University College London: Influencer Mapping

University College London (UCL) is one of the world’s leading higher education institutions, ranking 7th in the world according to the 2016 QS World University Rankings. Understanding their influence and ability to influence others in key topics online became a key question that we helped them to address.

Online influence is difficult to measure – how do decide what behaviour is “influential” in your community? How you know what is relevant to you and your audience? Universities have so many areas in which they need to determine their own influence and that of others – research output, campus news, overseas reputation, and more.

There’s a lot of information out there about using influencer marketing to reach a wider audience – especially for sales or recruitment targets – but finding out who those influencers might be for your audience is a trickier prospect.

In 2016 we were asked to look at this issue by UCL. The university wanted to work out a way to measure who the most influential people in their online networks were, and who the influential people were in some specific discussion topics.

This was the first time Pickle Jar had been asked to investigate influencer networks in such a data-driven way, so we developed a new methodology entirely from scratch to suit UCL’s needs.

We developed a way of producing detailed influence charts identifying the top people online talking about UCL, both directly and indirectly. We also created a visual representation of discussions on particular topics, and used these to determine UCL’s online influence in these fields.

From these different strands of work we were able to define a series of influencer categories that were relevant to the areas UCL wants to monitor, and offer advice about what these influencers might do online and what might interest them.

UCL are now using our findings to inform their ongoing social media strategy. You can read more about our involvement with this influence project and what UCL thought of it on the UCL website.

To understand how we can help your organisation measure your online influence, as well as develop strategies and plans to enhance your online share of voice, please contact us for an initial discussion.

  • University College London
  • Winter 2016 - Summer 2016

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