Measuring your social media influence is tricky. Clearly, numbers don’t mean anything, but its your “action potential” that really matters on networks.
While this is obvious, diving into social networks, with all the complications and types of networks involved, measuring one’s potential or reach on Facebook or any other social network for that matter is difficult.
However, we have certain obvious clues that tells us a lot of a person’s social media/facebook influence.
1. Comments to Time ratio – Measures Influence
If you’re getting lot of comments on your status updates, it clearly shows that people want to listen to you. But it necessarily doesn’t mean that you’re influential.
However, if you stack up the number of comments against time, it becomes a better metric that brings in clarity on how influential you are.
More comments in lesser time probably means you’re a celebrity and anything lesser than that graded accordingly by the number of comments and time.
2. Likes to posting frequency – Measures Reach
This is probably the most obvious metric. The more the likes, the bigger your reach.
But is that all ?
If you match the posting frequency and number of posts against the number of likes for each, you would get better clarity on the person’s consistency and reach.
While this metric can be unfair, it could mean a good measure to the person’s interactivity with the medium.
For example someone who’s posting updates daily and getting a high number of likes is likely to be more popular and consistent than a celebrity who posts once a month while getting a large number of likes.
3. Network growth rate – Measures Quality
If you measure a decent sample size of (lets say 1000) consistent Facebook addicts, it wouldn’t be difficult to come up with an average “Network Growth Rate” – would it ?
I’d consider Average Network Growth Rate as the average number of people every Facebook user adds to his network every month.
With the average network growth rate as the benchmark, it would make sense to measure one’s popularity by stacking up their Network Growth Rate against the average.
The bigger the better.
But again, there will be discrepancies. One metric I wish we could measure was whether friends were added by the person himself or invitations received from others. The latter makes sense, when measuring popularity, not the former.
4. Interactions from outside network – Measures popularity
Imagine a Facebook user and his sphere of friends as his immediate network.
Now imagine the rest of Facebook as his “outside network”.
Now, there are lot of folks who remain within their immediate network and are incredibly popular.
But I think it might make sense to figure out how much of “outside network” interactions he receives, in the form of wall posts or friend invites or tagging, that will give clues on whether the person is “heard” in other circles.
Is it realistic to measure Facebook Influence ?
However, it is possible to compare users for their influence and reach on social media.
Grading each user based on a standard probably cannot be error free but comparing metrics between more than one user is easier.
Having said that the above metrics are just hints about how influence can be measured, not definitive rules.
There are lot of metrics like the above that can be used to measure influence on a social network, and one tool that does it right is Klout.
They have recently launched their Facebook Influence tool that will measure your presence on Facebook and measure it with some indepth metrics like the one’s mentioned above.
What are your thoughts about measuring Facebook influence ?