Influence scoring


Influence scoringIn some previous posts, I discussed sentiment analysis. In this post I take social analytics one step further, looking at influence scoring or influence rating. We are all aware of what the term ‘influence’ means.  However, are we aware of what it means in a business or commerce sense and how ‘influence’ can make an impact on our organisations?

This is a very interesting question, as influence can mean different things to different people! For now, let’s take a look at the definition of influence scoring I found while researching the topic:

Klout defines influence scoring as ‘the ability to drive action’. When you share something on social media or in real life and people respond, that is influence and the more influential you are, the higher your influence scoring will be. So how can influence scoring and influence analyses impact or help your organisation? Well, if you are planning a social media campaign, this now means you can actually measure the impact or influence your brand/topic is having in the industry.

Social scoring services certainly have their place in the planning and execution of a social media campaign. However, to understand the strengths and weaknesses, and to get an idea of whether the campaign was a success or not – not to mention gaining the insight to actually explain a brand’s score to your boss or client – it is important to know how social scoring services work.

Firstly, an organisation doing social scoring needs to collect all the raw data from the Internet. This means that the service would go through all the identified accounts on ‘popular’ social networking websites; like blogs, Twitter, and LinkedIn and review these sites, examining where consumers added useful content, and where that content was reposted, referred to or commented on.

Following this, the monitoring organisation then needs to extract, organise and collect data for reporting purposes. This can be an extremely difficult task, given that there is so much data available online and within social media sites today, often making it hard to organise the information acquired into structured data – that is, data which can be analysed and rated and scored, in order to come up with indicators that actually makes sense to your business.

Further to this, each monitoring company applies scoring algorithms to the collected data.  However, the challenge here is that each company has its own method to decide what ‘weight’ to assign to social media endorsements, comments, sharing and ‘likes’. Most companies often question, should a comment count more than a ‘like’ or a ‘share’? Since a ‘like’ just requires a click, does this then carry a lesser measurement than say comments and shares on social media sites? Or should a ‘share’ by an expert in the industry count more than a ‘normal’ person who may not know anything about that particular industry? How do you recognise such an expert? And so on…

The basic components available to scoring services, in my opinion, are not over complicated but how to combine them to define a user’s social capital is where the hard part comes in.

As such, organisations have to consider some key factors when applying social scoring, because the common signals used to calculate social scoring are derived from a mixture of attributes. For example do they take into consideration how selective the people are who interact with your content? Furthermore, does the communication you drive from different individuals count more? For example, do 200 ‘retweets’ and ‘likes’ from 200 different people add more to your score than what 200 ‘retweets’ and likes do from the same individual? But what if that individual is a specialist in the field, or a celebrity?

Considering this uptake of social media in the industry, it is important for individuals to remember the above before they make a statement on a social media platform, as this could be a downfall to your organisation.  Therefore, organisations should learn how to influence their social score and stay ahead of their competitors, by retweeting information from influencers in the industry and most importantly to create meaningful content of their own that their clients and other followers can relate to.

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