As we enter a new year, I traditionally start by highlighting people and news to keep an eye on in the year to come.

This year is no different, (yeah, I’m predictable that way). Previously, I shared 5 bloggers for you to watch in 2013 as well as 5 blogs to subscribe to in 2013. In today’s final look ahead, and in no particular order, here are 5 influence platforms to keep an eye on in 2013.

1. Appinions

Recently I was asked what was one of my goals in 2013, and my response was to see social scoring as a means for measuring influence disappear. A number does not reflect a person’s influence – context, relevance, action and integrity do, which is why I like the approach Appinions is taking to social influence.

Appinions

Working directly with brands – they’re not interested in a consumer interface – Appinions uses over a decade of research and academia from Cornell University to connect brands to influencers through a mix of earned, paid and owned media. They also offer strategic partnerships between these brands and their clients, with nary a social score in sight.

2. TrendSpottr

I’ve already featured these guys here earlier this year, but the reason I think TrendSpottr warrants a closer look in 2013 when it comes to influence is simple – they truly have the potential to change the way content is used as a business strategy for companies of all sizes, and how that content influences your marketing strategies.

TrendSpottr

When you think of trends today, you probably think of something like what’s currently trending on Twitter. Yet that’s not a true barometer of trending – that’s simply showing what’s currently popular. For true predictive trend analysis – highlight what has the propensity to become popular based on organic and social conversations – TrendSpottr is the platform to check out.

If you as a publisher or brand can tap into what content is going to go viral – including YouTube videos – and then prepare your own content around that optimized for search, your equity as a thought leader and, by correlation, an influencer has just grown.

3. Traackr

I’ll admit, I confused Traackr with the similarly-named service Trackur, and haven’t looked at them in too much depth before because of this. My bad, since Traackr offers much promise when it comes to highlighting the kind of influencers that really matter to your brand.

TRAACKR  Find the influencers who matter most to you

Instead of pure numbers and how they might amplify a message, Traackr looks to identify influencers based on three core concepts – Reach, Resonance and Relevance. While the Reach part of the equation does take audience size into equation, it’s complemented by the Resonance (the ability to effectively engage that influencer’s community) and Relevance (how contextual that influencer is to your brand) factors, making the overall process much more targeted.

Having just written the chapter in our upcoming book on social influence marketing that looks at these factors as well as others that truly impact your company’s bottom line, I’ll be taking a much closer look at Traackr in the coming weeks for sure.

4. Wahooly

Apart from having a name that reminds me of something a drunken Scot would say in celebration, Wahooly has caught my eye for the approach they’re taking, which is more skewed towards crowdsourced influence.

Wahooly

Kind of like a KickStarter for influence, Wahooly tracks the conversations about startup companies in their database. The more influence your conversation effects around a chosen company, the more points you earn with that company. You can then redeem these points to enjoy “rewards” with that company, from free samples to a chat with the founders and even equity in the company.

It’s an interesting concept, although one that could easily be gamed due to the nature of online chatter and adapting conversations to suit a need. However, the ability to potentially have a say in which startups succeed is one to admire – here’s hoping they can keep the gamification aspect honest.

5. Tellagence

I’ve loved what the Tellagence guys are doing from the first moment I heard about them, mainly because these guys are doing everything right when it comes to online behaviours and understanding how influence truly works on the social web.

Tellagence

Geared solely for Twitter at the moment, but with more networks to follow, Tellagence looks at evolving variables in online behaviour, and how that translates into identifying an influencer at any given time. Instead of saying “Joe is influential in sports”, Tellagence can say “Joe is influential in sports this month, but Sarah will be more influential next month”.

This advanced analysis truly reflects the fluid nature of influence based on a person’s changing interests and makes Tellagence a strong player in the new wave of influence tools about to take off in 2013 and beyond.

Social Scoring is Over

Currently, when you ask someone about influence online, most people will say, “Oh, you mean companies like Klout and Kred and other social scoring platforms”, mainly because that’s all the mainstream really knows about at the minute.

The problem is, social scoring isn’t anywhere near a true measure of someone’s online influence and the impact that can create. Instead, context, situations, relevance, audience behaviour and more are the new currencies of influence.

Or, perhaps they’ve always been the currency, and the platforms such as the ones mentioned above are helping to shape how influence can truly be measured and used in a business setting where lead generation and sales are the end result.

Which, for any business, is what matters the most at the end of the day. Here’s to the future.

Influence Marketing by Danny Brown and Sam FiorellaNote: As we gear up to the launch of our book in the near future, we’ll be hosting a series of exclusive webinars with the platforms and founders we feel are shaping the influence industry for the next 12-18 months and beyond. You can get access to these webinars, and choose which one you’d like to attend, when you pre-order our book and forward a copy of your receipt to info@influencemarketingbook.com – look forward to seeing you there.

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Danny Brown
Co-author Influence Marketing: How to Create, Manage and Measure Brand Influencers in Social Media Marketing. #1 marketing blog in world as per HubSpot. Husband. Father. Optimist. Pragmatist. Never says no to a good single malt. You can find me on Twitter - Google+ - LinkedIn.
29 comments
tmischuk
tmischuk

Hi Danny,

I have enjoyed many of you articles. They are both informative and helpful.  Regarding the Scoring - MavenSocial has launched a platform in 2012 measuring the true economic impact of Mavens or influencers. Measures an influencers action in a social network including the number of opt-ins and sales. We have seen some truly remarkable results.

Danny Brown
Danny Brown

Haha, thought you might like that, miss. :)

I agree - the medium needs to be redefined and remodeled. Which, funnily enough... ;-)

Penney Fox
Penney Fox

"Apart from having a name that reminds me of something a drunken Scot would say in celebration" -- damn I missed reading your posts!

Great stuff here, I hadn't heard of a few of these but will def check them out. So not a big fan of Klout. I hope we really move in this type of direction to track our social influence.

AND big congrats on the book!

Penney Fox
Penney Fox

"Apart from having a name that reminds me of something a drunken Scot would say in celebration" -- damn I missed reading your posts! Great stuff here, I hadn't heard of a few of these but will def check them out. So not a big fan of Klout. I hope we really move in this type of direction to track our social influence. AND big congrats on the book!

Bobby Isaacson
Bobby Isaacson

Danny, great overview of the space, thanks for sharing.

I have used Appinions and Traackr. I think both provide value in certain cases and we have used them at SocialChorus.

Generally all these tools are focused on finding influencers or what is going to be influential, but still leaves the user with the question of 'now what?'

Would love to show you what we are doing at SocialChorus, were working with 30+ Fortune500 brands (more than the above) to help them manage relationships with hundreds and thousands of influencers, enable them to advocate and share the brand's story and then measure the engagement and earned media value. Our programs generate between 3-5x ROI.

Would love to chat also about buying your book to share with our clients in the new year.

Bobby Isaacson
Bobby Isaacson

Danny, great overview of the space, thanks for sharing. I have used Appinions and Traackr. I think both provide value in certain cases and we have used them at SocialChorus. Generally all these tools are focused on finding influencers or what is going to be influential, but still leaves the user with the question of 'now what?' Would love to show you what we are doing at SocialChorus, were working with 30+ Fortune500 brands (more than the above) to help them manage relationships with hundreds and thousands of influencers, enable them to advocate and share the brand's story and then measure the engagement and earned media value. Our programs generate between 3-5x ROI. Would love to chat also about buying your book to share with our clients in the new year.

joey
joey

how that content influences your marketing strategies.

2SA1943

joey
joey

how that content influences your marketing strategies. 2SA1943

Coreen Tossona
Coreen Tossona

First, congrats on the book, Danny! It's no surprise you decided to write a book on this. You've been one of the most vocal detractors of Klout since it's release. What sets you apart is that you didn't just complain. All along, you've given us an in-depth look at why Klout & Kred-like services don't work. I'll have to check out these sites you mention. Like others here, I've stopped paying attention to the "influencer" conversation because of the silliness of Klout et al. You've got my attention back to this subject now. Looking forward to the book.

Brian D. Meeks
Brian D. Meeks

I don't care about social influence anymore, mostly because people like you and Gini have convinced me it is stupid. I find it hard to get interested in these other platforms, because I've been trained to not give a damn. I think I may be a mindless drone. It is a good thing you don't use captcha, because my Borg brain probably wouldn't be able to figure it out.

Live long and prosper.

I may have gone to "The Hobbit in 3D" and gotten really excited about the upcoming Star Trek movie...but I'm not admitting to anything.

Brian D. Meeks
Brian D. Meeks

I don't care about social influence anymore, mostly because people like you and Gini have convinced me it is stupid. I find it hard to get interested in these other platforms, because I've been trained to not give a damn. I think I may be a mindless drone. It is a good thing you don't use captcha, because my Borg brain probably wouldn't be able to figure it out. Live long and prosper. I may have gone to "The Hobbit in 3D" and gotten really excited about the upcoming Star Trek movie...but I'm not admitting to anything.

Ken Mueller
Ken Mueller

Good stuff, Danny. Now I have five new things I need to check out. Kinda like I need another hole in my head. I know I checked out Wahooly awhile back because I'm on their email list, but I guess I need to revisit it.

Abdallah Al-Hakim
Abdallah Al-Hakim

I have heard about some of these. I don't think there is still one dominant player but it is interesting to watch the different developments. The main problem is still with platforms that claim to be the definitive leader in declaring influential people. I like a mix of technology and a bit of personal online research to make a decision.

Danny Brown
Danny Brown moderator

@tmischuk Hi Tim,

Cheers. I've actually spoken and met with your colleague John back in 2013 (I think - maybe it was 2012). Really should get together and have another look at the platform. :)

Latest blog post: Because You Matter

Danny Brown
Danny Brown

Haha, thought you might like that, miss. :) I agree - the medium needs to be redefined and remodeled. Which, funnily enough... ;-)

Danny Brown
Danny Brown

Hey there Bobby,

Cheers for sharing your examples, mate, and that's exactly the direction influence needs to go (and a large part of the second half of our book as we offer a new model and turn it into a true business sales tool). I'm currently writing the chapter on The Future of Influence so would love to chat with you soon, if free? Cheers!

Danny Brown
Danny Brown

Hey there Bobby, Cheers for sharing your examples, mate, and that's exactly the direction influence needs to go (and a large part of the second half of our book as we offer a new model and turn it into a true business sales tool). I'm currently writing the chapter on The Future of Influence so would love to chat with you soon, if free? Cheers!

Danny Brown
Danny Brown

Hey there Coreen,

My apologies for dragging you back into the rabbit's den. :)

It's definitely a topic that splits both opinion and those that feel it offers value and those that think it's just another buzzword. Hopefully, with the approach Sam and I are taking, we'll be able to show its worth and how to actually measure and use it.

Thanks, miss!

Danny Brown
Danny Brown

Hey there Coreen, My apologies for dragging you back into the rabbit's den. :) It's definitely a topic that splits both opinion and those that feel it offers value and those that think it's just another buzzword. Hopefully, with the approach Sam and I are taking, we'll be able to show its worth and how to actually measure and use it. Thanks, miss!

Danny Brown
Danny Brown

Damn, how am I going to convince you to buy the book in a few months time?? :)

I think the whole social scoring angle has tainted the word "influence". Whereas before it actually meant something, it's been bastardized by free giveaways and gaming the points system. It's interesting to see the likes of Kred try and distance themselves from it, and move towards a more context-led consultancy approach. Hopefully Sam and I can bring back some relevance and meaning to the word come May.

I saw the trailer for the new Star Trek movie - damn, it gets the heart pumping!

Danny Brown
Danny Brown

Damn, how am I going to convince you to buy the book in a few months time?? :) I think the whole social scoring angle has tainted the word "influence". Whereas before it actually meant something, it's been bastardized by free giveaways and gaming the points system. It's interesting to see the likes of Kred try and distance themselves from it, and move towards a more context-led consultancy approach. Hopefully Sam and I can bring back some relevance and meaning to the word come May. I saw the trailer for the new Star Trek movie - damn, it gets the heart pumping!

Danny Brown
Danny Brown

Wahooly seems like one of these platforms that could go either way, mate. My wish is it goes the good way and really shows how influence can help impact the growth of a start-up - here's hoping. :)

Danny Brown
Danny Brown

Agreed, mate, and I think that's one of the big factors in why Klout has come under so much fire (self-claimed standard of influence). Like you say, there are too many factors to have just one be-all-and-end-all solution; it needs a mix of complementary platforms to offer a bigger picture.

Cheers, sir!

Danny Brown
Danny Brown

Agreed, mate, and I think that's one of the big factors in why Klout has come under so much fire (self-claimed standard of influence). Like you say, there are too many factors to have just one be-all-and-end-all solution; it needs a mix of complementary platforms to offer a bigger picture. Cheers, sir!