How do You (or can you) Measure Online Influence?

Mesh Conference on Influence from Valeria Maltoni

I prepared this very short deck as visual support for my conversation on measuring online influence at Mesh Conference with David Armano. In it, I summarized some very top level points for some of the tools we discussed here, and a couple of posts David has written recently.

See also my post last week on influence, context, and triggers. A couple of key questions I often hear are:

  • how do you get people to do "xyz"? David and I will address my favorite question: why?
  • do you need scale? Is there higher influence in smaller circles?
  • can we move from retweets to clicks? How about validating metrics?

True influencers are those who have built platforms where attention and trust are currencies. They may very well be the ones who have 1,000 true fans. And now marketers are looking for those people online — to win the attention lottery for themselves.

Can you measure online influence? You sure can. Is it a matter of finding that one tool that works? What are you building? What are some examples of things that worked?

I'm sure it will be an interesting conversation.


I was watching Twitter two nights ago and saw Robert Scoble tweet a link to a video interview with Eric Kim, founder and CEO of Twylah. This is a new algorithm-based app that allows brands and celebrities (I'm guessing this is for the beta) to monetize their Twitter stream.

The app doesn't require any change in behavior. It takes a Twitter stream, analyzes it, places it in topical buckets, and displays it in a condensed, and you could argue more engaging format for a broader audience — kind of like, a format you have probably seen.

In the video, Kim cites research that says that only 8% of the population is on Twitter. If you count inactive accounts and bots, it may even be lower.

To take care of the rest, and help people overall see the content and topics in a more cohesive manner, Twylah takes them off Twitter to a landing page. The app's three main benefits:

  • own your content — in a kind of Twitter fan landing page format with the opportunity to have a custom domain, which will be a paid service. Resulting in potentially higher contextual engagement.
  • get discovered beyond Twitter with built-In SEO — and see the topics that resonate the most. Each topic can be filtered as a page off Twitter, and you can collect feedback from traffic on topics on a weekly basis to inform your content strategy. They incorporated some features of a newsletter where you can keep high traffic content up top on your landing page, and the ability to preview links like Hootsuite and now Google news do. You can also suppress topics.
  • give your audience what they want — from the site: each time you tweet out through Twylah, your followers are directed to an optimized landing page, full of your relevant tweets on the same topic. On Twylah, your tweets are no longer obsolete in a matter of minutes, they will now be recaptured to provide more value to your audience.

The analytics package is under development. It will collect feedback off Twitter, and Twylah on the topics that get the most play based on number of retweets, @ replies, observed as separate columns on the dashboard.

And eventually, also number of clicks and impressions. There was also discussion of looking at favorites. Kim called them the retweets for introverts in the video.

Brands will also have a Facebook like button so people can share the page with their network there, and a space for ad placement. The format reminds me of a campaign landing page with call to action. You can organize the page content as well.

This Twitter fan page format gets to the root of the issue with many other tools that look to measure influence based upon Twitter and now starting to integrate Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.

Social networks exclude those people who may not be friends or connected with that individual, or not versed in using the social network itself effectively. Which means you are losing the benefit of building scale by attracting those who are engaged with a specific topic or subject matter.

You can point people to Twylah to see all your activity, in the same way I have been using FriendFeed. By the looks of it, the plan is to make a brand-owned Web property in a direct marketing friendly format off activity and content shared in social networks.

This would take care of the issue of content sharecropping — businesses working social media channels are sharecroppers. So are all the users. They labor on the services, both creating and receiving value. But they don't own the fields they cultivate, and can be put off the land whenever it suits the landlord.


Look for more tools to be targeting this space.

Because no matter how influential a person or a few may be, based upon their credibility and trust, there is still a gap to cover between buzz and action, convenience and relevance, talk, and walk. That gap is better analysis of data/information.

It is also better business acumen in knowing what to listen for.


[the difference in motorcycle rides does set our content apart]

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0 responses to “How do You (or can you) Measure Online Influence?”

  1. Valeria, Looking forward to your talk. I think we need to push the envelope on understanding the outcomes of these social influences, i.e. using your langugage “gap to cover between buzz and action, convenience and relevance, talk, and walk.”
    How do we translate influence into valuable action is key & how to interpret these signals to get there. (using @awaldstein’s assertions)

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