Back in 2012, I wrote about a fun little project called MVF, which promised to reveal the most valuable person following you on Twitter. The project was shut down after its creators Alex Taub and Michael Schonfeld joined payments startup Dwolla. But two years later, they’re independent again and trying to turn their idea into a real business.
Taub and Schonfeld have left Dwolla and started a new company called Modern Mast, and they’re launching SocialRank, the initial product, today.
When I spoke to Taub earlier this month, he said SocialRank is a big expansion of the old MVF — your most valuable follower is now one of several data points offered. The previous version was calculated based on the number of total followers plus the following/followers ratio. The new MVF looks at other factors, too, Taub said: “Value is scarcity plus usefulness plus importance.”
In addition, SocialRank identifies your most engaged follower (based on how often they engage with your account and your content), and your best follower, which is a combination of the other two metrics. Users can also receive monthly reports on how their top 10 followers in each category have changed, as well as set up filters to distinguish between brands and individuals.
That stuff is all available for free, and can be used by either individuals or companies. There’s also a paid product that includes demographic breakdowns of your followers. It costs $25 a month (free for registered nonprofits) and will presumably be more appealing to businesses.
In the long-term, Taub said the goal is to build tools to help brands engage with their best followers and also recruit users who might be a good fit but aren’t following them yet.
“It’s less about telling you who important people following you are, and more about making them evangelists and ambassadors of whatever your message is,” he said.
As initial examples of what brands could do with this data, Taub has enlisted a number of companies that are offering free stuff to their top followers, including GoPro (giving away a GoPro HERO3+ Black Edition, Jaws Flex Clamp and a Head Strap), Harry’s Grooming (a haircut and shave), Spotify (a free month of Spotify Premium), theSkimm (a T-shirt and mug), Plated (one box of Plated food), and Cory Vines (a “Racerback Tank”).
The combination of swag and influence measurement might remind you of Klout Perks, but again, SocialRank is less concerned with measuring general influence and more with finding the value in the people who already follow you.
You can try it out for yourself at the SocialRank site.