Social media influencers


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Social Media Influencers of 2010. A recently launched social media influencers report y Fresh Networks tests how effective nine of the leading social media monitoring tools are at identifying influencers.

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Social media influencers

  1. 1. Social media influencers 2010 Social media monitoring tools, mummy bloggers and organic baby food. InfluencersImages throughout the report are courtesy of Shutterstock
  2. 2. Influencers report 2010ContentsIntroduction 12 What is influence? 23 What drives influence? 34 Types of influencer 45 Why engage with influencers? 56 Developing an influencer strategy 67 Tool reviews 9 7.1 What we did 9 7.2 Brandwatch 9 7.3 Radian6 12 7.4 Alterian SM2 15 7.5 Attensity360 18 7.6 Social Radar 21 7.7 Sysomos 24 7.8 Scout Labs 27 7.9 Synthesio 30 7.10 Peer Index 338 Summary of results 359 Conclusions 36Acknowledgements 37©2010 FreshNetworks
  3. 3. Social media influencers report 2010Introduction1.1 Influencers report 2010 – putting the tools to the testFollowing on from the success of our social media monitoring tools review earlier this year, wedecided to test nine of the leading social media monitoring tools - Attensity 360, Brandwatch,Radian6, Alterian SM2, Scoutlabs, Sysomos, Synthesio, PeerIndex and Social Radar - inorder to assess how effective they are at identifying influencers across a range of social mediaplatforms.We have used “organic baby food” as the test topic for this report. We felt it would be interestingto assess how well each of the tools could help identify influencers in this much-discussed area.Would the tools pick out key “mummy bloggers” and frequently visited forum posts in parentingsites such as Mumsnet and BabyCentre?In this report we will present the findings of our research and discuss the value of influencers tosocial media marketers, as well as exploring ways to engage with them online.1.2 Why do I need to know about influencers?As more organisations start to use social media to engage their customers, the challenge is todevelop and execute a social media strategy that generates real value. In the long-term, a keyway to achieve this is to use social media to engage with customers on a more personal level.However, given that many organisations remain wary of the long-term financial return fromsocial media, they are yet to dedicate sufficient resources to interact regularly with allprospective and existing customers on a one-to-one basis. Hence engaging a limited number ofinfluencers appeals as an alternative, more focused use of time and resource.Organisations are well versed in the power of the Pareto Principle in which 80% of returns comefrom 20% of the efforts. This „law of the few‟ appears to extend to the social web; the volume ofonline conversations is highly concentrated. For example around 1% of Wikipedia users edit50% of the content.This represents solid justification for paying more attention only to the most influential socialmedia users. There are many investments businesses would like to make, but with limited timeand resources, focusing on the few appears to be a sensible starting point for social mediaengagement.In many ways a focus on influencers at the expense of a broader audience runs against thespirit of social media. We advocate this pragmatic approach because it is still early days formost oganisations when it comes to social. For many, the coming year is about baby steps andsteadily gathering momentum before attempting to tackle major corporate culture change in thename of social media.. “With a disproportionate ability to spread information and add credibility, influencers are human TV stations and magazines.” Jay Baer, Founder of Convince & Convert, Co-author The NOW Revolution©2010 FreshNetworks Page 1
  4. 4. Social media influencers report 20102 What is influence?2.1 Definition of influenceInfluence is the power to affect other people‟s thoughts, perceptions or behaviours. Thus, in thecontext of online social media, influence comes in the form of messages transmitted over theinternet that have an impact on other people.Influencers provide information and insights that are trusted and held in high regard. They areeither sought out by their audience because of the messages they broadcast or because theyare able to be heard above the chatter of the crowd.While influence can be neutral, positive or negative in sentiment, it only really counts when ithas an impact. And it‟s important to consider who is listening, not just how many people arelistening.Influence is dynamic and is dependent upon a variety of factors; from topic relevance andperceived expertise, to absolute reach. Influence can be attributed to individual people,websites, specific blog posts or even a poignant comment. And influencers can be found acrossall social media platforms, from Twitter and Facebook to forums and blogs. “Influencers are valuable to brands in so far as they can influence conversations. But only if they can deliver change” Murray Newlands, Co-Founder, Influence People2.2 Influence: popularity v expertisePopularity is an obvious indicator of influence. However it tells only part of the story. The level ofexpertise, real or perceived, is also a vital measure when assessing influence. Furthermore,perceived expertise needs to be relevant to a specific area or subject matter for it to affectviews, decisions or actions.Perceived experts may have fewer Facebook „Likes‟ or Twitter followers, but a more highlyconcentrated, relevant or attentive audience can ultimately make them more influential. 1 2Studies from HP Labs and NorthWestern University both support this position, finding thatthose with the most influence on Twitter were not necessarily those with the most followers.Rather they were individuals with perceived expertise in their field, sector or market.Furthermore, HP Labs proved that the findings were not only relevant to Twitter, but could beapplied more widely across other social media platforms. “Influence is a tricky word. Are the people who talk the most the influencers? Are the people who talk to the most people the influencers? You’d trust Tony Hawk with skateboard advice, but do you trust him for sushi restaurant selection?” Chris Brogan, President New Marketing Labs1©2010 FreshNetworks Page 2
  5. 5. Social media influencers report 20103 What drives influence?The determinants of influence can be grouped into three areas: credibility, reach and style.3.1 CredibilityAn influencer needs to be credible for people to take any notice. Credibility is dependent uponperceived expertise and perceived potential for bias.For the sake of simplicity, there are two forms of expertise: professional and personal. Professional expertise – in the case of this organic baby food study, a child nutritionist or doctor. Personal expertise or experience – for our case study this might be a mother who has previously purchased organic baby food.3.2 ReachReach encompasses a number of factors. It includes both a person‟s immediate (direct)audience and their broader indirect audience. For instance, reach is greater for influencerscapable of generating active pass-along from their friends to friends of friends.An influencer‟s level or volume of relevant activity is the third component of reach – the regularmummy blogger is, ceteris paribus, more influential than the occasional.3.3 StyleYou don‟t have to spend long on MumsNet to notice that some members enjoy beingdeliberately provocative. There are many ways to get a point across and in the same way thatmodified copy can alter the impact of an advert, so too can the style, approach and persuasionof an influencer. Factors that drive influence Credibility Reach Style Influence©2010 FreshNetworks Page 3
  6. 6. Social media influencers report 20104 Types of influencerThere are many ways to segment influencers. In The Tipping Point, Gladwell refers toConnectors, Mavens and Salesmen as three groups who are influential in different ways. Bycontrast, Klout, the free Twitter influence ranking tool, identifies 16 Influencer styles rangingfrom Taste Maker to Conversationalist.Perhaps one of the most useful models to consider when first selecting influencers is DaveSifry‟s “Magic Middle”. Dave was the founder of Technorati, the blog search engine, and headvocates targeting the Magic Middle of online influencers, sandwiched between ChrisAnderson‟s Long Tail and well-known A-list influencers.Popularity A-List Magic Middle Long Tail InfluencersA-list influencersA-List influencers have high levels of audience engagement and popularity. This type ofinfluencer appeals because of the size of their audience. They can be incredibly influential,however their influence is often generalist and not always relevant to a specific product orcategory.A-Listers are challenging to engage because they are in high demand. Examples would includeLady Gaga, Oprah or Stephen Fry.The Long TailAt the other end of the scale is the Long Tail. These niche influencers may be veryknowledgeable in a specific area, but lack sufficient reach to have a large impact.Magic MiddleThe majority of social media influencers sit within this category. Considered to be experts bytheir audience, influencers in the „Magic Middle‟ (or Fat Middle) tend to focus on a few definedareas of interest. They typically discuss niche topics with a core demographic in mind.The appeal of the Magic Middle is their concentrated reach. This can make them more directlyinfluential for brands than a generalist A-Lister. In addition, they can be easier to engage if theirinterests more directly align to your product, service or sector.©2010 FreshNetworks Page 4
  7. 7. Social media influencers report 20105 Why engage with influencers?Word of mouth is playing an increasingly important role in driving purchases. The prevalence ofcustomer opinions and online reviews is having a major impact on buying behaviour. In bothB2C and B2B markets, people are spending more time researching products and services andthey are being influenced by the online opinions of others.Engaging with people who can influence your online reputation can help you gain real valuefrom social media.5.1 Levels of engagementInfluencers will be operating at different levels of involvement with your brand even before youbegin engaging them through social media. Engaging influencers of a certain level can helpencourage them to be more active. Most influencers will fit into the following categories:Engagement levels • Brand Ambassadors • Brand Advocates/Evangelists • Word-of-mouth Amplifiers • Brand Conscious • Inactive Inactive – aware of the relevant sector or topic but not actively engaging. Brand Conscious – aware of your brand. Generates some buzz but not fully engaged and mostly fleeting references online. Word-of-Mouth Amplifiers– spreads key messages and updates that relate directly to your brand, products or services. Brand Advocates/Evangelists – support and champion your brand online. Brand Ambassadors – key advocates who have a strong involvement with the your brand online. Could be a commercial relationship.Understanding an influencer‟s level of engagement with your brand is key to successfulinteractions. You must stand in an influencer‟s shoes and be able to answer the killer question: “What’s in it for me?”Armed with this knowledge you‟re more likely to develop a successful influencer programmeand then, through engagement, increase influencers‟ involvement with and value to your brand.©2010 FreshNetworks Page 5
  8. 8. Social media influencers report 20106 Developing an influencer strategy “Influence: its the gold standard of what we think the social media world will show us plain and simple, and yet, the rules and algorithms are still shifting and still uncertain. My opinion is that it takes three pieces: Listening tools to understand whos talking about those things you find interesting, Measuring tools to determine whos responding to those people doing the talking, An understanding of how influence drives (or doesnt) calls to action. In the third case (which is everything), this lets you know whether a big voice with a big audience is talking to herself, or whether she has the pull to make her people push the button. Thats the gold standard.” Chris Brogan, President New Marketing LabsWhen engaging with influencers it‟s important to develop a plan that closely aligns with yourwider social media strategy, your target audience and your broader business objectives.Here are some things to consider when developing an influencer engagement strategy:6.1 Work out what you want to achieve by engaging with influencersAre you trying to increase visits to your website? Is your aim to generate word-of-mouth about anew product? Are you hoping to increase conversion? Or do you first need to influenceconsideration?Some brands are focussed on turning around negative sentiment, others on amplifying positiveword of mouth. Influencers can impact behaviour in different ways throughout a buying process.Before defining the right influencers to work with and how best to engage them, you need to beclear on the ambitions of your influencer programme.6.2 Listen to your target audienceOnce you have your goals in place, be sure to listen to your target audience.Unless you know what your audience is saying about your business or market, where they aresaying it, and whose message resonates with them, you will not be able to identify the mostappropriate influencers.Equally, given the tools require a level of human management to provide valuable results, youneed to have carried out some listening to sense check the results you get from a social mediamonitoring tool.6.3 Choose your tools carefullyThere is an abundance of social media monitoring tools on the market; both free and paid-for.Their capabilities vary considerably and there are many nuances involved in selecting the rightone. Do your research into the available tools – our free social media monitoring tools reportmay help you.©2010 FreshNetworks Page 6
  9. 9. Social media influencers report 20106.4 Be realistic about time and resourceThink about what resources you can dedicate to the task of identifying influencers – don‟tunderestimate the manpower involved.While social media monitoring tools certainly reduce the heavy lifting, you‟ll still need someonewho understands your social media strategy and can choose the most appropriate influencersfrom the results returned by the tool.Moreover, and perhaps most importantly, the person you choose to engage with your targetinfluencers must also understand how to connect with them effectively.6.5 Get to know your influencersBefore you jump in and start trying to engage your influencers, be sure listen to theirconversations. Read their discussion threads, blog posts and any other information you can layyour hands on. What are they saying, how they are saying it and why? What are theirmotivators?It might be appropriate to segment different types of influencer by their motivations or the valuethey could bring to your brand. Thinking about influencers in this way will help you tailor yourtone, content and approach to each group.6.6 There’s a time and a placeFor each influencer you need to choose the right way to start building a relationship. It might bebest to engage them in their spaces – e.g. responding to their blog posts. Alternatively, you maywant to contact them offline to arrange face-to-face meetings.If you are going to engage them in direct response to conversations they are having online,selection of the appropriate discussions to join, and those to ignore is important. This should bebased on topic relevance, conversation tone, potential to add value and whether or not it wouldbe appropriate for a brand to join in.All of this requires judgment. A very good reason to spend time listening and learning ahead ofjumping in with engagement.When it comes to trying to encourage influencers to take an active role in supporting or helpingyou, imagine yourself in their shoes and answer the question: “What’s in it for me?”If you can bring no value to the influencer then wait until you do have something of value togive. Or start by asking them what it is you can do for them. Just because they‟ve beenidentified as a potential influencer for your business doesn‟t mean you have to engage.6.7 Build an honest relationship with your influencers 3In the words of New Media Age , when it comes to influencers, it is important to be “authentic,accept criticism, not patronise and ask, not tell”. This is simple, sound advice.In order to build a successful relationship with your influencers you must think of all interactionas a way of building up a relationship. You should be looking at influencers as potential3©2010 FreshNetworks Page 7
  10. 10. Social media influencers report 2010partners; as people who can champion your brand. Make them feel like an insider – they have akey position in your marketplace as they both speak to and represent your target audience, sotreat them with the respect that they deserve.Be mindful that influencers are giving you their time and expertise so make them feel valuedand acknowledge their contributions.6.8 Don’t go in with the hard sellSome influencers are ready and willing to further your cause and are happy to agree acommercial arrangement to achieve this. Others eschew all commercial influence. If you areuncertain of which category someone fits into, take care in your first interactions.Rather than push your own agenda, expand conversations beyond your specific products,brand or messages. Think about the wider topic at hand and then build up a relationship withthem before discussing anything commercial..©2010 FreshNetworks Page 8
  11. 11. Social media influencers report 20107 Tool reviews “Influencers are not new…what’s new is our ability to identify and chart influence.” “Once word-of-mouth started to happen in the trackable online medium, influence and influencers became discoverable. It’s not a perfect science yet (far from it) but social media monitoring tools are getting much better at finding the influential needle in the online haystack.” Jay Baer, Founder Convince & Convert, Co-author of The Now Revolution7.1 What we didFor the purpose of testing how effective the tools are at identifying influencers, we assumed therole of an organic baby food brand manager looking for influencers on the topic of “organic babyfood”.In essence, we expected to identify influential “mummy bloggers” across a range of social mediachannels, who were discussing the topic of “organic baby food”.7.2 BrandwatchInitially started as a project to build a web crawler for the U.K. Government in 2004, England-based Brandwatch provide social media monitoring services for business and marketingprofessionals. Brandwatch only uses its own crawlers to collect data; they don‟t purchase anydata from any third party sources.7.2.1 Setup Every topic search you set up in Brandwatch gets its own workspace. When you‟re constructingyour search query there is a test search function which allows you to see a preview of your results. This helps refine the search to your requirements. Key Benefits The workspaces are easily configured, and it takes around  30 minutes to return results.  Drill down capabilities  Flexible use of metrics 7.2.2 Influencer Search Around 90% of Brandwatch results use automated  Interaction with graphs processes – the rest relies on human input.  Multiple ways to segment Their algorithms specifically address the problems of data duplicate mentions and spam, which helps to save time when sorting through data and ensures that results are relevant to your search terms.While Brandwatch don‟t provide an official influence score, you can to use their standardoutputs as a proxy for who is influential on a certain topic or area. The mozRank (SEOmozs linkpopularity metric), the number of backlinks to a site and also topic relevance are included in thegeneric Brandwatch monitoring results.©2010 FreshNetworks Page 9
  12. 12. Social media influencers report 2010 Bar chart from Brandwatch showing data sorted by social media type. Each colour within the bar represents a different social media platform. X axis represents a day (ie, 16th Nov, 17th Nov etc); the Y axis represents volume of conversation.We found that a mozRank score of at least 4 was a good indication of influence.If you‟re just beginning your search for influencers, Brandwatch may not be the right tool for youas you need a bit of experience in manipulating data in order to get value from the results.However, the flexibility to choose the metrics you use to determine influence, and then seeinghow this affects the results for different social media channels, can be quite insightful.As mozRank and backlinks are calculated at domain level, we found that Brandwatch was goodat finding sites of influence rather than individual influencers. This tool is best for somebody whohas already been monitoring and would like to zone in SCORECARDand find influencers in a topic area, rather than forspecific individuals. Setup 6 Training 6Brandwatch are currently developing the tool so that it Visuals: Graphs, Pie chartscan calculate a specific influencer score. etc. 9 User Interface 77.2.3 Drill Down Integration of tools 9Brandwatch has several drill down capabilities which Drilldown 8enable you to interrogate data in detail.The flexibility with which you can order results by your chosen metrics e.g. backlinks ormozRank, allows you to customize data for your own particular focus. This helps you save timein finding the influencers that have the most relevance to your brand.We were happily surprised to find sites such as Yahoo Answers! featured in our Brandwatchresults. They also pulled out expected results such as and ingeneral they did a good job of identifying influential forums.©2010 FreshNetworks Page 10
  13. 13. Social media influencers report 2010 Forum threads from Brandwatch’s main dashboard showing mentions of “organic baby food”.7.2.4 Why use Brandwatch to find influencers?Of all the tools we tested, we think that Brandwatch is best for finding influencers on forums.The forums that Brandwatch identified were very influential and contained virtually no spamresults. WINNER Finding influencers on forums©2010 FreshNetworks Page 11
  14. 14. Social media influencers report 20107.3 Radian6Founded in 2006 and based in Canada, the Radian6 dashboard is a social media monitoringplatform that gives access to historical data and real-time results.7.3.1 SetupYou can set up your topic profile using either the simple method (grouping all keywordstogether) or the advanced method, where you insertwords in a query constructor based on Boolean logic. Key Benefits of Radian6The more specific your search terms, the more  Inviting, easy-to-use interface.tailored your results.  Quick and easy set up - less thanWhen you set up your search terms you get an 5minsestimated total for the number of results your search  Create a personalized dashboardwill pull through, which can be useful for refining yourtopic profile.  Flexible drilldown system  Many ways to segment and sortRadian6 uses widgets to help review and analyze resultsresults. There are a variety of widgets to choose fromand the “influencer widget” focuses on pulling in  Good data visualisation optionsinfluencers across multiple social media platforms. Itonly takes a few minutes to set up the influencer widget - wonderfully straightforward. Resultsstart to populate 30 minutes after setup. Radian6 widget gallery – allows you to set parameters for your influencer search.7.3.2 Finding influencersAll search results are displayed in the influencer widget. Influencers are rated on a scale of 0 to100, with 100 being the highest influence. Radian6 uses different metrics to calculate influencerscores across different social media channels. We were impressed that the tool allowed us tochange the importance of these metrics to suit our needs – for example, instead of choosing“number of comments” as our most important metric we could choose to focus on “inboundlinks”.©2010 FreshNetworks Page 12
  15. 15. Social media influencers report 20107.3.3 Data drill downThere are many ways to view and segment data in Radian6.The top 100 results are shown in by media type (eg, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter etc), inaddition to a summary tab for the top 5 influencers from all sources types.You can sort relevant posts in order of importance using different measurements e.g. averageengagement, number of topic posts, number of comments etc for flexibility.From bar charts, to cloud views and grids, you are given a choice of modes to view theinformation. Radian6 also enables you to interact with the data - when you‟re viewing graphs,you‟ll be taken to the posts in question; when you‟re looking at the word cloud, you‟ll be taken tothe comments that relate to specific words.The “grid” view is the most comprehensive, allowing you to see where else your influencer maybe active (if the tool picks up the results). This enables you to see patterns more immediatelyand will give you a better idea of how influencers are talking about your topic and the landscapethey are operating within more generally. Radian6 only use automated processes – no humanSCORECARD input. This occasionally produced results that were inappropriate.Setup 7Influencer widget 8 Conversely, there were some good finds, such asTraining 9 “@HappyMothering” (influence score 79), a stay-at-homeVisuals: Graphs, Pie charts mother of two who is interested in health and naturaletc. 9 living. She‟d be a great candidate to engage with to try toUser Interface 9 increase brand awareness.Integration of tools 8Drilldown 9 Radian6 drill down into blog posts©2010 FreshNetworks Page 13
  16. 16. Social media influencers report 2010Radian6 provides a high volume of results. However, human analysis was required to siftthrough the output to get rid of irrelevant results. For example it would have been easy to miss“@notsoyummymum” (influence score 20), a mother of one who has just moved to London, infavour of “@amazonRealTime” (influence score 80) a sales channel..7.3.4 Why use Radian6 to find influencers?Of all the tools we tested, we think that Radian 6 is best for drill down as it offers severaldifferent ways to drill into influencer results, enabling you to sort, filter and understand data tosuit your needs.We also think that Radian6 was the best tool for finding Twitter influencers as it provided thehighest number of results for Twitter influencers and the most comprehensive way to dig intothis information. WINNER WINNER Drill down Twitter influencers©2010 FreshNetworks Page 14
  17. 17. Social media influencers report 20107.4 Alterian SM2Alterian SM2 (formerly Techrigy SM2) provide a social media monitoring and analysis platformfor marketing and PR professionals. With historical content dating back to 2007, Alterian SM2 isone of the most robust products of its kind on the market today.7.4.1 SetupAlterian SM2 was one of the more difficult tools to become acquainted with. However we foundit was worth persevering Setup takes between five and ten minutes. There is the Key Benefits of Alterian SM2 option to create your own Boolean query or use a query  Many ways to segment data set up tool, inserting keywords and setting filters e.g. language, when prompted.  Many ways to drill down 7.4.2 Finding Influencers  Interactive graphs & visuals Alterian applies a “popularity rank” as a metric to find influencers who are relevant to your topic of interest.Popularity is scored on a scale from 0-10, with 10 being the most popular.The calculation of this popularity is dependent on the social media channel in question. Forblogs and websites. it is the amount of traffic, the number of inbound links and the number ofpage views. For Twitter, it is the number of followers, the number of people being followed andtheir activity. The fact that the tool uses different measurements for different platforms meansthat the results are more focused on actual influencers across each platform. Alterian’s “popularity” influence score chart showing how many results are in each level of influence.The tool offers a good level of flexibility when it comes to segmenting data, Features such as“Top Domains” help you identify the most active discussions on a specific topic area. The “TopAuthors” feature shows you the most active people talking about your topic. You can also createcategories and sub-categories which allow you to view the most active people within specifieddomains. This flexibility makes easy to identify influencers.©2010 FreshNetworks Page 15
  18. 18. Social media influencers report 20107.4.3 Drill DownThe drill down capabilities of Alterian SM2 take some time to get to grips with as they are verydetailed - a cursory glance is not really enough to get a real feel for its capabilities. It requires an investment in time, and it‟s really important to have aSCORECARD clear focus of what you want from the tool.Setup 6 With Alterian SM2 you‟re able to view the demographicsTraining 9 of your results, which not only includes the AlterianVisuals, Graph, Pie Popularity Rank, but also the gender of authors and agecharts etc. 7 of authors (where available).User Interface 7Integration of Tools 8 It is possible to view and filter results by volume of conversations per social media channel. You‟re also ableDrill Down 9 to see where the conversations are taking place.Alterian‟s ability to segment data gives you a degree of freedom that greatly assists in how youidentify influencers. You‟re able to determine at all stages whether you want to focus at thedomain or individual level. Top domains where organic baby food influencers reside according to AlterianWe found that Alterian was useful for finding sites of influence,, and – sitesthat we would expect to see included in any batch of results that relate to mummy influencersfor organic baby food.For, Alterian specifically took us to a useful post made by an active member(Debbie) asking about weaning advice. The question was located in an area of the forum calledthe *Drop in Clinic*, where people are able to ask health visitors, parent supporters and othermembers of the community questions about babies, feeding etc. It‟s a place people actively goto seek information. Debbie had her query answered by both a Health Visitor/Parent Supporter,and an active member (Kelly) who gave advice and recommended two organic baby brands.Examples like this are typical of Alterian – the tool identifies both sites of influence, and potentialinfluencers, in one go, which is simple, fast and effective.©2010 FreshNetworks Page 16
  19. 19. Social media influencers report 20107.4.4 Why use Alterian SM2 to find influencers?Of all the tools we tested, we think that Alterian SM2 is by far and away the best tool for datasegmentation. It offers the best “slice and dice” and there are so many different ways to zonein on different areas of interest. WINNER Data Segmentation©2010 FreshNetworks Page 17
  20. 20. Social media influencers report 20107.5 Attensity360Attensity 360 (formerly Biz360) was created in 2010 after an acquisition by the Attensity Group.They provide a platform that monitors social media conversations, providing insights to brandsand organisations keen to monitor their presence on the social web.7.5.1 SetupThis tool has an intuitive user interface and setting up the tool is Key Benefitsvery straightforward - it takes around 3-5 minutes.  Quick & easy setupYou create a “topic profile” (your search query and parameters) by  Intuitive interfaceinserting key words when prompted into a query constructor.When forming your topic profile, you have a test search whichshows a sample of your results. This is a useful feature to help  Interactivity withassess results. graphs and visuals7.5.2 Finding InfluencersOnce your topic profile is established you can then create „Reports‟. This feature allows you tofocus on certain aspects of your results, (eg, seeing the volume of results, or a word cloud ofyour results) giving you different opportunities to drill down into the data.Attensity360 use “impact” to classify influence. This measures the impact of coverage related toa specific topic and it can be used to identify sources that have a strong, immediate impressionon an audience. You can sort results by descending “impact” which gives a useful snapshot ofpotential influencers. Attensity360 search results by social media channel/platformAttensity360 also uses Klout to help identify influencers. Klout, a well-regarded measure ofinfluence on Twitter, is integrated into the Attensity platform and every Twitter result in the tooldisplays a Klout score. Unfortunately Attensity doesn‟t let you filter results by Klout score, whichwould have been useful. There were also times that the Klout score presented in an influencer‟sprofile turned out to be incorrect according to the actual Klout tool. However, Attensityresponded quickly to any concerns about this and did their best to resolve any queries.©2010 FreshNetworks Page 18
  21. 21. Social media influencers report 2010 Word cloud of terms that relate to organic baby food influencers search7.5.3 Drill DownAttensity360‟s “Top Authors” and “Top Sources” reports show you where the most activitysurrounding your topic of interest is located. You‟re able to view each of these results by socialmedia type by viewing either an interactive pie chart, or simply by filtering your parameters.This allows you to assess which channels to focus on.Attensity360 was good at finding sites of influence, for SCORECARDexample; it was less successful at Setup 9finding individual influencers but there were some good Training 8potential fits. One example was a thread Visuals, Graph, Pie charts etc. 7The thread was started by “carpediem” and it shared her User Interface 8experiences about her baby son eating vegetables (he‟snot a big fan). She‟s quite an active member of a „Mega Integration of Tools 7Super Mummy‟ forum which has over 2,000 posts. The Drill Down 7thread was active and she has a respected status. She‟s apotential influencer as she can generate conversation in her community, and, looking at similarposts of hers, she would be somebody that a brand would engage with to generate buzz andbrand awareness.7.5.4 Why use Attensity360 to find influencers?Of all the tools we tested, we think that Attensity360 is the easiest tool to learn to use.©2010 FreshNetworks Page 19
  22. 22. Social media influencers report 2010 WINNER Easiest tool to use©2010 FreshNetworks Page 20
  23. 23. Social media influencers report 20107.6 Social RadarFounded in late 2006, Infegy (a combination of Information and Strategy) developed SocialRadar to provide insights into social content on the web for business and marketingprofessionals. With 7 billion posts and counting, Social Radar uses their own proprietary crawlerto collect and aggregate data.7.6.1 Setup It‟s easy to navigate around the Social Radar tool, withKey Benefits of Social Radar an intuitive and visually appealing user interface. Quick, straightforward set up Setup is also easy, and you can begin your search in Intuitive user interface different ways including: using the Query Builder (inserting key words for a Boolean search query to Excellent Vizualiser Top generate), forming a Boolean search string orSources Tool immediately going to the “post search” and entering search terms instantly. Results are better if you use the Great at finding relevant blog Boolean search query,posts It‟s refreshing to have a no-fuss, quick and easy setup taking around 1-5 minutes whichever option you take.You can search by tags, author, title and body (you tick which ones you want), allowing you tobe flexible. It‟s not only setting up the search that‟s easy: all of the Social Radar functions arestraightforward and easy to use.7.6.2 Finding influencersPosts generated by your search are retrieved in a manner of seconds. In the “Advanced” searchoptions, you can include posts based on their influence SCORECARDranking of: None, Low, Medium or High. Setup 8The Social Radar influence score uses their proprietary Training 7formula, which is based on metrics such as the averagenumber of inbound links per year and other undisclosed Visuals: Graphs, Pie charts etc. 9information. User Interface 8 Integration of tools 8The best way to find influencers using Social Radar istheir Top Sources tool. It‟s an exceptional tool and really Drilldown 8allows you to view the most influential sources (from 25-500 sources) around your topic.You have the option of choosing how the top sources are sorted: Top Sources Algorithm(combination of influence and number of posts that match the search query), Relevant Posts, orInfluence (Social Radar influence score or number of Inbound links). You‟re able to view theresults either in list format or using the Visualizer.©2010 FreshNetworks Page 21
  24. 24. Social media influencers report 2010 Social Radar’s “visualizer” – showing links between top sources style.The Visualizer, is Java application that acts as an “interactive visualization map”. It‟s truly oneof the most unique and exceptional toosl from any social media monitoring platform; absolutelya favourite. Social Radar’s “visualizer” interactive map.You‟re able to view the relationships between top sources and really understand your results.Not only is it visually stunning but you can choose to see different information about yoursources e.g. eco system links, avg. daily posts etc. and have a visual comparison showing howsources compare to each other. Another great thing about this tool is that you can add sourcesto the “watch list” easily for inclusion in the Visualizer tool.7.6.3 Why use Social Radar to find influencers?Of all the tools we tested, we think that Social Radar is the best tool for you to visualize theinformation about influencers.©2010 FreshNetworks Page 22
  25. 25. Social media influencers report 2010 WINNER Best visualization tool©2010 FreshNetworks Page 23
  26. 26. Social media influencers report 20107.7 SysomosA subsidiary of Marketwire, the Toronto based Sysomos launched their flagship Media AnalysisPlatform (MAP) in 2007. MAP, a business and marketing intelligence platform, provides insightsinto social media. Heartbeat, the other product provided by Sysomos, provides monitoringcapabilities.7.7.1 SetupThe Sysomos user interface sits on top of its servers and isstraightforward to navigate. Key Benefits of Sysomos  Easy to use and interactiveSetting up your query is done either with the Query Builder, or dashboardby constructing a Boolean search string. Boolean searchesgive more detailed results.  Analytical tools that provide insight and sophisticated drillWhen you construct a search, MAP provides one of the down capabilitieseasiest ways to add filters (e.g. geolocation) and changeparameters (e.g.timeline), with buttons easily accessible  Segmentation and viewingabove the dashboard at all times. Setup takes around 5 - 7 of data flexibleminutes in total.The dashboard consists of various tabs including: blog tab, social media tab, traditional mediatab, and a compare tab. While there is a standard two year rolling sample for data, you can getTwitter content going back to May 2009, and make special requests for data going back 4 yearsfor blogs.7.7.2 InfluencersEach tab covers a different social media type and allows you to view different aspects of theresults. For blogs, “Influencer Search” allows you to view influencer results. You can then orderblog results by either: Most Authoritative, Most mentions, High Authority and Mentions, SomeAuthority and Mentions.With the “Social Media Tab”, influencers from Twitter can be viewed and ordered by Top Sourceor Most Authoritative; Video by: Most Viewed, Most Relevant; Forum by: Search (HighAuthority), Top Sources; Facebook: Popularity; and Wikipedia. This allows you to really sort outwhich social media channel you want to focus in on. Blog tab showing influencers who talk about organic baby food. Left hand menu shows how you can sort data in Sysomos – popularity, demographic, sentiment etc©2010 FreshNetworks Page 24
  27. 27. Social media influencers report 2010The “Traditional Media Tab” allows you to view influencers by: Search (High Authority), Search(Some Authority), and Top Sources. In this way, Sysomos requires more user involvement infinding influencers.Another interesting feature is that you can view “heat maps” to see where the main activity foryour influencers is located around the world. Sysomos shows you which areas of the world are most actively discussing your search topicBy offering you the choice of applicable metrics for each social media type, you are given theincreased flexibility to order results with and find the most applicable influencers according toyour needs. 7.7.3 Drill DownSCORECARD There are so many different ways to drill down with Sysomos; that is one of its main strengths.Setup 8Training 9 You can segment by social media channel, and you areVisuals: Graphs, Pie charts etc. 9 given statistics with the hover of a button for each source.User Interface 9Integration of tools 9 Sysomos also has some of the more imaginative tools, which really help give you insights about your brand inDrilldown 9 the social web. Our favourite feature from Sysomos is “User Details”,where you can see a Twitter user‟s profile in depth.In addition to a potential influencers‟ authority level, number of followers, and the number ofpeople they follow, you are shown statistics of people who follow a potential influencer. This isone of the best features across any of the tools and it really gives you the full story about aninfluencer, and the types of people they interact with, at the touch of a button.©2010 FreshNetworks Page 25
  28. 28. Social media influencers report 2010Another great feature is the blog comments search. Although it is in beta, it looks promising. Itis similar to the rest of Sysomos, in that it allows you to have a broad view of the influencerlandscape and then zone in on those parts you wish to learn more about.7.7.4 Why use Sysomos to find influencers?Of all the tools we tested, we think that Sysomos has the best unique selling point (USP) –you can see the Twitter authority of the people who follow influencers on Twitter. WINNER Best unique selling point©2010 FreshNetworks Page 26
  29. 29. Social media influencers report 20107.8 Scout LabsAcquired by Lithium Technologies in 2010, Scout Labs provide a listening and engagementplatform for brands and businesses. Based in San Francisco, the company have been aroundsince 2006 and will eventually become part of Lithium‟s social media software platform whilecontinuing to be a stand-alone product.7.8.1 SetupThe dashboard is easy to navigate and setup is very straightforward. You include keywords intoa query builder choosing whether they are “relevant” keywords(ie, “nice to have”) or “required” keywords (“must haves”) for your Key Benefits of Scoutsearch query. It‟s more flexible than the other tools, with no limit Labs Reviewon the amount of keywords you can use, which helps increase the  Quick and easy setupnumber of results you pull in from your search.  Easy tool to navigate.What would be helpful is if you could specify dates for when Very intuitive‟re choosing your search parameters. At the moment you can only indicate a period of time e.g. 1 month, rather than a date  Interactivity with graphsspecific time frame. This can feel quite restrictive, so hopefully inupdated versions you will have the option to do both. and visuals 7.8.2 Finding InfluencersScout Labs measures influence by “importance”. This is calculated by their own algorithm whichconsiders the relevance of a source mention based on your search terms, their “proprietaryeditorial opinion of the source”, and other metrics depending on social media type.7.8.3 Drill DownOne of the most useful features in Scout Labs is „frequent words‟. This shows the search termsthat appear most often in your results and allows you to filter results to show only thosekeywords included in your original search. This is a really quick and easy way to find out moreabout conversations based on your search terms as it helps you zone in on those elements thatare of interest to you.The dashboard helps to facilitate a generate drill down in to your results. The dashboard is made up of 5 main tabs: Overview, Mentions, Sentiment,SCORECARD Graphs and Quotes. As the name suggests, the Overview tab gives you a summary of all activity. The rest of the tabsSetup 9 are each divided into sub categories which relate to socialTraining 9 media type. Clicking on one of the subcategories e.g. Twitter, generates interactive graphs based on thoseVisuals, Graph, Pie results. It‟s a very organised way of dealing with the datacharts etc. 8 and allows you to find relevant information quickly.User Interface 8Integration of Tools 7 One of the potential influencers that Scout Labs identified was "Sonyaelizabethl", a mother of a 6 month old. HerDrill Down 7 posts were very supportive of popular organic baby foodbrand Ella‟s Kitchen as she said that her child loves one of their flavours and even though theyare pricey she would “rather buy them than any other organic food”.By far and away, Scout Labs produced the best, and most relevant YouTube and photographicimages results for organic baby food influencers. Andrea, a mummy "vlogger" (video blogger)with one toddler and one young child, was identified by the tool for her video updates about herbaby daughter‟s development.©2010 FreshNetworks Page 27
  30. 30. Social media influencers report 2010 Images pulled in by Scout Labs that relate to the search term “organic baby food”Andrea‟s YouTube channel (aacosta26) has over 2,000 subscribers and 84,062 channel views,with over 400,000 total upload views. In addition, she is part of a group mothers who useYouTube Channel “1MomtoAnother” to answer questions, give tips and advice, and baby adviceto other mothers. These examples prove Scout Labs ability to identify potential influencers. Videos from YouTube pulled in by Scout Labs for the search term “organic baby food”Scout Labs has some promising features and it will be interesting to see how they aredeveloped further. Hopefully they will not lose the simplicity with which you can drilldown into their data as this is one of the key benefits of using the tool to find influencers.7.8.4 Why use Scout Labs to find influencers?Of all the tools we tested, we think that Scout Labs, by far and away, produced the best qualityand most relevant YouTube and image/photographic results for organic baby food.©2010 FreshNetworks Page 28
  31. 31. Social media influencers report 2010 WINNER Best YouTube and image results©2010 FreshNetworks Page 29
  32. 32. Social media influencers report 20107.9 SynthesioFounded in 2006, Synthesio provides social media monitoring and research services for brandsand agencies. Using a combination of their proprietary technology and human analysis,Synthesio offer a bespoke experience tailored entirely to an organisation‟s objectives andneeds. With monitoring and analysis provided in over 30 languages (including Arabic, Russian,and Japanese) Synthesio maintain a truly international reach.7.9.1 SetupWith Synthesio, clients are not involved in setting up the tool; the dashboard is customised to meet clients‟ needs after meetings with a projectSCORECARD manager.Setup N/ATraining 9 Your project manager will discuss the possibilities ofVisuals: Graphs, Pie charts how to conduct your search and will set up youretc. 9 dashboard according to needs.It can be quiteUser Interface 9 reassuring to have such a high level of involvementIntegration of tools 9 from a tool provider.Drilldown 9 For our search, because analysts were going to consistently monitor the dashboard developments andanalyse the results being pulled through, we felt comfortable specifying that we wanted onlysources based in the U.K. Although project managers and analysts will provide guidance, youdetermine the extent of their involvement. Your ideas are considered and they make you awareof the implications of your choices, but the final decision over dashboard specifications lies withyou so that you still maintain control over the searchterms. Key Benefits of Synthesio  A visually stunning and interactive dashboard7.9.2 Finding influencersOnce your specifications have been determined, the  A dashboard fully customised toSynthesio dashboard is prepared for your use. your specificationsSynthesio has a team of analysts and, depending  Analysts monitoring your resultson the size of your project, they will assign one or on a daily basis in over 30more to monitor your dashboard. Analysts remove languagesall irrelevant results before a client sees the content,which saves time as you don‟t have to navigate  Analytical tools that providethrough spam or noise. insight and sophisticated drill down capabilitiesThe analysts also make qualitative judgementsregarding sentiment, enabling you to sort  Segmentation and viewing ofinfluencers into detractors and advocates and they data flexiblealert you to any odd results, suggestingamendments to resolve them.  Different options to view and present data e.g. graphs, wordSynthesio‟s user interface is intuitive and very easy clouds navigate. Your dashboard is made up of seventabs: Analysis, Sentiment, Topics, Influencers, Evolution, Communities and Verbatim. The“Influencer” tab displays your influencer search results, allowing you to segment by type e.g.professional news, Twitter, etc. For each type you are given a profile of statistics including: a„Synthesio Rank‟ Influencer score, the number of their verbatim pulled in by your search, thecountry of origin, the audience, Page Rank, Alexa rank, inbound links, number of followers, thenumber following, and the total number of posts they have made. You have the ability to orderresults by any of these metrics and they really allow you to build up a deep understanding ofeach influencer.Synthesio‟s influence score based on inbound links and other algorithms and is ranked 0-10,with 10 being the highest level of influence.©2010 FreshNetworks Page 30
  33. 33. Social media influencers report 2010One of the best features of the influencer tab was the “Twitter Mapping”. It provides a pictorialrepresentation of Twitter handles, indicating their level of engagement and their influence, givingyou a quick overview of Twitter influencers.7.9.3 Drilldown “Communities” where people are talking about organic baby food – biggest “community” is Agrifood and Gastronomy.Synthesio provide you with a range of ways to interrogate the data. You can explore the buzzand sentiment around your topic, filter data by time period and country and view posts that havebeen made by your potential influencers.The “Communities” tab is one of Synthesio‟s outstanding features. When Synthesio crawl theweb looking for results for your search term they index all the websites they find and put theminto one or more of 40 self-made categories that relate to topics discussed on the social web.For our search it turns out that “organic baby food” is most discussed in the category of“Agrifood and Gastronomy”.Synthesio provided us with good potential sites of influence, as well as potential individualinfluencers. Some of the sites of influence that were provided by Synthesio were staples that wewould expect to find e.g. (influence score 7); it was reassuring to seethat they were not overlooked.Synthesio were very strong on providing Facebook influencers both in the form of companypages e.g. best-selling author on children‟s nutrition and mother of three Annabel Karmel, andindividual pages e.g. Danairl-Daniela (influencer score 9.4).©2010 FreshNetworks Page 31
  34. 34. Social media influencers report 2010 Facebook influencers for “organic baby food” as identified by Synthesio7.9.4 Why use Synthesio to find influencers?Of all the tools we tested, we think that Synthesio offered the best user experience because ofall the integrated features on offer. We also felt it was the most effective tool for findinginfluencers on Facebook. WINNER WINNER Best user experience Identifying Facebook influencers©2010 FreshNetworks Page 32
  35. 35. Social media influencers report 20107.10 Peer IndexNew kid on the block PeerIndex was founded in 2009 by Azeem Azhar, Bill Emmott, and DitlevSchwanenflugel.Peer Index use their proprietary algorithms to discover authorities on the social web by focusingon finding authorities within topic area(s). They look at a full social profile of an individual todetermine their authority on a given subject, rather than focusing on activity in one channel.Peer Index recognize that although an individual may be an influencer in one area e.g.sneakers, their authority may not carry over to another area e.g. hand bags. In using theiranalytics, they build up social profiles of communities and their users.7.10.1 Our ExperienceAt present Peer Index scan Twitter and other social platforms to find authorities in a given topicarea.Peer Index don‟t use traditional search terms in the manner of the other tool - it‟s very much abespoke service. Peer Index scan Twitter and other social media platforms and provide a profileof who influencers are within a given topic area. The program is still in beta phase, with resultscurrently focussed more on Twitter than any other platform. Breakdown of activity on the social web for each subject term we wanted to includeFor our test, our business objective was to look for social media users, particularly the mummyblogger demographic, that had authority concerning organic baby food choices.Peer Index originally focused on trying to find authorities surrounding organic baby food onTwitter. However, they found that there wasn‟t much conversation around this topic on Twitter,so they expanded the area of focus to include parenting and early child care. With this, we wereprovided with results of Twitter handles that had different authority levels regarding organic babyfood and early years parenting.In addition to our Twitter results, we were provided with a comprehensive report that gaveinsight into how the potential influencers and intended audience operate. The report resultsshowed a breakdown of those people who had a weak affinity with the target topics andidentified those who speak with authority.©2010 FreshNetworks Page 33
  36. 36. Social media influencers report 2010What you‟re given with Peer Index are results paired with a report giving you contextual insights.For organic baby food, 875 people had weak affinity and 19 were authorities. For early yearsparenting there were around 46,000 people with at least a weak affinity to the topic, and afterPeer Index got rid of the spam that reduced the scope to 2,888. Following this, they whittleddown the possibilities even further to 70 authorities. Number of people talking about a specific topicResults ranged from organic baby food providers e.g.@ happybabyfood to eco living mummieswho believe in growing their own food e.g. (@ mamabiehl, @soulfool). Influencers that hadpotential for an engaging relationship included: @thegreenfamilia (a review site dedicated togreen and organic products) and @MumsnetTowers (the Twitter page for Mumsnet).7.10.2 Why use Peer Index to find influencers?Still in Beta, we think Peer Index is “one to watch” for the future given the developments thatare planned for the tool. WINNER “One to watch” award©2010 FreshNetworks Page 34
  37. 37. Social media influencers report 20108 Summary of results “As the desire to understand the role of influencers continues to grow, expect to see tools emerge for tracking and evaluating intelligence…not only will you be able to identify an influential blog, but also who the blogger is, and what the “emotion of his or her post was.” “You will be able to better understand vital behaviors and characteristics of relevant influencers and determine what you can do to leverage their particular level of influence to produce exponential results for your brand.” Kelly Pennock, CEO, Visible TechnologiesHere are the overall number(s) of influencers identified by each tool. These results are taken atface value, ie, they are the total figures pulled in by the tool without any human analysis. Social Scout Alterian Peer Synthesio Brandwatch Sysomos Radar Labs SM2 Attensity360 Radian6 IndexFacebook 249 11 0 n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/aTwitter 83 33 32 11 6 50 42 187 76MainstreamMedia (eg,News etc.) 20 13 21 n/a 2 n/a n/a 29 n/aForum 13 47 88 n/a 105 84 16 145 n/aBlog 4 23 264 34 222 113 90 250 n/aCompany 44 n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/aVideo n/a 2 6 n/a 25 - - 2 n/aUnclassified n/a n/a n/a 96 n/a n/a n/a n/a n/aImages/Photos - - - - 64 n/a n/a 1 n/a©2010 FreshNetworks Page 35
  38. 38. Social media influencers report 20109 Conclusions “We often look at extending our simple influencer model which is currently based on number of mentions, inbound links, followers, fan counts etc. But every time we sit down to study what it would take to build a flawless model we realise that influencers can be a really subjective depending on industry, region, social platform or media type. So any model, however sophisticated, will be imperfect. This is not specific to us but the social media monitoring industry in general. We will continue to provide people with as much analytics as possible for them to make their own informed decisions about influencers.” Louise Parker, Sales Director, Sentiment Metrics Jay Baer, founder Convince & Convert, Co-author of The Now RevolutionAll the tools have their different strengths so when you choose a tool for identifying influencersit‟s very important to consider: Which sources they pull data from The way they allow you to segment data How they allow you to drill down into the dataWhile all the tools offer social media monitoring options, some of the tools are not directlygeared towards finding influencers; they are still in a nascent stage and at present humananalysis is still needed. At the moment most of the tools are better at finding sites of influencerather than individuals. In fact the metrics they use are also more geared towards sites ofinfluence e.g. number of backlinks, number of views, rather than finding individual influencers.So while the tools point you in the right direction of finding your influencers, it‟s really down tohuman analysis at this stage to judge which individuals are influential in the social web. Withtools evolving all the time, this may change in the near future.When looking for influence, using social media monitoring tools in combination with humansubjectivity is the best way to identify potential and current influencers. The tools help youmanage the sources of influence to choose from; the human analysis helps you separate thosewith potential and existing influence/authority, from those that have none. .Once you‟ve identified your influencers it‟s up to you how you go about engaging them and whatyou would like to achieve from this. In order to achieve maximum success, your onlineinfluencer engagement strategy should align closely with your wider social media strategy.©2010 FreshNetworks Page 36
  39. 39. Social media influencers report 2010AcknowledgementsThis final section of the report is to thank people who have enabled us to complete this paper.First of all, this report wouldn‟t have happened if it wasn‟t for the generosity of the tool providersin giving us access to their tools. In particular we‟d like to thank the following people for theircontinued support and patience:Jeff at SysomosSara at Radian6Connie at AlterianErin at Scout LabsNadia at BrandwatchDave at Social RadarMaria at Attensity 360.Catriona and Thomas from SynthesioAzeem at Peer IndexWe‟d also like to thank Andrew Grill and Kelly Pennock from Visible Technologies for theiruseful insights about influencers, as well as Chris Brogan, Murray Newlands and Jay Baer forproviding commentary for the report.We‟d also like to thank Shutterstock for letting us use images on our blog, our website and inthis report.Finally, a special thanks goes to our analyst Adanne Wadibia-Anyanwu for all the research shehas conducted and her efforts in collating all this information together.About FreshNetworksFreshNetworks is an award-winning social media agency. We help businesses use social mediato achieve their key strategic goals.With over 15 years experience of working with social media and online communities, we offerpractical solutions to help engage customers, develop advocacy and grow sales.Our services include: Social media strategy Social media monitoring Social media software Online reputation management Community managementFind out more about us at©2010 FreshNetworks229 High Holborn, London, WC1V 7DA, UK+44 (0)20 7692©2010 FreshNetworks Page 37