He goes on to make a point that influence is this: Did I compel a change in state?
In order to measure influence you must know:
- the variables before the measure
- the measurement gauge
- the variables after the measure
Measuring influence is much more complicated than some of the tools make it out to be. For instance, influence is only relevant within context. The example that Tom gave was that if he’s going to influence us about airline baggage, he has to establish a context for his influence on that topic, namely that he travels frequently for work.
So what’s the value of influence? An anecdote that Tom tells is that he had one particular message that he sent out to the most influential people he knew (according to Klout). The numbers came back like so:
- 500,000 impressions
- 400 clicks
- 14 entries
What did this tell him besides that any banner ad would outperform his efforts here? It told him that he didn’t understand what influence actually gets you.
He also learned that you sometimes have to look at a variety of tools to get a real sense of who is influential on which topics and with which other community members. It’s just like we look at three different companies to measure our credit scores. None of the tools do everything well, but each have some great data. Tools he mentions include:
- Klout* – the score isn’t important, but the topics is right on point
- PeerIndex – pretty accurate on who influences whom
- TweetGrader - you can drill down to regional influence (one of the first influence measuring tool out there)
*This is the one he gives the biggest thumbs up to.
So, what goes into determining a Klout score or any other online influence score? We tend to think that it’s determined by an algorithm. However, these scores are so far all made based on assumptions:
- we assume a particular value of an RT
- we assume a particular value of a reply
However, these are a proxy measure. We don’t know why someone retweeted you – did you infuriate them or please them? Were they making fun of you or supporting you?
So if we go back to the anecdote from earlier, we should point out that 500,000 impressions measures how many people might have seen it. Not how many people actually saw it, how many people will recall it or how many people were influenced on it to take action either online or off.
The thing about Klout scores is that with some businesses they correlate and for others they don’t. For instance, Tom has been an AT&T customer for years and years. But…he HATES them. So, in his case, his satisfaction with the company is not an important metric fro AT&T because he keeps renewing his contract with them anyway. His satisfaction with JetBlue, on the other hand, is highly correlated to his tendency to spend more and more money with them, and recommend them to others.
- Ignore the numbers
- Use topics as a segmentation guide but not a “ranker”
- Tie “influencer” as a binary variable to a metric that matters, not a proxy measure (on or off; yes or no; influence or no influence; not 55 vs. 63)
Ended the presentation with the point that he believes that a lot of these tools are on the right track and onto something, BUT “every time you, as a marketer, make a decision based on someone’s Klout score, a unicorn dies.”
A good point that he made in the Q&A was that Klout scores are actually pretty accurate as long as you’re aware that what they really measure is how good you are at Twitter. It can pretty accurately distinguish who is best at disseminating a message on that channel. It does not measure how influential you are at life, just at Twitter. Therefore, it will accurately give you a low score if you are just starting out on Twitter because it takes time to build up your influence.
Who has questions about the topic of online influence? What tools do you use? What metrics do you hope to measure?
Photo by aussiegall