Experts Blog

The Science of Social Media Influence

By Travis Wright on Jun 18, 2011 - 03:51 PM

As social media evolves, it appears that tribes are being created online. Small groups of influential people are congregating in various social media sites and helping each other create more influence.

This appears to be a relatively new phenomenon. There are several sites out there that gauge our social influence. They take our actions on the top social media sites, sees who interacts with us the most, sees which content we are sharing, see who is sharing our content and comes up with a composite score based on your actions, social influence and general online awesomeness.

They each take into consideration things such as:

  • How influential are the people who @ message you?
  • How influential are the people who retweet you?
  • How influential are the people who follow you?
  • How influential are the people who list you?
  • How influential are the people who follow the lists you are on?

Each site does tend to measure the social influence a bit differently.

Klout Ranks Social Influencers

Klout was one of the first companies to begin ranking social influence.

According to their definition, Klout is defined as:

The Klout Score is the measurement of your overall online influence. The scores range from 1 to 100 with higher scores representing a wider and stronger sphere of influence. Klout uses over 35 variables on Facebook and Twitter to measure True Reach, Amplification Probability, and Network Score.

True Reach is the size of your engaged audience and is based on those of your followers and friends who actively listen and react to your messages. Amplification Score is the likelihood that your messages will generate actions (retweets, @messages, likes and comments) and is on a scale of 1 to 100. Network score indicates how influential your engaged audience is and is also on a scale from 1 to 100. The Klout score is highly correlated to clicks, comments and retweets.

Empire Avenue is a Social Influence Stock Market

Empire Avenue is the Social Stock Market, where you can Grow your Social Capital online. Here's how it works, you get to discover valuable, interesting, cool, fun people online and then based scores or share price, invest virtual currency in their profiles by buying shares in our Social Stock Market. It's an interesting concept. The simple act of buying shares in someone you think is worth your currency, you will create new connections and as people invest in you, grow your own social influence within the game.

Empire Avenue is what you make of it. Empire Avenue can be used as a complement to your social networking, as a way to meet and make great new connections, find individuals who are engaged in each of their networks and as a way to connect online. If you’re new to social media, Empire Avenue can even be a great training tool – a fun way to discover the power of social networks, find out how strong your social media efforts are and how to make your online presence even more effective by growing your social influence.

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Triberr Creates Groups of Social Influencers

Basically, its a syndication network. You can build a group of influential people, who like what you like. And everyone agrees to share everyone elses content in their Twitter following. To join, you must be invited. Which doesn't look to hard. Seems lots of people are eager to "build their tribe" (especially given that then you will broadcast their content to your following - everyday). Who knew that people would be so eager to promote themselves?


Every time you publish a new post, Triberr sends it to everyone in your tribe and they tweet it to their followers. You do the same for everyone in your tribe. All this is automated of course.

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Creating a tight tribe with like-minded people has an interesting impact on the other social influence ranking systems such as Klout and EmpireAvenue. You can literally see the effect on your rankings. I posted a blog post earlier in the week, and my Klout went up 2 points in 4 days. The traffic to the blog post was much higher than normal.

Social Influence is very real.

People gauge your worthiness as a marketer or thought leader by the information that you share, and by who you are connected to, and who shares your information. Some people even put their social influence scores on their resume!

Razorfish also put together a Social Influence Marketing Report, that is worth checking out. There are becoming more and more companies that measure social influence by all of your social accounts, and some that just measure certain networks. Like just measures your twitter account. And PeerIndex does some of the same things that Klout does. So, the space is gaining attention.

Have fun out there, and make sure to invest in my social influence capital on EmpireAvenue (e)TEEDUBYA. But, when my social influence scores start to drop, don't be afraid to "Sell, Mortimer!! SELLLLLLL!!"