The following is an excerpt from Chapter 6 of the PR Measurement Guidebook, Vol. 5. To read more about the guidebook or to purchase a copy, click here.
Want to Determine Who Is an Influencer?
Use the 5 P’s
Popular: Visible, vocal, has a substantial following, reach. Inbound links, trackbacks, subscribers, bookmarks, followers, friends, views, listens, saves, downloads, etc.
Polarized in Tone: Neutrality does little to drive influence way or the other. A clearly positive or negative view will polarize readers/followers and is more likely to drive cohesion and mobilize advocates and have those advocates coalesce around a core theme, idea or call to action.
Prolific/Relevant/Frequent: Raw author contribution and number of on-topic, related posts.
Prominent/Authoritative: Are they an idea starter or spreader; source or spider? They may be prolific, but are they prominent? Are they highly interrelated, interconnected and centrally located in the network? How engaged is this person’s following in a dialogue? How much dialogue is there and what is its nature? Here we need to recognize, though, that authority is contextual and topical. One might be an authority on PR measurement, but not on 18th century Russian literature.
Promoter/Advocate: How many of the followers/commentators are active contributors advocating, endorsing, advancing (or the opposite) your position? Are they adding links, tags? Is the nature of the language they are using interconnective, expanded, clarifying, reinterpreting? RTs, digs, fans, votes, buzzups, up/downloads, shares, likes, invites, favorites, embeds?
Of course, measuring influence (or potential to influence, really) is only part of a more systems, network analysis, social capital-informed approach to social media measurement. For that, we need to consider the more fulsome 7 C’s of social media measurement.