Posted by: Marshall Sponder | February 22, 2008

Authority = Authority – Social Media Metrics

I liked the post on Respect My Authority blog titled Respect My Authority – Social Media Analytics (is it my imagination or is “Respect My Authority” going to be part of every single blog post by Mitch Joel, and if this is so, why not pick a more SEO Optimized term?)

Actually “Respect My Authority” is not repeated in the title of any other blog post – but in way, it would make sense for say…. a Web Analytics blog to have “Web Analytics” or “Web Metrics” in the beginning of the title of any post – if only it didn’t read so artifical – Search Engines would probably love the blog and rank it well for “Web Analytics”.

Ok, well that’s not the point of my post and I did digress a little – my point is that Social Media “Authority” is now more important than rankings or even traffic and that needs to be measured and in fact, can be measured even now:

“…Have you even been added by someone on twitter, and when you look at their profile the people following them is one-fifth the size of people they are following? Has someone ever told you about a Blog, and when you look it up on Technorati, it has a very low Technorati Authority rating? You check out a Podcast and there are no audio comments? You are asked to friend someone on Facebook, and you’re suddenly bombarded with event requests and messages that are not for you? You connect to someone on LinkedIn and now your inbox becomes nothing short of headhunter spam?

Being able to see a Blog’s Technorati Authority or looking at how many followers someone has on twitter is, definitely, the new web analytics that count. In a world where a “friend” means many different things to different people, we’re all becoming less and less concerned with how many people are coming to our Websites, and more and more concerned with who they are (and how connected they are).”

The only problem I have with the post is that I’m not really sold on Technorati’s Authority algorithm as being particularly meaningful any longer (if it ever was) and I think Twitter might be more useful as a way to measure Influentials, than anything else I can think of now.

So, Social Media Metrics I’d look at

  1.  Number of Twitter Followers
  2.  Number of Facebook Friends
  3.  Number of LinkedIn Contacts
  4.  Number of RSS Subscribers
  5.  Number of search results for a particular person (but this is subject to  error as the search indexes, particularly Google’s, is very dynamic, changing in size quite often, even throughout the day – altering the number of results on a search).
  6. The amount of Social Media Traffic coming to a site (I wrote a post on this about a year ago on titled Monitoring Social Media Traffic on a site
  7. The number of News Stories over the last month in News Search Engines.

We could probably go on and add the number of Press Releases and perhaps the number of Podcasts out there by the individual in question (or Brand), and even the number of Online Video clips, or the viewing of those clips – and so on.

At the end of it we’ll end up with an “authority” metric which probably corresponds best to the idea “reach”.


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