Companies providing social media monitoring tools and services provide many ways to find and monitor influential voices out on the web. One of the latest proclamations is from Visible Technologies, now promoting a social marketing ROI study:
Leading companies ‘use multiple approaches to identify the individuals who wield the greatest amount of influence in any given topic area and to track changes in their influence over time,’ according to the report. ‘Best-in-Class companies engage these top influencers as brand evangelists, and then track the impact of their words and actions in terms of return on marketing investment.’
The same holds true for identifying those who wield influence out in the physical world, through offline means: associations, personal networks, professional position, education. There are many ways to find these individuals. In our work, we use several tools and entry points to uncover top influencers in each market. There’s no silver bullet. No one method does the trick in any market, let alone every market.