On September 9th, we published a blog, discussing important methodological issues when measuring social media influence. This first blog was inspired by Greenbook’s August 19 blog by Ray Poynter in which he named the Top 25 Social Media Influencers in Market Research as determined by triangulating the output from several different approaches to measuring social media influence.
Subsequently we received many requests to publish our own Top 25 list, and we obliged by posting a second blog post with said list. Again, we received a flurry of requests from industry insiders asking for the specifics of our methodology. So, we’ll dig a little deeper here.
LRW’s Advanced Influence Mapping (AIM) is done using software originally developed by the US intelligence analysts to understand terror networks. LRW’s AIM uses advanced math — Eigenvector centrality techniques– to identify the most important nodes of an interconnected set of networks to obtain a multi-dimensional picture of social relationships. We identify and rank the leaders of these networks on their ability to connect guide a discussion or promote an idea across the network. The algorithms at play facilitate:
Finding the “relevant” network from the complex web of Social Media.
Scoring influence within the network.
Influencer index score is a measure of 1) the structure of connections which ultimately determine where and in which direction influence flows, 2) an influencer’s position in and reach throughout their network, 3) contextual relevance (like Google page rank), and 4) engagement with their audience, taking into account things like the number of tweets, retweets and favorites. #MathRocks
The tools are proven. The US Central Intelligence Agency, using the same tools as LRW uses, identified an individual as a key terror influencer. This individual had only one follower and tweeted infrequently. When this influencer posted, the conversation across the broader network changed. Regular “influence” measures would not have identified this terrorist leader.
Lenny Murphy hit the nail on the head with the introduction to Mr. Poynter’s piece, “Social media will only continue to be an evolving disruptive force in marketing, so the more we can get a handle on how it works and can be harnessed for marketing impact, the better we can do our jobs.” We agree. Ready. AIM.