Here’s a simple 3-step system to get started with influencer measurement. No need to over-think it or bog down in trying to measure the whole world. Just take a stab at who your influencers are, make a quick list of an audience that is engaged with your brand or topic, and then record their interactions in a spreadsheet.
With this basic approach you’ll learn the lay of the land in your own particular influencer neighborhood. If you decide to take the next step to a more sophisticated approach (see for instance “How to Measure Influence: 2 Approaches and the Tools You’ll Need” and “7 Steps to Measuring Earned Influence”), then you’ll have confidence, knowledge of the playing field, and a track record to grow from. Good luck!
Three Easy Steps to Start Your Influencer Measurement
Step #1: Pick three influencers
Set up a meeting with your sales and marketing departments (if you’re at a non-profit, talk to your peers in development). Find out what are the top three most influential outside sources of information (as opposed to sales people, who always think they’re the most important) for your customers and prospects. These “sources” might be media outlets, thought leaders, individuals, consultants—you never know what they’ll say. But they will be the influencers you want to reach out to. Make a list in Excel—this can then be imported into your CRM or email system.
Step #2: Select an engaged audience
Sign in to Klout (it’s free) to find people who are engaged with your topic. The people you identified in Step #1 should be somewhere on the list. What you’re looking for now are additional people in the same network. Add these additional people to the list you established in Step #1.
Now start following all of them on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and/or Instagram. Supplement your list with a search of your most important topics on Twitter and LinkedIn to see what other names emerge.
Step #3: Count and analyze their interactions
Add columns to your original Excel sheet so you can track the frequency of the influencers’ social media interactions with your engaged audience. Analyze the content. Note if and when they quote one of your spokespeople, share your content, or communicate one of your messages. Ideally you will track the quality of the mentions, whether they are positive, negative, or neutral, and whether or not they contain a key message.
Your purpose here is to learn which influencers are conveying your key messages and which aren’t—or aren’t paying attention. Then you’ll know which ones you need to pay more attention to. Use that information to adjust your outreach. Maybe you’ll need to change the way you communicate with certain influencers. Or perhaps you’ll need to provide certain influencers with specific types of content, like video or infographics. ∞