This week, it’s all about influence. Again.
PRWeek yesterday looked at the tools available to PRs for finding digital media influencers, kindly listing Cision’s Social Media Index alongside the likes of PeerIndex and Klout. At the weekend, The Sunday Times launched The Social List, another tool for measuring “social capital”.
The Social List allows users to register with Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Foursquare accounts, then provides them with sub-lists comparing scores across an immediate network. One suspects The Social List might just be demanding a little too much from its users, as by signing up you hand over the right to post content via your social channels. It certainly scared me off signing up for a test drive – but luckily, Adriaan Pelzer at the Wall Blog is made of sterner stuff.
Pelzer’s test revealed the flaws in The Social List, which purports to rank users according to the responses of their wider network. By registering a series of bots, set up so as to send out automated tweets every so often, Pelzer showed that that one tweet per minute was sufficient to attain social guru status. You cannot leave a machine to target your influencers on its own, just like any key word plugged into a search engine will most of the time bring up variable results.
Of course, it’s early days for The Social List. And all influence rankings currently available seem to have their flaws (see, for example, SPINSUCKS’s Gini Dietrich recent review of PeerIndex and Klout).
At Cision an important part of our metrics is the human eye as that is what will finally validate our rankings. Some good advice for PRs is to not trust these tools blindley. When targeting your influencers it is still important to not ignore the human touch.