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Why you need an Influencer Program

Why do organizations / brands need an ‘Influencer Program’ (i.e. the ability to identify / incentivize / engage with Influencers to drive a specific message)?

If we analyze social media content — there are few observations that pop us almost every time. Given below is an analysis of 10,958 Twitter interactions around COVID. An “interaction” is defined as a Tweet, Retweet, MentionsInRetweet, Mentions and Replies.

  1. Original Content accounts for only a miniscule portion of social media content. Here Tweets account for only 2% of overall interactions.
COVID Sample Tweets — Interaction Distribution

2. This also means that majority of interactions are just reactions to original content (i.e. retweets / mentions etc.). Image given below shows interactions between people in these COVID conversations (each node is an individual and each connection is an interaction). It’s evident that most interactions can be traced back to a relatively small group of people.

COVID Sample Tweets — Network Graph
COVID Sample Tweets — Network Graph

3. 90% of this Original Content is created by less than 5% of the community.

4. Given the massive amount of noise on Social Platforms, people consume content only if it is from someone they follow/trust .

While this analysis is based on Twitter data — the same logic can be extended to even Enterprise Social Platforms (like Yammer / Slack), or for that matter — any network of social relationships.

What this means is — if you’re a firm trying to correctly position its brand on social media or if you’re an employer trying to engage effectively with employees, no matter how good your content is — if it is only delivered through a few corporate handles (that no one has heard of), there will minimal takers for your message. The key is identify those few consumers / employees who are posting content / expressing their opinions and thereby becoming hubs of interactions — and leverage their reach to drive change.

These observations may come as no surprise for brands trying to connect with customers on social media — since Influence Marketing is a fairly mature field. However there is very little progress in employers using internal Organizational Network Analytics to engage meaningfully with employees, hence this area is ripe of some disruptive interventions.

One of the main reasons every org needs an ONA solution is the massive amounts of connections that need to be anlayzed, making it impossible to manually identify influencers. The other reason is — ONA tools (like quantify the Social Graph of the organization and make it possible to deploy additional tools like Machine Learning and Natural Language Processing (NLP) to generate nuanced insights that are actionable and can be tied to Business Outcomes.

A combination of massive data volumes and AI/ML possibilities can enable generation of multiple Influencer-related insights like —

  1. M&A Effectiveness — Analysing the networks of the two organizations before initiation of the Merger/Acquisition can significantly improve the integration effectivenes by leveraging “central” individuals to drive the vision of the new leadership team.
  2. Assess Inclusivity — The bridge role played by these central individuals can facilitate an inclusive workplace by enabling minority communities to integrate better with the larger organisation or helping them connect with leaders.
  3. Develop Leaders — Identifying these central individuals can not only help identify future leaders, it can also help track the effectivness of current leaders by assessing their reach.
  4. Enhance Overall Collaboration Levels — This data can help identify the quickest and most efficient way to increase collaboration levels in a location or a department — by leveraging the central employees in those locations / departments.

Conclusion: A combination of a hyper-connected social network and the availability of (almost unlimited) analytical capability means we are now ideally positioned to glean insights from conversational data on Social Platforms. It is entirely upto organizations to decide how to leverage this opportunity.



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Togy Jose

Togy Jose

CoFounder at OrgLens. #graphanalytics #ml #ai #peopleanalytics #startup #networks #communities. Twitter: @togyjose