Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The Influence Index

Creating a benchmark or a measurement Index on the popularity and level of involvement of the most influential people in Social Media was long overdue. The need to quantify the kind of influence a person exerts in the social networking platform and understanding the breadth of a person's brand. The good thing is we do have an interesting Influence Index to refer now. However, the index needs further development to create a robust measurement model. Time Magazine recently conducted the most Influential People of 2010, who can affect our world.

The formula for networking index = (Twitter Followers) x 2 + (Facebook Connections) / 2

Now don't ask me what that's supposed to mean and how this calculation can give a precise Index of Influence but at least expert are working on it.

In my 2010 Atticus paper, titled "Do Good or Die," I proposed a measurement Index to understand the Return on Involvement of Brand in context to the level of Involvement a brand has with its fans, followers and people in Social Media. Now how do we go about doing it.

Step 1: Conducting a Social Audit of the Brand.
This audit includes understanding of the Digital Footprint of the brand where it gives us a clear understanding how deep the brand has managed to penetrate in the social media sphere, the Social Identity Audit that lets us understand how does consumer identify with the brand, then conducting a Social Engagement Audit that lets us understand how well the brand manages to engage with people on the Social Media. This leads us to understand the Social Capital Opportunity that a brand can gather in the Social Media platforms. The Social Capital of a brand is the most important component for a brand to play with.
Step 2: Engagement vs Involvement.
This step lets us understand the level of engagement vs level of involvement. It helps us identify and understand the process of involvement and where it arises from. Is it individual driven or community led process? Is is about collective responsibility or individual Maturity? Is it at the awareness level or concern level or at the edge to change consumer attitude/ behavior?
Step 3: The shift from ROI to ROIn
Return on Involvement is the measurement to ascertain the efficiency of a company's value in involving its stakeholders, shareholders and consumers to evaluate its social goals. To understand Return on Involvement of a brand we need to understand how transparent a brand is in it's entire value creation process. Second, how much Social Capital it can gather through collaboration and co-creation and finally how does the brand share its value to people of the world.
Step 4: Calculating ROIn.
This is conceptual formula to calculate Return on Involvement. Like most index and formula is needs more clarity and better statistical and mathematical model to create an universal unit as reference and measurement.

The Formula= (Total Audience Size on Social Media Platform/ Implementation cost of Social Activity) x Average Time Spent.

ROIn is a reflection of consumers' sense of belonging and feeling of being valued. ROIn is about bringing people together for a common cause that creates a ripple effect in the market place all contributing to social accountability. It is the measurement of the rate of productive output by collaborating with people on social media platforms.

Coming back to Influence Index, I think it will become an important measurement index in the near future as more brands join the social media platform. Just like TAM, GRP. TRP, INS etc, we do need a strong Index which will bind all social media activities and the level of influence and involvement a brand/ person has on the medium.

Please do share your thoughts and feedback. Maybe we can collaborate to create a robust measurement index for the Influence Ripple and Involvement.


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