Social Influence Perspectives

Social Influence upstart Appinions launched a new website and strategic direction, emphasizing actionable strategy over influencer lists.
The company is moving to more of a consultative model, articulating five focus areas:

Executive “ignition”
The site says that Appinions will help companies “unlock the wealth of knowledge in your C-suite. Appinions’ influence marketing allows you to amplify your executives’ perspectives and help them attract attention well beyond the boardroom.” through

  • Build recognition for your brand
  • Generate business through your executives
  • Build the personal value, collateral and recognition for your executives

Launch Marketing

The company’s second module is targeted at using influencers in a product launch.  The site states that  Appinions’ launch marketing creates multiple trust  points™ to help form customer, analyst, and media opinions early through

  • Crucial influencer feedback to inform the product or service, marketing, and customer service
  • Create trusted endorsements which lessen risk of launch
  • Spread news of launch and keep the momentum going as long as possible

Event Optimization

The company says it wants to move from “Events That Inform to Those That Inspire” by leveraging influencer content before, during, and after an event. Their event module helps

  • Identify and inform the most valuable themes to define your event
  • Identify and cultivate relationships with the best possible speakers for your topics
  • Invite attendees who will engage with and amplify your content

Corporate Social Responsibility

This module will help businesses move from “Skepticism to Authenticity” and enhance corporate citizenship by choosing and measuring the right CSR programs. The aim of this module is to:

  • Determine the issues where your corporate engagement will be most meaningful
  • Focus your efforts and optimize your CSR budget
  • Generate credible awareness and recognition for your cause and efforts

Content Optimization

The final module promises to help companies move from “Consumable Content to Shareable Content.” This effort uses Appinions data to

  • Efficiently determine the best subjects for your content – those which will resonate most with your target market
  • Determine who to collaborate with to create and amplify content
  • Measure the impact of your content on your brand’s overall

This is certainly an interesting direction as Appinions makes a move to differentiate its offering by consulting directly with customers on results-based programs. This model may create more value-added services compared to a role as simply a data provider.


The American Library Association has named Return On Influence by Mark W. Schaefer a “pathfinding” contribution and one of its elite academic publications of 2012.

Every year the Association’s Choice magazine publishes a list of Outstanding Academic Titles that were reviewed during the previous calendar year. This prestigious list reflects the best in scholarly titles and brings with it the extraordinary recognition of the academic library community.

The list is quite selective: it contains approximately 10 percent of some 7,000 works reviewed in Choice each year. Editors base their selections on several criteria:

  • overall excellence in presentation and scholarship
  • importance relative to other literature in the field
  • distinction as a first treatment of a given subject in book or electronic form
  • originality or uniqueness of treatment
  • value to undergraduate students
  • importance in building undergraduate library collections
  • In reviewing Return on Influence, the magazine noted that “This book is a pathfinding contribution on how social media platforms are reconstructing the traditional concept of influence.  Schaefer (of Rutgers University) demonstrates that the world of social media has  enormous consequences (opportunities and problems) for people and organizations that seek online power and influence. The book is supercharged  with examples, interviews, and case studies detailing the experiences and thoughts of industry leaders.

    “The book is essential for those who want a thorough understanding of online influence — how to gain it and why it is so  important to organizations and individuals.  Summing Up: Essential for marketing and social media collections at all levels.”

    Return On Influence is Mark Schaefer’s second book. The Tao of Twitter was first released in 2011 and re-launched by McGraw Hill in 2012.

    “The feedback from fans of Return On Influence has been extremely rewarding,” said Schaefer,”especially since it presents a very new way to consider marketing and influence. This amazing honor is certainly icing on the cake of a great year for the book.”

    A resident of Knoxville (TN), Schaefer is the founder of Schaefer Marketing Solutions and blogs at {grow}. He is an adjunct profesor at Rutgers (NJ) University.

    Appinions is quickly establishing itself as a company to watch in the influencer space and took a giant leap forward by announcing a patent award for its proprietary data mining technology.

    The company announced the patent was awarded for their methodology of analyzing, extracting and summarizing opinions from digital text, such as articles, blog posts, and social media messages.

    The patent covers the methodology Appinions uses to analyze text from more than 5 million online sources to extract opinions, identify the person or source of a particular opinion and determine the topic and sentiment of that opinion. The patent is effective for 20 years and precludes other companies from implementing the methodology and business processes developed by Appinions.

    The patent is a significant development in an industry severely lacking in product differentiation or any protected intellectual property.

    Appinions stands out from Klout, Kred and PeerIndex because it is basing its results on sentiment analyis and relevant influencers who are driving conversations about a particular topic, instead of the “mention-based” processes of other companies.

    Klout announced a detailed lay-out of hosw they calculate a Klout score:

    The Klout Score is a number from 1-100 that represents the aggregation of multiple pieces of data about your social network activity. We compute the Klout Score by applying our score model to these signals.

    Score Signals

    The Klout Score currently incorporates more than 400 signals from seven different networks. We process this data on a daily basis to generate updates to your Score. Here are some of the top signals we measure by network:

    -Mentions: A mention of your name in a post indicates an effort to engage with you directly.
    -Likes: The simplest action that shows engagement with the content you create.
    -Comments: As a reaction to content you share, comments also reflect direct engagement by your network.
    -Subscribers: Subscribers count is a more persistent measure of influence that grows over time.
    -Wall Posts: Posts to your wall indicate both influence and engagement.
    -Friends: Friend count measures the reach of your network but is less important than how your network engages with your content.

    -Retweets: Retweets increase your influence by exposing your content to extended follower networks.
    -Mentions: People seeking your attention by mentioning you is a strong signal of influence. We also take into account the differences in types of mentions, including “via” and “cc”
    -List Memberships: Being included on lists curated by other users demonstrates your areas of influence.
    -Followers: Follower count is one factor in your Score, but we heavily favor engagement over size of audience.
    -Replies: Replies show that you are consistently engaging your network with quality content.

    -Comments: As a reaction to content you share, comments also reflect direct engagement by your network.
    -+1’s: The simplest action that shows engagement with the content you create.
    -Reshares: Reshares increase your influence by exposing your content to extended networks on Google+.

    -Title: Your reported title on LinkedIn is a signal of your real-world influence and is persistent.
    -Connections: Your connection graph helps validate your real-world influence.
    -Recommenders: The recommenders in your network add additional signals to the contribution LinkedIn makes to your Score.
    -Comments: As a reaction to content you share, comments also reflect direct engagement by your network.

    -Tips Done: The number of suggestions you’ve left that have been completed indicate your ability to influence others on foursquare.

    -+K received: Receiving +K increases your Klout Score by an amount that is capped in every 90-day measurement cycle to protect the integrity of the Score.

    -Page Importance: Measure by applying a PageRank algorithm against the Wiki-pedia page graph.
    -Inlinks to Outlinks Ratio: Compare the number of inbound links to a page to the number of outbound links.
    -Numbers of Inlinks: Measures the total number of inbound links to a page.

    The majority of the signals used to calculate the Klout Score are derived from combinations of attributes, such as the ratio of reactions you generate compared to the amount of content you share. For example, generating 100 retweets from 10 tweets will contribute more to your Score than generating 100 retweets from 1,000 tweets. We also consider factors such as how selective the people who interact with your content are. The more a person likes and retweets in a given day, the less each of those individual interactions contributes to another persons score. Additionally, we value the engagement you drive from unique individuals. 100 retweets from 100 different people contribute more to your Score than do 100 retweets from a single person.

    We know how important it is to maintain the integrity of the Klout Score, so we closely monitor activity across the signals we measure for inauthentic behaviors. The Score will continue to evolve and improve as we add more networks and more signals.

    Core Concepts

    Now that you know what information goes into Klout, here are the principles that guide the Klout Score.

    Influence is the Ability to Drive Action
    It’s great to have lots of connections, but what really matters is how people engage with the content you create. We believe it’s better to have a small and engaged audience than a large network that doesn’t respond to your content.

    Connecting Networks Can Only Help Your Score
    We want to help you understand your influence wherever it may exist. We also understand given the number of different networks out there, that it is nearly impossible for any person to be consistently effective across every network. Adding more networks helps us more accurately measure your influence and can only increase your Score.

    Everyone has Klout
    You are never penalized for connecting or engaging with someone with a low Klout Score. In fact, you are helping build their Klout Score. The more influential you are, the greater impact you have. All engagement positively contributes to your Score.

    Influence is Built Over Time
    In most instances, your influence should not radically change from one day to the next. The Klout Score is based on a rolling 90-day window, with recent activity being weighted more than older activity. Being inactive over the weekend or taking a short break won’t have a major impact on your score, but if you’re inactive for longer periods your Score will decrease gradually.

    Being Active is Different than Being Influential
    Retweets, Likes, comments and other interactions on the social Web are all signals of influence. However, just looking at the count of these actions does not tell the whole story of a person’s influence. It’s important to look at how much content a person creates compared to the amount of engagement they generate.

    Klout is Constantly Evolving
    The social Web is changing every day and the Klout Score will continue to evolve and improve. The best strategy for obtaining a high Klout Score is to simply create great content that your network wants to share and engage with.