One of the main advantages of social media, from a marketing perspective at least, is that it allows consumers to propagate marketing messages and essentially create free advertising reaching their own social networks -- except it’s better than advertising because it comes from a trusted source. But marketers are still coming to grips with how to measure social influence and (the key part) identify individuals who wield the most influence in their networks.
That’s the goal of the Influencer’s Quotient, or “iQ,” a new social marketing analytics offering from SocialTwist, which breaks down influence into measurable components including awareness, engagement, affiliation, and finally conversion, then combines all these measures into a single composite rating. Depending on their score, SocialTwist classifies social media users as “Champions, Boosters, Supporters, Plodders and Passives,” with the most high-value targets obviously being in the first two categories.
SocialTwist, which has helped build referral programs for Kimberly Clark, Sara Lee, Procter & Gamble, ConAgra Foods, Jamba Juice, and Barnes & Noble, emphasized that the iQ score is based on actual social behaviors, as opposed to less precise measures like the number of an individual’s Facebook friends and likes, Twitter followers, or LinkedIn mentions. The service tracks every action taken by every participant in a brand’s social referral program, including how many people they shared recommendations with, and how many of those people subsequently took some action like signing up for the program, downloading a coupon, and so on.
Products like SocialTwist’s iQ are part of a bigger push as marketers seek a more detailed picture of how, exactly, social media interactions can spread marketing messages and brand affinity. On that note, there’s no question Americans are engaging with brands on social media -- but just because they tell their friends about it, doesn’t mean their friends are listening.
Earlier this week I wrote about a survey from Adobe which found that 57% of U.S. social media users have “liked” a brand online -- but just 5% said they have done so because their friends did so. Furthermore, when asked what actions they would take if a friend “liked” a brand, 35% said they would take no action. Somewhat more encouragingly, 29% said they would at least check out the product, while 14% would visit the product Web site, and 11% would visit its social media page.