The final step is to look at the relevant variables that help us understand influence and discern both who is influential and who, critically, has the potential to be.
These variables are trust, in-context relationships between publishers, relevance on a topic, authority on a topic, authority within a community, and the relevant level of engagement and conversation.
Dirk Singer The problem in social media is that influence constantly changes, so you need to keep tabs on who is influential at the very least on a month by month basis.
Our solution is to have a a developer to build a series of databases for us, giving blogs across various sectors a constantly changing score based on a number of factors, such as inbound links and the extent to which content is shared.
James Warren Most of the time, they will already be known to the client. In certain sectors where there are active online communities such as food and drink, then our account teams transparently immerse themselves into those communities and get to know who is influential.
Michael Darragh: I take the time to understand where the people I want to influence are investing time and trust online, and the people or communities who are leading the conversation.
We analyse potential influencers against the following measures when data is available: inbound links, timeline of posts, comments per post, search engine placement and their overall social media footprint. We then seek to match the brand with the right influencers.
We do not always match brands with the most logical blogs. For an auto client, for example, there are many stories to tell around safety, sustainability and technology. So, rather than seek auto bloggers, I would be engaging with mum communities, green bloggers and gadget Twitterers.
Question 1: How do you define influence?