How Do You Measure Influencers?

#SMCQ16 How do you measure social media influencers and/or influential online communities?

This is the latest in a series of ongoing questions from the Social Media Club.  When do you tune in?  When do you tune out?  How do you rate your sources?

Perhaps my response is rather mundane but with social media I use the same criteria I use in “real” life whether talking around the water cooler with a colleague, socializing with friends, or deciding which newspaper or magazine articles to read.  If the person has something interesting or important to say, I listen.  If the person has something interesting or important to say and is very eloquent either with the words used or the ideas conveyed then I begin to listen more intently and will more likely be open and receptive when that person speaks or writes in the future. 

With the ubiquity of information via social media channels, we have all become much more expert at skimming, scanning, and filtering.  We have to be.   Thus, it becomes very important for any “influencer” to be able to communicate much with little to capture attention.  This doesn’t apply just to the 140 character Twitter limit but maybe with any communication we should ask the question “have we done enough in the first 140 to capture an individual’s attention?”   Good communicators and influencers probably do some version of this intuitively.

So effective, efficient messages are key.  Regularly is another.   Transparent, non-promotional communications essential.  Self-effacing humor is nice.  But the most important aspect is just to be a part of the conversation and thought stream.  One person with one comment at the exact right moment in time who we never hear from again can be a profound influencer.


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