It was my first question for LinkedIN and I was amazed by the quality of answers.

As I am reading this book titled "Influncer - the power to change anything", I was awakened by the fact that influencing isn't a Web2.0 thing.

In face, the book has nothing to do about social media but everything to do with it.

After reading a few chapters, I was inspired to ask in LinkedIn "How do you measure influence in a social media campaign?".

The answer were nothing short of quality.

James Smith of and Futuregov wrote,

Marketers are always looking for direct causality, but media and life in general is more complicated than that. If you accept that media (I think all media is "social" by its very nature) influences, then you've simply got to start using it, start experimenting with it, to see it's impact.

We've had a corporate blog for a couple of years. What is it's return? It's internal - as staff get to see themselves on stage, and feel that what they do has an external relevance. Our staff turnover is very very low by Singaporean standards (10 per cent staff turnover in 20 months).

And it's also proven to be a very cost-effective means of persuading mid-career professionals to join us. I can't count the number of times someone has said "I read your blog, and I really love the corporate culture it reveals".

Just after we started the blog a potential hire I was chasing after was also being courted by Microsoft. But she felt she "belonged" to Alphabet Media as a result of what she'd read on our blog. She's now one of my top sales managers.

So as a business owner I'm using the online channel to create influence. That's because I know that (social) media is working for me even when I'm not able to put a quantifiable value to it.
Ian Bickerton of wrote,

I would think it depends quite a lot on what specifically you are trying to influence and measure. Change of behaviour, ideology etc.

When it comes to traditional media there are the usual measures of brand perception, awareness etc.

Successful firms exhibit a range of peculiar and unexpected brand values derived from insightful research and demanding positioning.

Seven concepts are critical to define

1. Perception (their's, not your's)
2. Differentiation
3. Competition
4. Specialization
5. Simplicity
6. Leadership
7. Reality

Or you can take a look at the books Tipping Point/Blink by Malcom Gladwell which offers some interesting stories around personality type and the influence effects they have.

For example:

Maven - Gathers information in specific subjects in detail and gives it away freely to anyone who will listen. We all know this person. They are the ones who will give you advice along the lines of: "Don't but it there buy it here, you get it 5% cheaper and the service is so much better."

Salesman - Excellent persuaders, once they pick a subject they believe in they are well networked and will spread the gospel rapidly and effectively.

Connectors - Specialize in collecting people and contacts and know everyone of key importance to a subject or at least of someone who know

The above character types could be applied to social networking behaviours. The key would be to define a DB matrix that can capture and profile personality to current behaviour against changed behaviour.

For example, if I could convince a Maven that my services are better than X, then measure that against their social network and track new sales linked back to that Mavens network. I would then be able to track how I influenced an influencer.

I was also given a mathematical answer on how to measure influence. Unfortunately the person chose to be anonymous.

Wrote anonymous,

Typically, before I'll launch any online product campaign, I will set the goal by measure influence from "Engagement point". What is engagement point? Why engagement point? This is because social media is one of the community platform. If you can engage your user more, the more opportunity for your better ROI.

My formula is

"Page view per User" + ("Unique Session" / user) = engagement point

For example, I do some online activity and expect to see the growth of engagement. So, to make sure that user will stick to your site and love your site, you need some scientific method to know that they spend time with you. So, "Page view per user" and number of user would be the good solution for this, right?

For another solution, I will pay attention to the influence & famous blogger. I will write my personal email and discuss with these blogger that I want to do an online campaign. Surprisingly, most of blogger love to share, so, they will give me more information and even help me to spread the buzz around.

In conclusion,
1. I will measure from Engagement point
2. Observe from blogger

Hope this helps

A PR friend in a Fortune500 company wrote,

Good question Aaron...there really are no precise tools. We sometimes find ourselves reacting because a small number of people are very loud in the blogosphere while there may be a massive silent majority that feels otherwise.

Interesting insights indeed and I would like to thank everybody who answered.

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