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Introducing Trendsetter: Discover Who’s Influential and What They Care About

Patrick Ruffini

Patrick Ruffini

Understanding influence is a huge topic in social media. A number of players, like Klout and PeerIndex, have built hugely successful platforms around rewarding highly influential social media users.

These platforms are great at measuring celebrity. If you’re Lady Gaga, you have a Klout score of 92. If you’re Barack Obama, your score is 91. Beyond that, microcelebrities with large Twitter followings and a healthy degree of interaction on the platform will earn high Klout scores, but what we’re talking about is a relatively small sliver of the social media universe.

This left us wondering: what would a good influence score look like for the rest of us who aren’t Twitter celebrities? And specifically, what does it look like on Facebook, the world’s biggest social stage?

Today, we’re launching Trendsetter, a platform which lets you discover who’s influential and what they care about.

Connect with the app and you’ll get your Trendsetter score — and see where you stack up compared to your friends. Trendsetter measures interactions with pages on Facebook and generates an individualized Trendsetter score for you and your friends. A high Trendsetter score means you’re very likely to tell your friends about things on Facebook, have niche tastes, and tend to be early to the party when it comes to liking brands and content. A lower Trendsetter score means you’re quieter in interacting on Facebook and tend to have more mainstream tastes — but when you do share, it’s because it really matters.

For years, through measures like the Net Promoter Score, marketers have been trying to understand the voters and consumers most likely to share things. We have an inkling that just a cursory glance at someone’s social media profile can tell you more about people’s propensity to share, and Trendsetter aims to show you what moves them.

A Trendsetter report gives you a wealth of data about your network — who the biggest early adopters are among your friends, what Facebook pages these early adopters like, what types of things they’re interested in, and how they’re distributed throughout the country. Here’s what my Trendsetter report looks like:

I knew we were onto something when our algorithm ranked Jesse Thomas of the DC-based digital agency JESS3 as the #1 Trendsetter in my network. Jesse is the consummate early adopter, and this makes him the biggest Trendsetter amongst my friends.

Trendsetter is a joint project of Engage and the Winston Group, a strategic communications and polling firm. With the Winston Group, we’ll be developing quick, one-question surveys for Trendsetter users, and breaking down the answers in interesting ways based on user interests and social influence — a level of detail it would be very hard to get at in a traditional opinion survey.

Who are the biggest Trendsetters in your network? Let’s connect and find out!


  • Zoe Mitchell

    2014-10-01 12:29:36

    Profound Piece

  • What Your Social Media Usage Says About Your Politics «

    2012-07-11 15:15:32

    [...] Okay, that may be oversimplifying just a tad. Using their new social-scoring platform, Trendsetter, which mades its debut in mid-April, users’ interactions on Facebook are aggregated and broken down into a “Trendsetter score” based on their perceived level of thought leadership amongst their peers. A full rundown of the service can be found here. [...]