As we enter a new year, I traditionally start by highlighting people and news to keep an eye on in the year to come.
This year is no different, (yeah, I?m predictable that way). Previously, I shared 5 bloggers for you to watch in 2013 as well as 5 blogs to subscribe to in 2013. In today’s final look ahead, and in no particular order, here are 5 influence platforms to keep an eye on in 2013.
Recently I was asked what was one of my goals in 2013, and my response was to see social scoring as a means for measuring influence disappear. A number does not reflect a person’s influence – context, relevance, action and integrity do, which is why I like the approach Appinions is taking to social influence.
Working directly with brands – they’re not interested in a consumer interface – Appinions uses over a decade of research and academia from Cornell University to connect brands to influencers through a mix of earned, paid and owned media. They also offer strategic partnerships between these brands and their clients, with nary a social score in sight.
I’ve already featured these guys here earlier this year, but the reason I think TrendSpottr warrants a closer look in 2013 when it comes to influence is simple – they truly have the potential to change the way content is used as a business strategy for companies of all sizes, and how that content influences your marketing strategies.
When you think of trends today, you probably think of something like what’s currently trending on Twitter. Yet that’s not a true barometer of trending – that’s simply showing what’s currently popular. For true predictive trend analysis – highlight what has the propensity to become popular based on organic and social conversations – TrendSpottr is the platform to check out.
If you as a publisher or brand can tap into what content is going to go viral – including YouTube videos – and then prepare your own content around that optimized for search, your equity as a thought leader and, by correlation, an influencer has just grown.
I’ll admit, I confused Traackr with the similarly-named service Trackur, and haven’t looked at them in too much depth before because of this. My bad, since Traackr offers much promise when it comes to highlighting the kind of influencers that really matter to your brand.
Instead of pure numbers and how they might amplify a message, Traackr looks to identify influencers based on three core concepts – Reach, Resonance and Relevance. While the Reach part of the equation does take audience size into equation, it’s complemented by the Resonance (the ability to effectively engage that influencer’s community) and Relevance (how contextual that influencer is to your brand) factors, making the overall process much more targeted.
Having just written the chapter in our upcoming book on social influence marketing that looks at these factors as well as others that truly impact your company’s bottom line, I’ll be taking a much closer look at Traackr in the coming weeks for sure.
Apart from having a name that reminds me of something a drunken Scot would say in celebration, Wahooly has caught my eye for the approach they’re taking, which is more skewed towards crowdsourced influence.
Kind of like a KickStarter for influence, Wahooly tracks the conversations about startup companies in their database. The more influence your conversation effects around a chosen company, the more points you earn with that company. You can then redeem these points to enjoy “rewards” with that company, from free samples to a chat with the founders and even equity in the company.
It’s an interesting concept, although one that could easily be gamed due to the nature of online chatter and adapting conversations to suit a need. However, the ability to potentially have a say in which startups succeed is one to admire – here’s hoping they can keep the gamification aspect honest.
I’ve loved what the Tellagence guys are doing from the first moment I heard about them, mainly because these guys are doing everything right when it comes to online behaviours and understanding how influence truly works on the social web.
Geared solely for Twitter at the moment, but with more networks to follow, Tellagence looks at evolving variables in online behaviour, and how that translates into identifying an influencer at any given time. Instead of saying “Joe is influential in sports”, Tellagence can say “Joe is influential in sports this month, but Sarah will be more influential next month”.
This advanced analysis truly reflects the fluid nature of influence based on a person’s changing interests and makes Tellagence a strong player in the new wave of influence tools about to take off in 2013 and beyond.
Social Scoring is Over
Currently, when you ask someone about influence online, most people will say, “Oh, you mean companies like Klout and Kred and other social scoring platforms”, mainly because that’s all the mainstream really knows about at the minute.
The problem is, social scoring isn’t anywhere near a true measure of someone’s online influence and the impact that can create. Instead, context, situations, relevance, audience behaviour and more are the new currencies of influence.
Or, perhaps they’ve always been the currency, and the platforms such as the ones mentioned above are helping to shape how influence can truly be measured and used in a business setting where lead generation and sales are the end result.
Which, for any business, is what matters the most at the end of the day. Here’s to the future.
Note: As we gear up to the launch of our book in the near future, we’ll be hosting a series of exclusive webinars with the platforms and founders we feel are shaping the influence industry for the next 12-18 months and beyond. You can get access to these webinars, and choose which one you’d like to attend, when you pre-order our book and forward a copy of your receipt to firstname.lastname@example.org – look forward to seeing you there.