For those who want to support a brand or simply better understand the thought leaders in a field, Traackr provides a comprehensive, yet very easy to use, tool set. I recently spoke with Derek Skaletsky and Courtney Vaught about their offering. Traackr enables you to discover the top 25 influencers in a topic of your choice. It is designed to primarily support PR efforts. It offers additional features to better enable interaction with these influencers once they are discovered, as well as the ability to monitor what they say about your areas or interest, including your brand.
Once you define the characteristics of your list, Traackr scans the social web to identify the most influential and most relevant people online and dynamically generates your Authority List. Each Authority List includes detailed profiles for each influencer with contact information, influence score, recent posts, an online identity card, and complete performance data. They look at channels such as blogs, Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook (when data publicly available).
Traackr provide three scores to hone in on a person’s influence:
Reach - Ability to generate views based on audience size
Resonance - Ability to spark conversations based on such measures as retweets comments, and links
Relevance - Ability to cover specific topic/market based on relevance to your selected keywords
Traackr has set up a sample A-List on PR 2.0 so you see how the list works. There is comprehensive detail on the social media behavior of each person listed. The results change on a weekly basis and I noticed that people do move up and down, and in and out. I found myself on it a few times and was number 22 this last time I looked. I used their list when I was working on setting up some lists for my firm. You can also star people so they stay on the list even if their ranking metrics drops. Here is the list with the first five shown.
The Influencer Profiles have been split into separate tabs for easier navigation. All the recent, relevant posts from that Influencer are in the first tab and their full online footprint is in a second tab. Here is the footprint of the top person on the list above.
What I especially liked was the way you set the lists up. Traackr demonstrated this but also let me set up my own list so I could see how it worked. You can use up to 50 key words and the Traackr staff provides guidance on this activity. I had initially selected about seven key words and they gave me good feedback on how to expand it.
You first test a key word and then generate examples of it on the Web. This allowed me to see which ones remained on topic. I was looking for enterprise social media experts. I found that the term “social enterprise” was too general as it found socially conscious enterprises, as well as those using social media. They also have a feature that rates your key words from broad to niche. Ones that are too broad are not useful. I was able to work through options and came up with an initial 21 key word phrases that passed the tests. You rank order the key words to determine their relative weight. It was a useful process as I was forced to think through what I was really looking for. Here is the key word list I generated for a list on enterprise social media.
Here is my list on enterprise social media based on the above keywords. I was somewhat surprised to find myself ranked highly but I really did not game the system for this. I am not sure that you can game it. I found many people that I already know and respected and others that were new to me. Some were Twitter friends whose blogs I was less familiar with. I will continue to monitor the list as it changes weekly.
Since the Traackr tool is designed to help marketing and PR professionals in both agencies and within an enterprise there are other features to augment the A-List. When you login to your account, you will land on your Account Dashboard. The Dashboard offers a summary of the activity in your account as well as a quick look at any New Influencers appearing on any of your lists.
You can export any of your Traackr A-List as a JSON data feed which will allow you to plug your influencer data into any other application of your choosing. You also have the ability to "subscribe" to any of your Influencer Monitors via an RSS feed that you can plug into any standard RSS reader. This will allow you to feed all of the posts from your Monitor into your reader.
You can also monitor the presence of terms such as your brand or a topic of interested in the writings of the top influencers. You also have other task support features such as notes and to-dos associated with individuals on the list. As someone involved in the marketing of a software product I can certainly see the usefulness of this tool set.