought of planning a campaign to stimulate word of mouth discussion of a product or a brand? If yes, then one question would have definitely arose – how influential is a particular person/brand online?

If we have been pondering how to measure or benchmark social media influence, several companies like Klout, Twylah and PeerIndex are there to assist us in identifying and connecting with influencers with high social capital ranking scores.

Following are the tools that would help us gauge social influence online –

1. Klout

Klout is a website that uses social media analytics to rank its users according to online social influence via the "Klout Score", which is a numerical value between 1 and 100. In determining the user score, Klout measures the size of a user's social media network and correlates the content created to measure how other users interact with that content.

Klout utilizes Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, Foursquare, Wikipedia, and Instagram data to create Klout user profiles.

Once you sync your accounts, Klout will create a graph for you and display several key data points, including -

  • Klout Score: A measurement of your overall online influencer
  • Network Influence: The influence level of your engaged audience
  • Amplification Probability: The likelihood that your content will be acted upon
  • True Reach

One of the most interesting areas of Klout is the ability to compare not only Influencer scores but also can view other types of Influencers and what their activity looks like.

2. Twylah

Klout may have more brand power than Twylah, but I think Twylah trumps everyone in terms of being interesting and what the service is actually able to provide.

Twylah is a free Twitter brand assessment tool. Twylah is little different that Klout, it adds context to your tweets and create a whole new experience around them. The service doesn't just tell you what you and others are influential about, it shows you WHY you're influential by placing a user's "trending topics" (what you tweet about most often) into clickable, topical buckets.

You can then click into each bucket to see tweets from this person solely about that bucket.

Twylah doesn't determine influence by an arbitrary number, it does based on the context of your tweets and how much engagement they receive (Retweets, replies, etc). Once you've used Twylah for a while, the service will send alerts to let you know which topics are important to your followers. As you can imagine, this is really handy in knowing what your circle wants to read so that you can target content toward them.

Outside of just being a neat tool to display what you're influential about, Twylah essentially gives you a new way to promote your tweets to your audience. You can even put it on your own domain so you’re not sending people away AND you have some control over the topical buckets that Twylah uses for your brand.

3. Twenty Feet -

TwentyFeet gives you a graphical view of how you're influence is doing on various social media channels. The service allows you to track one Twitter account and one Facebook account for free, and then offers the option to pay for additional accounts at $2.50 a year.

Once you're set up, TwentyFeet will monitor your account and keep track of certain key performance indicators like Reputation, Influence, Conversations, Following analysis, Lists, and other information. You can also change the period to look by quarter, month, last week, etc.

Here's some data about an individual's Twitter account from earlier this week:

Since this service really only lets you track YOUR influence, it's not one I would recommend to use on a regular basis, but it's useful to take benchmarks to see where you are today compared to where you were last quarter. It will also email you any time you’ve had a "significant" change in activity, which I personally find splendid.

4. Peer Index

PeerIndex is the standard for evaluating and understanding the social capital a person has built online. In addition to that, they also give us exclusive rewards, offers and discounts on the basis of our score which is evaluated by analyzing our social activity online.

While not as flashy as some of the other tools, Peer Index does a good job at helping you understand what topics you and others are influential about. And surprisingly, they seem to get it right more often than not.

One thing I like is that clicking on any of the topic buckets will bring up a list of others who are influential about the same topics, along with their PeerIndex score, Twitter handle and other data.

Yes, that's it! This is really handy when trying to decide which communities are worth your time to engage in and understanding where your audience is. While this tool isn't the most sophisticated or the prettiest, it does deliver some good data for those looking to get a glimpse of whose influential about what, where they’re loyal to, and which communities should be on your radar.

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