Algorithmic social ranking service PeerIndex has been building an arsenal of tools over the past few years, designed to bring meaning to the social data malaise. Yes, PeerIndex wants to be a every digital marketer’s best friend.
We’ve written about the London-based startup on a number of occasions in the past, for example when it launched PeerIndex Groups back in 2011, before integrating with SocialBro and then rolling out a new topical influence API. Broadly speaking, PeerIndex’s technology tracks activity across the social realm, evaluating users’ online ‘social capital’ based on the activity of each individual.
Now, the company has quietly rolled out its new dashboard called PiQ, which it calls a “new way of making sense of Twitter”. The B2B tool helps users (e.g. marketers) identify an audience – those who are highly engaged around a specific topic such as startups, football, venture capital or whatever. The tool then establishes influencers within that audience alongside any related ‘trending’ content they’re sharing. That’s PiQ in a nutshell, at least.
How it works
The tiered pricing structure is geared towards various user-bases. From the free version, you’re given access to the Social Media audience automatically, letting you see what’s happening in social-media-guru land. If you upgrade to Pro or Business (the latter of these gives additional perks too), you can currently choose from one of eight pre-defined audiences, such as UK Top Influencers, US Top Influencers, New York Influencers, Global Venture Capital & Startups, and UK Football. However, more audiences are being added every month, so the list of options here will grow.
But it’s on the Enterprise-level plans where things get serious, and brands and agencies can set up tracking for very specific target audiences, built and implemented by PeerIndex to your request.
So, supposing you follow the ‘Venture Capital’ industry, you’d likely want access to the PiQ ‘Venture Capital’ audience, which features around 15,000 of the most influential and engaging Twitter accounts associated with that topic. PiQ then delivers analytics based on the 40,000 or so tweets per day they send, including their PeerIndex score, what content influences them, and the specific things they’re currently discussing. The same can be applied to any other topic or specific Twitter handle.
PiQ isn’t just about highlighting people with a high number of Twitter followers. It’s striving to surface those who are actively engaging – the company is being very careful about not marketing these as vanity metrics. It’s about showing real people who are going to be active in a specific community.
From a content perspective, you can drill down into specific tweets and see what all the main influencers have been sharing. It might not have been something you would’ve predicted specifically, but the fact that, say, 10 high-rankers have all suddenly taken an interest in a specific story could be revealing.
You can simply browse through all the top influencers around a topic, and select who to follow and who, ultimately, you should be engaging with.
PiQ delivers reports and insights covering elements such as ‘Total Mentions’, ‘Total ‘Retweets’, ‘Demographics’, ‘Most Popular’ and even ‘Word Clouds’, which lets you click through on the most popular words being used on Twitter, to see who’s using them most and in what context.
“The idea we’re approaching with PiQ is that instead of looking at highlighted keywords when someone is already talking about your brand, which is what a lot of the current ‘listening’ type tools do, we’re focused on the audience,” he says. “PiQ is built on the audience, people and information that PeerIndex has built over the last four years. So understanding people and what they care about and building audiencs on the back of that, that’s kind of how the product’s been built.”
Based on our initial tinkerings, PiQ is a very granular tool that lets you dig down into key Twitter data – the broad and the niche. But the PeerIndex of yore was always focused on other social networks too – not just Twitter. So does this represent a big departure for the company?
“While PiQ is the main product here at PeerIndex, Twitter is just the beginning. We have been collecting data across other networks and will start to integrate more data across other channels soon,” explains Lalji. “That being said, we strategically chose Twitter as it’s the best for signal-detection – in other words, when things break or gain importance they get started and amplified on Twitter.”
Starting with Twitter definitely makes sense for a tool of this nature – it’s all about ‘here and now’. It’s about real-time. But what is PiQ bringing to the table that the myriad of similar tools out there aren’t already trying to do?
“The real differentiating factor is our understanding of individuals,” says Lalji. “If you look at some of our competitors, they might tell you things about the demographic makeup of a particular @handle, but it won’t show you the power individuals within there and the relationships. There are products that do a good job around people, and products that do a good job around content. ‘Here are the people, and here are the content they care about’ – that’s the aim of PiQ.”
PiQ is open for business now.