How To: Evaluate Online Influence

Alan Belniakbusiness, Marketing, Social Media1 Comment

Speaking about After Shockphoto © 2008 Jason Tester Guerrilla Futures | more info (via: Wylio)

We’ve all either been asked it, or asked it ourselves: is this person worth (to my business) following?  Should I extend them an invitation to an event?  Do they carry any weight?  Yes, I know in an ideal world that we all want to interact with everyone.  But that doesn’t scale.  From a PR or personal outreach perspective, sometimes we need to prioritize our outreach.  So, with 100 new followers, how do you determine the order in which to follow back/respond/interact?

This is not a definitive list, but when I get asked, “Alan, is ____ influential in the ____ space?” this is what I do…

  • I take the name and run it through Google (sometimes with a company name or one other word that helps describe them).  I look at the first page of results.  What’s at the top?  If it’s a link to a social site, then they are prolific online.  Blog? Ditto.
  • I look at them on LinkedIn (for North America; Xing or Viadeo for eastern Europe).  Do they have a lot of connections?  Any recommendations?
  • I search for them on Twitter.  Are they there?  How long?  What do they tweet about?  Who follows them, and vice versa?
  • If they have a site or a blog, I gauge the traffic to that web property….
    • Alexa: http://www.alexa.com/
    • Quantcast: http://www.quantcast.com
    • URLFan: http://urlfan.com/
    • Compete: http://compete.com/
    • Popuri.us: http://www.popuri.us/
  • If they are on Twitter, I use a few tools to gauge impact, reach, and influence…
    • Klout: http://www.klout.com
    • Twitalzyer : http://twitalyzer.com/
    • Twitter Grader: http://twitter.grader.com/

This is not an exhaustive list.  But I think, in a few minutes of time, this will give a decent snap shot of a person’s online presence and general character.  From that, you need to decide on your own whether or not they are ‘influential’.  What about you?  What sites and tools do you use to determine influence?  Or answer the questions “I need to connect with this person”?



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