In many companies, management regards analyzing the roles of individual influencers in the changing market landscape as the province of PR or marketing organizations. In reality, determining who the influencers are and the sphere of their impact is can be much better suited to the competitive intelligence role:
Open source intelligence techniques can identify who drives a given conversation. Determining the main participants in a conversation spread across the Internet is a relatively conventional competitive intelligence role. QA sites such as Quora and focus.com are great resources for that effort, as are user groups and support forums.
Measuring an influencer’s digital reach helps quantify how important he or she is to your market. For example, a high number of Twitter followers, high follower-to-following ratio, and large number of LinkedIn connections suggest that an influencer has a substantial reach.
Quantitative analysis is vital to understanding the conversation. Gathering data from multiple sources can help reveal how accessible to your company an individual may be, in terms of how positive, negative, or objective their opinions tend to be.
By Sean Campbell
By Scott Swigart
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