When we were writing Influence Marketing, both Sam Fiorella and I spoke to several tech vendors in the social scoring and influence marketing space. This included Ferenc Huszar, lead data scientist at PeerIndex.
When asked about the future of social scoring and where it sits within the bigger influence marketing picture, Ferenc advised,
Currently, influence platforms calculate their scores and metrics based largely on social media interactions simply due to the fact that this data is most widely available. [However], I agree that one of the main goals of influence marketing should be to close the gap between social influence and actual sales figures or profit. This is certainly the long-term vision, and we have already taken steps to deliver on this vision.
PeerIndex’s recent unveiling of MyPeerIndex not only shows what these steps are, but opens up social scoring to be far more transparent to the consumer side of measurement.
What is MyPeerIndex and Why Does It Matter?
The biggest criticisms both Sam and I have had when it comes to social scoring as a real measure of influence can be boiled down to two main reservations:
- Social influence has less authority because of the lack of transparency in how scores are measured (previously it was only Kred that publicly shared data on this);
- Social influence was ego-centric versus customer-centric, because of their use of public scoring systems, leading to gaming of the algorithms and changing natural conversations on social platforms.
With the release of MyPeerIndex, PeerIndex has removed both of these barriers, leading to an easier understanding of scoring for both consumers and brands alike. From the PeerIndex blog announcing the release,
As a data provider we feel that the most responsible way to handle our business is to be transparent with social media users. We strongly believe in the power of data to make your interactions with brands more helpful and relevant, but at the same time, we are firmly of the opinion that you, the customer, has to have the final say in whether brands get to see your data or not.
MyPeerIndex.com is our new consumer transparency page where every user can see, download and remove the data we hold on them and provide to our partners through our API and audience insights tool PiQ.
It’s that last sentence that stands out – now it’s not only the clients using PeerIndex to gather data on consumers and social media users that can see what information is held, but also the consumers themselves.
This is a huge announcement and leaves Klout as the only platform of the “Big Three” – Klout, Kred and PeerIndex – that keeps their algorithm secret.
MyPeerIndex and Earning the Trust of Social Media Users
From a personal point of view, my biggest gripe with social influence platforms has been the Opt-Out mentality they employ – they create a viewable profile of you if you have a public Twitter account, whether you know about their platform(s) or not.
This has led to various invasion of privacy concerns, as well as impacting professional lives (prospective job candidates have been turned down based on their previously unaware of scores).
While MyPeerIndex still creates a profile of you, it now allows you much more control of, and access to, that data.
Access to your information
When you access your own MyPeerIndex, you have the option of downloading a JSON file of the data PeerIndex provides to brands about you. This simple addition will let you see exactly why you’re being profiled and, in the longer run, help you protect your privacy better.
Removal of data, as opposed to deleting your profile
While social scoring platforms allow you to delete your account, there have been instances where people have still been tracked or appear to have not been fully removed. MyPeerIndex counters this by allowing you to remove you data.
Removing the Search option
As mentioned earlier, publicly available scores have led to the bastardization of influence as people try and grow their scores, compete with friends, and attract brands to receive freebies. MyPeerIndex removes the ability to look at anyone else’s score, thus removing the ego-centric use by savvy consumers.
Why MyPeerindex Is a Smart Move
By both opening up their platform data to consumers, and moving away from ego-based influence to more contextual topic influence, MyPeerIndex is moving towards what brands really need from influence marketing solutions – real data, real people, real results.
Additionally, being transparent about what data they use enhances the trust factor already enjoyed by Kred, who have always been open about how their algorithm works.
It’s a major step in removing the criticisms of scoring platforms in general, and leaves Klout increasingly marginalized when it comes to their data, especially given the problems Klout is currently experiencing.
Kudos to PeerIndex for this step – here’s to the continued maturation of the influence marketing space.
This post originally appeared on the Influence Marketing book blog.