I was reading this post featuring ‘20+ Social Media Hacks and Tips From the Pros’ and Number 8 by Mark Schaefer (@markwschaefer) sounded interesting. He gives a cunningly simple technique to figure if someone is influential on Twitter beyond a simple gauge of their Followers. We all know Follower number can be gamed. I think the going rate is about about $10 for 1000 Followers. The interesting bit is to factor in the number of other people’s Lists a person has been added to.
I don’t know if you are a regular user of Twitter Lists, but you can create as many as you like, give them names like ‘People who research the media’ and then assign people you follow to your List. If you use TweetDeck you can then add a column for whichever List you are interested in. They are particularly good if your interests move in and out of various topics and communities. While you might not be interested now its an easy way to catch up on what that community has been talking about by referring to the List.
Back to Marks methodology. He says it is difficult to game the Twitter Lists and it is a good measure of interest you are getting if your community is adding you to their Lists. You divide the number of Twitter Lists by the number of Followers and multiply by 100 to get a percentage score. If the number is greater than 5%, you’ve found an influencer. If the number is lower than 5%, that person is not really very influential. The best place to find this information is to click on someone name using TweetDeck to bring up their profile data.
I should write a note on gathering the data. It is rather long-winded using the TweetDeck method. I have tried a couple of other tools to see if the process of gathering user data can be automated and while Follower data is quite widely available the number of Lists they have been added to is not. That is my understanding and I would so love to be proved wrong. Please get in touch…it would make my life so much easier!
Now I’d say Mark Schaefer is an influencer with over 131,000 Followers and a Followers to Lists ratio of 7.5%. I so want to draw a line under things here and move on. But influence is a bit more subjective. Your influencers are different to mine and our influencers are all evolving with our experiences day-by-day.
But we have to acknowledge that to do PR analysis we need to work in certain general terms. Perfect knowledge is a fallacy. While it sounds like a partial endorsement, I uphold this method, in the absence of anything better. I would be very interest in your views and so as to not miss out on future updates don’t forget to subscribe.