“Influence without context is irrelevant,” says the new TweetLevel how to page, and anyone who has followed my rants and reports on influence measurement knows that is music to my ears. This week TweetLevel launched a new version of its influence measurement tool that adds context to the influencer scoring in two important ways: topic and influencer types.
The topic search tool allows marketers to identify influencers that are relevant to the conversations they care about. The influencer types analysis helps marketers to understand how best to engage with individual influencers. Those two features alone make the new TweetLevel the most powerful influence measurement tool of any that are available for free.
Influence: How Information Flows Between People
Jonny Bentwood, TweetLevel’s developer, defines influence in very simple terms: how information flows between people. In a July 9 blog post called “the critical importance of time when understanding influence,” he defined five influencer types, or ways in which people participate in a conversation:
- Idea Starters, the creative brains behind many of the thoughts and ideas that other people talk about. Idea Starters may not necessarily have a large audience themselves, but they are typically well connected to other idea starters, curators and amplifiers.
- Amplifiers, avid sharers of information who have large numbers of followers and are hungry for content to spread.
- Curators, one of the most influential groups even though they typically have smaller number of followers, because they maintain discussions long after Idea Starters have left and Amplifiers have lost interest.
- Commentators, who individually have little influence but as a collective form the trend of opinion around a subject.
- Viewers, who don’t necessarily leave a “leave a foot print” but do shape conversations and have influence based on their search behaviors.
What’s critical for marketers is to understand how these different influencer types shape the flow of a conversation. Once a topic has been well established, it may be a waste of time to engage with Idea Starters or Amplifiers. Even though these types have higher personal influence scores, they will have left the room once a conversation has become mature. Identifying and cultivating relationships with the Curators who maintain the discussion once it’s started is a critical strategy for anyone who takes influence marketing seriously.
Influence: Far More Than A Score
Yes, TweetLevel delivers a personal influence score for any individual Twitter user. (And the tool is extremely transparent and descriptive of the formula it uses to calculate that personal influence score.) But that’s just the beginning. You also get a score for popularity (not the same as influence!), engagement, and trust. You can see who influences the tweeter, who they influence, and who tweets about similar topics.
You also get information that tells you about the individual’s tweeting style: a word cloud, charts showing the number of tweets per day and by time of day, so you can see what they talk about, and when they’re likely to be most active.
There’s a nifty box that gives you quick stats (followers, listed, number of retweets and more), recent influential retweeters and a sampling of recent tweets sent. And there’s the influence type analysis–classifying the individual on a spectrum of Viewer to Amplifier, based on how they engage with topics and conversations. You can even overlay additional individuals, to see how their conversational styles compare:
Combined, this data gives you a great overview of each individual influencer, and lets you plan a strategy for how to best engage with him or her.
It Starts With Topics.
To start your influencer outreach program, however, you first need a list of influencers to target. Using the tool’s advanced search screen, you can do searches around specific date ranges, words, hashtags, languages (!!!) and web links. The result is a data set that any data geek will love. You can overlay additional searches to compare topics, and then drill down into top users by share of voice, and top shared links related to your topic. Oh – and see that cool Export button at the top?
Next, you get a related phrases word cloud, so you can see what else the people who are talking about your topic are interested in. And then, a list of the Top 100 users related to your search, based on relevance. Enter your email address, and TweetLevel promises to calculate the score for each user and send you a ranking based on their TweetLevel score.
By now, if you’re still reading this post, you’re not as much of an analytics geek as I am, because I would have been over on the TweetLevel site playing with their topic search a long time ago!
Yes, you can do far more sophisticated topic searches and drill-downs with a contextual influence measurement tool such as Appinions. But I have not seen another tool that delivers the level of data, analysis and insights that TweetLevel offers at no cost. If you’re managing influencer outreach programs, you should definitely add this one to your arsenal.
Let me know if you’ve played with the new TweetLevel, and how you are using it!
To learn more about influence measurement and best practices in influencer marketing, check out The Realtime Report’s Guide to Influence Measurement Tools, our detailed analysis of personal and contextual influence measurement tools.