Do you use influencer marketing as part of your marketing strategy? Thanks to a new patent granted to Google last month there could soon be new social media influencer scores based on topic and reach and comparing the reach to other influencers.
Patent in the Making
While the social media influencer scores patent was just granted to Google last month, the patent was originally filed back on May 29, 2012. And that patent wasn’t the first the Google sought regarding creating scores for social media influencers.
A previous patent was granted to Google in 2013, after being filed in 2010, that was called AdHeat Advertisement Model for Social Network. One of the claims from that patent was that it was a computer-implemented method of social network user scoring. The scoring would take into account user influence in addition to relevance for ad placement. The ranking would take into consideration quantity, quality, and frequency of interactions on a given social media network. The scoring would even take into account who you hang out with online by determining the significance of a user’s online relationships.
The New Patent
While the previous patent, AdHeat, specifically included language relating a social media influencers score to potential ad placement, the new patent is much more focused on the scoring itself. Determining influence in a social community is focused on determining influence in a particular social media community, rather than combined social media network influence.
For several years Klout has held a method for scoring social influencers. Google alludes to Klout in the background section of the patent, “Some technologies have been developed to analyze social media. For example, some systems allow users to discover their ‘influence scores’ on various social media.” While the new Google patent sounds very similar to Klout on some aspects, Google choosing to determine influence in individual social media communities does differentiate it from Klout’s method of scoring. Google even links to the FAQ page on Klout’s website and the Wikipedia Klout entry in the references section of the patent. Oh, and Google+ is one of the social media networks that Klout uses to generate their influencer scores.
A breakdown of how the new Google patent will work
- Social media influencers will be identified in a specific community. Can be broken down by topic.
- Determining the score for the influencer based on data that includes the quality of their reach, demographics of their audience, and geographic location for a particular topic.
- Identifying the most influential users for a particular topic by comparing them to other social media influencers in that community.
- Identifying one or more similar topics to the one being evaluated. Reevaluating the social media influencers and combining the influencer scores for the primary and secondary topics.
- Storing the scores for individual influencers
By scoring influencers individually the patent says that there are advantages to be gained including the ability to target individual users for advertising or to target their followers.
The patent includes multiple methods and equipment options for gathering and storing these influencer scores. These methods include a memory storage system involving multiple processors, a memory storage system in data communication, and a software method.
Data will be collected across various communities including blog, micro-blogs, and social networks. Information within these communities is of course shared in a variety of ways, too, from a status message, to video, to simply liking something.
Regardless of how the data is collected and stored Google reminds us that “social media is pervasive in today’s society.” Social media is no longer just about friends staying in touch with one another, it’s fans following their favorite brands and celebrities. And those brands want to know who is influencing their target market and how to leverage that information.
Potential Benefits for Marketers
By identifying influencers, and micro-influencers, marketers will have a better idea of where to place ads and what influencers to partner with. Engaging with the right influencers on social media networks will give you access to their followers and a trusted voice to reach those followers.
Having a large influencer who has no experience talking about the kind of product your businesses creates won’t gain much traction. But connecting with an influencer who is already talking to your target audience can get that message shared with hundreds of thousands of people.
The ability to know a social media influencer’s score on a particular topic can assist marketers in every field whether you work for a restaurant, a non-profit, a technology company, or something else.
Now that Google has the methodology to score social media influencers, what do they plan on doing with the information? Find out how Vende Digital can help you learn keyword tips and influencer communities that will help your business’ PPC campaign performance.