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Published December 23rd 2010

Brandwatch Tutorial – Session 6: Who are the most influential commentators of my brand?

In this sixth instalment of the Brandwatch tutorials, we are going to look at the concept of Influence.

A common issue with Social Media Monitoring is the amount of data being collected: how can someone possibly analyse and understand the thousands of mentions that their query (or brand) is generating. As well as looking at overall volume and trends, an answer is to concentrate on the most important mentions of the query – that is, the mentions written by the most influential commentators. Click here for the video that accompanies this post.

Due to the wide range of sources that Social Media covers, there is no unique, global measure of influence. Therefore Brandwatch offers several methods to identify influential commentators.

The most influential sites
The first way to find out about influence is to check which influential sites are talking about your query. To do this, open the workspace you created in the first tutorial. Switch to the third tab ‘Sites & Recurring Phrases’. In the ‘Top Sites’ component, you will see the top 20 sites mentioning your query, in terms of how often they mention it.

Note that you can ask to view more than 20 sites by clicking on the ‘Controls’ button, then on ‘Filter Options’, and at the bottom of the Controls box entering how many sites you want to see (for example, 40). Then click on ‘Load data’, and on the ‘X’ icon to close the Controls box.

To find out which of these sites are more influential, sort the table by the mozRank column (by clicking on that column’s header). mozRank is a measure of how influential whole websites are. By ordering the table by this column, you will see the most influential sites at the top, that is, the sites which matter most, despite them not necessarily mentioning your query most.

Top sites ordered by mozRank

Top sites ordered by mozRank

In the example snapshot above, we can see that aside from a few obviously important sites (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube), the Superdry query was mentioned on Yahoo Answers and in the Scotsman newspaper. Mentions from both sites should be worth looking into. You can do this by clicking on the site address – this will open a pop-up window with the mentions from that site.

Alternatively, you can also sort the table by the Backlinks column. That column measures how many web pages link to the site, which is another important influence metric. In the case of Superdry, backlinks also suggests Yahoo Answers and the Scotsman as more influential.

The most influential mentions
At a lower level, you can look for the influence of individual mentions. To do this, go to the fourth tab of the workspace, ‘Mentions’. The ‘Mentions & Search’ component shows a list of all the mentions for your query, within the date range. This list is often long and can span several pages. But here again you can order the list by influence (mozRank or backlinks), to see the most influential mentions first. This is done again by clicking on the column headers.

Considering the importance of Twitter in Social Media Monitoring, it is important to focus on individual Twitter mentions – and for this, a site-level measure of influence such as mozRank or backlinks is not sufficient. This is why the mentions component also includes three columns dedicated to Twitter influence: number of followers, number of tweets, and number of following. If these columns are not visible by default, you can make them appear using the ‘More’ dropdown in the top-right corner of the Mentions component.

By sorting the mentions by number of followers (click on the header of the Followers column), you will see the tweets mentioning your mentions, ordered by how influential the tweet author is. That is, the most important Twitter mention will be top of the list.

Mentions ordered by Twitter followers

Mentions ordered by Twitter followers

That is it for this sixth tutorial. As always, do Contact Us if you have any questions.

Video tutorial: how to identify influencers who mention your brand

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