I’ve just learned about a new influence measurement tool called Peer Index. It is attempting to “help you discover the authorities and opinion formers on a given topic.”

It’s pretty interesting because it allows you to search by topic, by person, by region, and by sources (i.e. blogs, social, etc.).

Say, for instance, I want to know who the authority is on tree frogs in Singapore, I can search that term and find 10 people who might fit my needs.

I take a look at Tree Frog Treks, because they have the highest peer index, to see if they have anything that might behoove my client who sells tree frog food. 

Turns out, they are a “wild science adventure” camp for kids in the Bay Area. So they’re not in Singapore and they have nothing to do with real tree frogs. Which means, in about eight seconds, I discovered they’re not influential at all for my client.

Now, let’s say, I want to do the same thing on Klout. I search for “tree frogs Singapore” and I get a sad puppy who tells me he can’t find what I need. But if I look for tree_frog_treks, I get their Klout score, which really doesn’t tell me much, other than they have no real influence on Twitter.

So far, so good.

Now, let’s say I want to find public relations professionals in Chicago. Oh. Well, crap. It only brings up people who have “public relations” or “Chicago” in their Twitter name or handle. And Klout gives me the sad puppy again.

But, I can go through the back door, find a person (me) who talks about public relations and click on the topic from there.

Lo and behold, it gives me the top five results. The problem? The top five change every time you search so you have to keep going back to find your influencers.

 

 

 

 

It’s not a replacement to the old-fashioned developing relationships skill, but it does help you find the people who you should be connecting with fairly quickly. Right now it looks at Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Quora, and three different blogs/websites to determine a person’s influence. Klout scores only Twitter and Facebook.

While it’s too early to say whether or not this is a tool everyone must use, it’s definitely a must-watch. Test it out next time you have to create an influencer list. I’ll bet you find some people you weren’t already thinking about adding to your campaign.

Peer Index vs. Klout originally appeared on Spin Sucks on May 17, 2011.