Identifying influencers using Google+ Ripples

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Google+ Ripples is an app that sits natively within Google+, allowing anyone to see the reach and influence of a particular post in G+ once it has been shared. On top of this, you can visualise the spread of the post over time with a scrolling bar that allows you to see the impact a post has at any point along its lifeline.

The magic of Google+ Ripples, however, is the ability to search out and target influencers.

People that re-share your content and get large numbers of subsequent re-shares have larger ‘ripples’ which makes it very easy to see who people pay attention to, and quickly.

While there are people who argue that influencers on Google+ don’t mean anything as the service is minute compared to Facebook, you have to consider the fact that influencers on other social networks that move to G+ often carry that influence across, so not only can ripples be used to find influencers on G+, but there is a good chance that these people exert clout in other arenas too.

There are other levels to the Google+ Ripples tool though. For example, if you were a recruiter looking for android developers to work on a project you could use Google+ Ripples to find people talking about and sharing content about android development.

As Ripples is completely public, this means that if two competing brands release content, they can effectively benchmark how successful those pieces of content are at a very granular level – to the degree where brand ‘x’ might get 500 shares, with 100 of those occurring at a second level, while brand ‘y’ might get 500 shares with 300 of those at the second level. In this example brand ‘y’ is more effective at leveraging key influencers to spread their message, while their first level influence is lacking. This creates a highly competitive environment in which brands need to stay creative and innovative in order to be successful in capturing the maximum share of voice.

It’s worth noting that Google does plan on plugging adwords into Google+, and that they will have something to do with Ripples. While industry chatter on this is vague and unclear, it wouldn’t be a stretch to think that you could run adwords campaigns to reach out to influencers with  pretty impressive levels of detail and optimisation.

We’ve said before that Google+ isn’t a competitor to Facebook but the future of search engine marketing and with functionality like Ripples being one of the key USP’s of Google+ we think there are some exciting times ahead for the service.

If you haven’t added FreshNetworks to your Google+ circles yet, then make sure you do so now!