Social influence is one of the hottest issues for Customer Intelligence and Interactive Marketing professionals today. Not a day goes by that I don't talk with marketers or vendors about how to identify, measure, and utilize influential sources online. But for all the interest, there's not much out there defining or standardizing how influencers work — or what online "influence" even means. As a result, I'm kicking off some new research covering how social media makes it possible to find and engage with your brand's influencers. My last research on this subject — now over a year old — is still one of my most-read reports, proving that there's a need for an update.

As luck would have it, thanks to @SarahSGlass, who's a researcher on our Interactive Marketing team and our Customer Intelligence Community Manager, and @Mike_Grant_FORR, we have a perfect venue to open the discussion around social influence: a tweet jam. Yes, "tweet jam" sounds silly, but it's a great way to connect with others and to share and learn about an interesting topic. Our Interactive Marketing team holds a weekly discussion on Twitter, using the #IMChat hashtag, around certain marketing topics and has had great success so far.

With the help of John Refford, Suresh Susara, and David Deal, we will lead this discussion on Tuesday, May 17th, at 2pm Eastern time. Read John's post outlining the details and Suresh's post on how tweet jams work and #IMChat best practices.

During this week's chat, we're discussing these questions:

  1. How do you define online “influence”?
  2. What metrics do you use to calculate an individual’s influence?
  3. What challenges do you face with social influence measurement?
  4. What are your uses for knowing an individual’s social influence?
  5. What’s next in social influence measurement?

So get your thoughts together around social influence and join me and the #IMChat team on Tuesday, May 17th, at 2pm Eastern time at TweetChat or by following the hashtag.