Weighting for Influence

While Social Media programmes are widespread, opinion is polarised as to whether these programmes reflect the marketplace as a whole. When implementing an online listening programme, it is important to know that it offers an accurate overview of the market. Taking influence into account ensures that your programme is a true reflection of the market, and that outcomes can be accurately measured.


Influence can be defined as the capacity of an individual, organisation or publication to impact upon the actions, views or opinions of others over whom they do not hold power. Influence is topical – that is to say, the amount of influence a stakeholder has will vary by subject matter, whether this be smartphones, fashion or finance. For example, an article in the FT about the performance of a major public company is likely to have a larger impact upon the firm’s corporate reputation and stock price than a similar piece by a private blogger. However, the FT probably has less influence than many blogs when it comes to subjects such as climate change or wildlife.


Scoring stakeholders by topical influence shows how much “punching weight” they have in any given debate. This has important implications for brands, as influence is a reflection of how much a stakeholder can move the markets through their opinions. In the battle between competing brands within a marketplace, an influencer’s voice can lend additional firepower to a brand’s share of the debate, which in turn can translate into market share.


Ok, so we’ve established that influence weighting is important. But how can we be sure that this scoring is accurate? Firstly, the methodology behind influence scoring should be sound. At Onalytica for example, we use an influence-measurement technique developed by Nobel prize winner Wassilly Leontief. Secondly, it must lead to results. We have tested our methodology to predict outcomes such as market share movements and have found our results to be very accurate. One example includes our recent work with investment bank Jefferies.

Weighting for influence as well as analysing all types of online media means that your online listening programme has a better chance of providing a good return on investment. Get in touch if you would like more information on our influence methodology, or would like to build your own real-time online listening programme.

comments powered by Disqus