One definition is that influence is one's ability to affect willingly the behavior of people around him or her.
The fact that influence implies causality -- influencer acts, people who are influenced act in return -- means that it's not a simple idea that can be summarized by a handful of influencer archetypes or measured by how many followers and retweets you have on Twitter.
Context as driver in influence
Assayag says the main driver for this complexity is context which should be interpreted as:
(1.) Relevance (topical context) -- influence is highly topical and gaining trust in a specific circle does not easily translate or expand in another. This is where they do the most work in Traackr's A-List to try to identify the specific niches of influence of people.
(2.) Situational context -- this talks more to the Gladwell archetypes in a way: people are good at different things at different times. Some will influence heavily a brand's product strategy, others will get millions to try your product, others will start a controversy in the industry, etc. By failing to recognize the situational context, you may be connecting with influential people outside their strike zone.
Access to search data across platforms
To figure out who is gaining traction on a topic, Traackr mines content on different platforms and scores authors against each other. Think of it as a specific search on the topic that matters most to you. A match will show you three distinct metrics:
- reach -- the combined audience size
- resonance -- the endorsements this person is receiving through comments, linkbacks, RTs, etc.
- relevance -- calculated on the fly
Your lists refresh every Monday. As a subscriber, you can also customize the search results by keeping known content creators who influence your base on the list or excluding others, for example. The scores are dynamic, because content-based online conversations are a fluid process.
The scoring systems answer a couple of key questions:
- are you connected to the right people?
- how much respect do you get on a certain topic in the community?
The influencer monitor also tracks when people start talking about a promotion or product and what they're saying about it. Tracking online conversations is of course a piece of a bigger marketing puzzle. Traackr provides access to data and makes integration of the tool into your dashboard fairly easy.
Searches are scored against the company's database and off the Web. Right now, the technology is used by marketing and PR agencies (about 70% of their base) and corporations (30%).
Can you use the tool to gain insights?
Increasingly, better intelligence from uncluttered information allows organizations that have that capability to distill insights from the data to make better business decisions. You can conduct filtered searchs on specific markets, for example.
The answer is yes. You could be looking for something and uncover something else while searching.
Conversation Agent's Take
Marketers need better data and information. Rather than betting on one number, you can draw insights into who is engaging about a particular product or topic in your markets. Influence is not generic. It's very specific and contextual. Marketers on the client side cannot afford to go down the generic search path. Traackr delivers data on reach, resonance, and relevance and integrates with existing systems like Salesforce.com.
Agencies and consultancies can either develop a proprietary tool, or they will need to use a software robust enough out of the box to allow for an additional layer of intelligence delivered with their strategy. Test drive Traackr and compare notes with other software you have used.
Pricing: you pay for the Top 25 searches, and you can add as many as you want at no additional cost.