Find Alumni Influencers on Twitter

There are a lot of ways to measure the efficacy of a school’s social media presence.

Just a few weeks ago, the folks at Education Dive took a stab at this problem by ranking the “10 best university accounts on Twitter.” In their argument, Education Dive accounted Twitter accounts that “are unique, flexible, invaluable, and that, ultimately, shape the university’s story” to be the ones that get it right; and in order to measure this, they considered followers, the size of a school and Klout score (among other subjective factors).

The post sparked a strong conversation on Twitter (see it all here), and has prompted posts such as this one from Andrew Careaga of Missouri S&T, which countered Education Dive’s method with the importance of relevancy, sharing and conversations.

Yet, maybe there is an additional measure to gage at how well your school is doing on Twitter…and perhaps it has less to do with how well you’re managing your account, and more to do with how many of your community members are mentioning your school on their profile.

Enter Followerwonk.

Our team first came across Followerwonk in an excellent presentation by Joanna Lord of SEOmoz at the EdSocialMedia Summit. Followerwonk allows you to “search for Twitter bios; measure yourself to competitor; audit & track followers; and find & cultivate key relationships.”

In essence, Followerwonk lets you track not just the success of your institutional account, but also helps you measure outside your immediate presence and gives insights as to who are your “alumni influencers” on Twitter.

To get started, sign-in with your Twitter account and try these three searches.

1. Under the “Search Twitter Bios” Tab, Search for Variations of [“School Name”] & [“Twitter Handle”] 

This is a helpful search to start off with, as it lists by social reach and “social authority” those who mention an affinity to your school in their profile. These are possible ambassadors for your message and social advocates for your cause. A great way to see how your school stacks up is to take a peak at how many people (results) in total mention your institution in their profile versus other peer institutions.

2. Under the “Compare Users” Tab, Take Top Results from the Previous Search and See How They Overlap With Your Presence 

By seeing the overlap of your followers and the followers of your “top influencers” you can get a sense of how closely linked your two accounts are. This report can give you insights surrounding the opportunity of establishing a relationship with these accounts. Ideally, you want accounts that have some overlap; that shows their is already a connection and possibly more ground to spark conversations with a wider audience that cares about your school.


3. Under the “Analyze Followers” Tab, Get a First Hand View of Where Your Followers are Across the Globe

As a team that is very enthusiastic about network mapping, we love the ability to see your followers around the world with this feature from Followerwonk.

All-in-all, Followerwonk can be a valuable tool for when trying to get a better sense of not just what’s happening within your account, but outside your immediate presence as well. With a free account Followerwonk allows you to do all the above searches and more, but with a paid account there are options for tracking and notifcations as well. If do you go the paid route make sure to check out Traackr too, which was also recommended by Joanna and permits even more advanced searches. If you decide you’re not quite ready for a paid account, in addition to Followerwonk make sure to check Klout to visualize your school’s standing within the greater social networking community.

How does your school interact with your “top alumni influencers on Twitter”?

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