As client demand for influencer mapping, community building and engagement increases, I came across some interesting statistics that help prove such campaigns are worth their while.

A new study announced yesterday by ExactTargethighlights that consumers active on Twitter are the most influential online. The report reveals that Tweeters are three times more likely to impact a brand’s reputation through syndicated tweets, blog posts, articles and product reviews than the average consumer. This provides a strong argument that online influencer research and digital PR campaigns are of value to brands.

ExactTarget’s principle Morgan Stewart points out that “while the number of active Twitter users is less thanFacebook, the concentration of highly engaged and influential content creators is unrivalled” noting that it’s becoming the “gathering place for content creators whose influence spills over into every corner of the internet.”

Some useful, persuasive stats:

72% of Twitter users publish blog posts at least monthly
70% comment on blogs
61% write at least one monthly product review
61% comment on news sites

Providing further evidence of the value of opening up a Twitter channel, the report reveals the principle reason for consumers to follow a brand on Twitter is to get information about the company and consequently their products.  If your audience is online and you’re not, you are clearly missing a trick.

Over the last couple of years, I have seen a plethora of bold new social media monitoring solutions promising to cut through the unstructured chaos of online conversations.

Are we ever going to see a consolidation?  Only yesterday I came across a wiki, providing me with a list of 130 solutions, I just wonder how many will still be running in 6 months…?


Proof and measurement of online engagement is critical, especially if we as PRs are to get our clients as enthused in social media activities as we would like. While we must measure engagement, reputation and sentiment, being naturally pre-occupied with outcome-based results businesses also need tangible proof, such as number of downloads, comments, click-throughs, enquiries etc to provide that halfway stage between campaigns and direct sales.

There are hundreds of tools available that can prove sentiment and engagement, some free and some paid for – some are rubbish and some are pretty good. Radian6 is expensive, but provides the most comprehensive measurement reports in a really simple format. eCairn is arguably the best, but is fairly raw in format and the reporting function is not as ‘glossy’ and easily digestible as Radian6.

Then you have the free tools. Most do the same job as the paid-for tools, but you just need to spend more time digesting the information and putting it into digestable and meaningful format. We find a combination of Google Analytics (including blog and site search), Technorati and Omgili is sufficient much of the time.

Social media measurement tools do come with a health warning – not one tool is really able to provide a truly accurate view of positive or negative sentiment (although several sites claim to do this), so you really must have human intervention. The sentiment reporting function should really be used as a good initial guide for any red flags, but you then need humans to research buzz properly to verify positive/negative sentiment.

Of course, while proving sentiment and maintaining reputation is a start, converting it to direct output is quite another.

Is it time to shape your reputation?

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