When I joined Agnostic... Before it was called Agnostic and were just a bunch of digital guys in a PR shop - I wanted to find a way to prove that a high following on twitter does not equal influence. So thanks to a culture of innovation and entrepreneurialism - we were able to develop a web app that does exactly that.
Nodeworthy is a simple but highly effective visualization tool that helps us see how many times a particular influencer was retweeted or mentioned over a two week period. And while it might not be a perfect proof of influence, we're willing to put our money on retweets and mentions as a fairly valid indicator.
So as an example - here is a screenshot of our tool in action using Andre Picard. A well known and respected health reporter for The Globe and Mail (which is a client of ours).
How It Works
What you're looking at is a big green dot representing Mr. Picard and a lot of arrows pointing to blue dots. Arrows pointing outward indicate that the blue dot (a person) has retweeted something that Andre has said.
In this case - we're seeing that Andre is retweeted by a lot of people, who then get retweeted by more people, and so on... In other words. He's really influential.
He's nice too, because as you can see from some of the arrows pointing his way - he retweets things his audience says.
Alright then - now that the theory portion of this post is complete, let's move on to the juicy stuff.
1. Kim Kardashian (@KimKardashian)
So what we're seeing here is really interesting. On the right hand side, we have Kim. And with a wee bit more influence, we have George R R Martin. Yes. The same guy who wrote Game of Thrones. As we can see, Kim isn't looking as healthy as Andre Picard, or even as healthy as Mr. Martin.
Before we move on to number 2, you're probably wondering why he shows up at all in this screenshot. Well, we don't just capture retweets of the person we're scanning. We also get the mentions and retweets of their name, even when they weren't the author of the tweets.
So in essence - George used Kim and Kanye's twitter handles - got retweeted by a lot of people, and with that one tweet - got more engagement online than Kim did with all her tweets combined over the last two weeks.
2. Ashton Kutcher
Ashton was one of the first Twitter celebrities, and was the first to climb past the one million follower mark. But followers alone make not an influencer. Ashton generates retweets, but none of the tweets seem to go any further than a handful of followers. Ultimately begging the question "What is the value of the number of followers you have?"
3. Katy Perry
Katy beats Ashton with over 53 million followers, but barely anymore retweets. That being said - she seems to have great interaction between her fans... Even if the conversations look like this:
4. Charlie Sheen
Charlie has a more extended influencer network than 1 - 3 in the list so far. But ultimately compared to a journalist like Andre Picard, he's not a #Winner (sorry, I had to go there).
5. Lebron James
Much like Katy Perry - the real influence for Lebron comes from his fans, magazines and otherwise outside networks that talk about Lebron, but don't retweet anything he has to say.
So what does this mean for you?
Well I don't know who you are, but presuming you're looking for an influencer to use in a campaign, or are trying to expand your network on Twitter, start looking past the numbers, and into the interactions that people have with each other.
I hope you enjoyed the demystification. If you have any influencers in mind that you want to get the low down on - leave me a line in the comments and I'll see what I can do about running a scan for you.