Measuring Influence in the Blogosphere with BuzzLogic
Among the toughest tasks that marketers face daily is tracking what is being said about their company or its brands in the media, identifying which of the external voices are most influential and are having the most impact-positively or negatively-and then devising a strategy and specific tactics to influence the influencers.
None of the existing tools for performing these tasks has proven adequate to the challenge of social media like blogs which are host to millions of conversations that are constantly being updated around the clock. Blog search engines can tell you who is popular, but not who is influential. Traditional brand monitoring and analysis services can tell you what a sample of bloggers was thinking a few weeks ago, but that’s ancient history in the blogosphere.
BuzzLogic is a start-up with a solution. Founded by internet veteran Mitch Ratcliffe and Todd Parsons and introduced at demoFALL, BuzzLogic is a hot new on-demand web service that allows marketers to monitor, map, measure and engage conversations in social media in nearly real-time. (The company is now in a second round of private beta.)
BuzzLogic identifies the influencers who are shaping and driving specific conversations in social media with algorithms that analyze relationships, such as who connects to whom, about what is happening and who is listening. In its model, an “influencer” is a “post or publisher generating a significant volume of relevant inbound links and comments about a particular topic or conversation, within a specific timeframe.”
The value is that marketing and communications pros can use these insights to understand influence and who has it, to manage their brands, reputations, products and customer relationships-and to do so while the conversation is still ongoing.
“Social media may soon rival mainstream media in impact, yet there’s been no meaningful way to understand or untangle it,” said Rob Crumpler, BuzzLogic CEO, in a press release. “Influence is the most meaningful way to understand social media. Through the lens of influence, social media is transformed from chaotic tangle to manageable channel.”
BuzzLogic is hardly alone in seeking to build a business around measuring social media influence; Nielsen BuzzMetrics, Cymphony and several other companies are also in the game. This is a case where the company whose algorithms produce the most finely-tuned, accurate and current information stands to emerge as the big winner among corporate communicators, PR firms, customer service and market researchers and other areas where discerning the “voice of the customer” is essential.
Based on what I’ve seen so far, and its “disruptive” price of $500 per month to track 20 conversations (queries), 25 influencers deep, I like BuzzLogic’s chances of being that winner.
If markets really are conversations, BuzzLogic may just have come up with the ultimate eavesdropping device.
Jerry Bowles has more than 30 years of varied experience as a writer, editor, marketing consultant, corporate communications director and blogger. For the past 20 years, he has produced and written special supplements on new technologies for a number of magazines, including Forbes, Fortune and Newsweek.