How can I make my leaderboard become the industry standard?

While it’s good to be first, sometimes you have to compete with what’s already out there. That means doing it better.

There are three approaches to turning your leaderboard into the industry standard. Especially if you are already competing with other leaderboards in your market sector:

A. Build a better leaderboard technically.
  1. Are there different metrics you could track? What metrics could / should you be capturing?
  2. Can you track metrics that are more specific to your sector – e.g. number of retweets that include a specific hashtag
  3. What about capturing metrics that the players have to give you (e.g. a tracking pixel on their blog)? Their own weekly circulation estimates?
  4. What does it really mean to be an influencer in your space? Can you track metrics around ability to drive results?
  5. Would breaking it down into several filtered boards be more appropriate and relevant? Would you have a badge for each category? Would you tweet out for each category? Should players be allowed to set which category they appear in?
  6. Are there any geographical issues you need to sort out? Is this UK list with global audience or global list with UK audience…
  7. Over time the top of the board might get a bit static – Do you need to change the way the score is calculated in order to see more interesting volatility on the board? e.g. change in Klout score over past month, ratio of new followers to total followers?
B. Create a better user experience for your leaderboard
  1. Can you make the board look aesthetically more enticing? Custom design of the whole board? Should you allow players to include their bio on the board?  Show the sparkline (line graphs of history) on the main board?  Would a grid format look better?
  2. Should you convert numbers into images, icons and colors – e.g. Red zone players  (people with scores over 80) to make it less about competitive ranking and more about zones?
  3. Can you add more functionality around the main board itself? e.g. climbers and fallers widget, search feature, better discussion, show some of the recent content, latest blog post for example, in the latest news area?
  4. Can you improve each players personal stats page? e.g. about this player, rate this player, review this player, most recent tweets, better contact details, details of how to contact…
  5. What about the audience user experience? Can we provide a more valuable online experience for PR teams and brands? What sort of features do they need? Keeping a personal favourites list of their top players? Finding influencers.
C. Drive more momentum and traction around the leaderboard. i.e. sponsors, freebies, awards, chat etc.
  1. What other benefits can people get from being on the board?  (note this is different from awarding prizes for board rankings which I believe you should still shy away from for now)
  2. Can this be a lead in to other community features? e.g. virtual or real world events, an oscars style awards event
  3. Can the player’s own content be leveraged in an interesting way? e.g. creating a sector portal (e.g.
  4. Can you increase relationships between players? Start a mentoring program for new players for example.
  5. Can we get the leaderboard or references to it placed on other sites? e.g. magazine media, television (weekly update on BBC for example / monthly top player interview in a magazine)
  6. What sort of celebrity endorsement can you get? What might a celebrity have to say about the leaderboard?
  7. Can you collect a cluster of major brands to put their logo behind the board (even if for free to begin with).. showing they support it?
  8. Can you flesh it out with other boards for other parts of the industry? e.g. an individuals board, a companies board, a suppliers board, a board of traditional media
  9. Can you create sub reports based on the players themselves. For example, generate an infographic about the players on the board such as this one: 
  10. What about engaging in the more mainstream industry conversation? If you were involved in beauty you might generate lists of the top 100 most beautiful celebrities…. best make up artists in the world, best hollywood hairdressers etc.
  11. How could you engage the player’s own audiences in their ranking? What would make a player want to tell their subscribers about your leaderboard?
Becoming the industry standard doesn’t happen overnight but long term the benefits of being the main authority for your sector become clear.
Here’s a few links to businesses that have successful become the standard for scorekeeping in their industry. Check them out for ideas on what you could do with your own board:

Sales prospects that jump into your lap

If you are like me, you like making lists when you’re selling – lists of prospects, lists of companies, lists of funny cat videos (!) and so on.


But lists, once deposited in a CRM system somehow lose their lustre. No longer the dynamic, fresh, exciting ‘golden leads’ they once were.


Wouldn’t it be wonderful, if our prospect lists updated themselves?! Not just updating with latest prospect information (thanks LinkedIn and Nimble for helping here).  But how about if when someone moves jobs, their replacement comes along and adds themselves to the list without you lifting a finger!


Sounds like ‘cloud cuckoo land’? No sir! It’s a reality using a gamification technique applied to social selling – a Power Leaderboard.  The idea is that you create a leaderboard of your prospect list, pitting them against each other in an online game.


Now of course, you don’t call the game “my golden leads”. No instead you name the game as an aspirational list that your leads would like to be seen as part of.  I am currently selling to Sales Directors in the UK so I  created a sales prospecting list called the ‘UK Sales Directors Power 100’. It is a game of influence – who is the ‘most influential’ within the community. Each week I update the Klout scores of my prospects and tweet them their current rank.



As a social seller this brings me some great benefits:

  1. It starts a conversation with prospects on a subject that isn’t about solely my product. I can engage with my buyers before I’ve even pitched them anything meaning I get warm leads from day one.
  2. The players not only maintain their own contact details, but new players request to be added to the list.  For them it’s a chance to play a digital game with their peers, for me it’s free contact details submitted by the prospects themselves.
  3. It makes me more interested in my prospects. Now that I have taken on an active role in their community, (that of ‘scorekeeper’) I have to remember to check in with them each week. Like all good social selling – it’s a two way street.



I’ve now seen the power leaderboard social selling technique work more than once so I’d love to see it being tried by readers of this blog.  If you’d like to read more, check out the Glass Of Bubbly case study which tells how one social seller managed to connect with French champagne brands and now gets invited to champagne tastings around the world.

How the Glass of Bubbly web site grew 500% with a leaderboard

I recently interviewed Glass of Bubbly on how the Rise service has benefited their business. I summarised the results into a case study which I paste in full below:


UK based community website start up, Glass of Bubbly, wanted to engage champagne and sparkling wine producers around the world. They needed new content to drive a weekly conversation with major champagne labels such as Veuve Cliquot and Laurent Perrier.  This luxury brand audience are traditionally hard to engage.


The Glass of Bubbly team used to publish a social media leaderboard of the Top 100 Sparkling Wine producers on their site.  The Sparkling Wines of the World Social Media Leaderboard was based on social media influence scores for different labels. Glass of Bubbly then used the Rise tweet out facility to notify all 100 producers of their rank and score on the leaderboard each week.

This brought traffic to the site as the producers came to check their rank and score. Additionally some of the labels retweeted the notification on Twitter,  sending their followers  to the Glass of Bubbly site as well.


It has been highly successful – the leaderboard now drives the greatest percentage of traffic to the Glass of Bubbly site. When the site re-launched with a new design that included the social media leaderboard,  Glass of Bubbly saw 600% growth. The vast majority, 500%, of this new engagement was directly attributed to the social media leaderboard.

The leaderboard has brought Glass of Bubbly new relationships on Twitter from among the champagne producer labels. This has led to content opportunities where labels have written articles for Glass of Bubbly itself and crucially, share Glass of Bubbly content with their own audiences.

“The leaderboard put us on the radar”

Through the authority that the leaderboard gave them, Glass of Bubbly went from a start up to being seen as an expert within their industry, almost overnight. The Glass of Bubbly team are now invited to new product launches and champagne tastings across the world. “The leaderboard put us on the radar” said co-founder Chris Walkey. “If we didn’t have Rise we’d never be this effective.”



The leaderboard is now evolving as Glass of Bubbly add a second league leaderboard for global sparkling wine producers. This has given them global reach beyond the initial group of Champagne producers in France.

Next Steps

What next? A ‘badge’ for companies on the Glass of Bubbly leaderboard is being designed to display on their own website.  A leaderboard scoring system to cover more than social media metrics is under development – for example rating producer’s wider corporate social impact.  Glass of Bubbly also intends to seek a sponsor for the leaderboard among their supplier community – this will make the leaderboard program profitable in itself.

If you would like to engage your customers with a social media leaderboard, create a Twitter list  then login to Rise and try creating a Power Leaderboard.