Developing your Rise influencer board as a vibrant new media channel

Creating a new channel is hard, whatever your reason for doing so. Whether it’s for marketing, community engagement, customer service or for good old-fashioned publishing, reaching a new audience takes plenty of work.


It’s often the first question marketers of new products and services ask – how do I find an audience? Though the question is better phrased as how do I grow the right audience?


An audience only has sustainable value for your business if they are engaged with you in a reliable way.


Not all channels are created equal because not all content is equal. Some content is inherently more interesting, more important and hence stickier than others.


Take the list of leaders in any community. As human beings, we are pre-programmed to look at the actions of leaders – whether we realise it consciously or not. Each of us takes social cues from the dominant influencers in our tribe and we use this to guide our behaviour. Try not yawning if the top dogs in the room are doing just that.


With that in mind, it’s pretty important for any community member to know who the real leaders are for any community. And if the community is exclusive, aspiring community members may also take an interest.


With traditional organisations and associations, tracking the leaders turns out to be fairly easy – companies have senior management teams, associations have elected board members and schools have head teachers and governors. The leaders are visible, their roles defined, easy to see and thus, easy to copy, mimic and, where relevant, obey.


In a modern digital tribe or marketplace of equals, this is more difficult to do. Particularly in new and emerging disciplines. There is no CEO of the upcoming “grime” music genre. For “gamification” technology trends there is no senior management team to turn to for advice.


Over time, associations will form that offer clarity over leadership, such as what the institute of chartered accountants does for accountancy professionals or the royal college of surgeons does in medicine. But, unless they have near 100% membership they will lack full authority and while they do there will be other associations competing for authority. The Gamification “industry” for example, has at least 3 non-profit associations seeking to offer sector wide leadership, in the fragmented world of marketing there are many, many more.


So, this is the landscape into which you are presenting your own list of community leaders – your Rise influencer board.


The statement you are making is threefold:

  1. These are the leaders of our tribe. These are the most influential community members – follow them and learn from them.
  2. This is the most up to date list of leaders in our tribe.
  3. The way to achieve leadership is encapsulated in the scoring system built into the board.


Those are 3 pretty interesting claims. They should make any member of the community sit up and take note of you. Which, if you are in the business of creating a new channel, is exactly what you want!


We’ve seen with Rise though, that there are good and bad influencer boards, good and bad channels. Like any tool, Rise can be used well and sometimes badly.

In my own experience, I’ve noticed a few areas of best practice:

  1. Launched with a bang. With a Rise board you are publicly making a statement. The louder and clearer that statement is, the more your impact.
  2. Positioned clearly with the value spelt out:
    1. What’s it in it for the players? What does being on the board mean for them? What would it mean to lead the board?
    2. What’s in it for the followers? Why should I become an engaged audience member of the board?
  3. Designed in context. Does the board’s visuals fit the tribe being tracked? A grime music board with pink livery would clearly be inauthentic.
  4. Human touch. Tribes whether made up of people or organisations are still a very human institution. A Rise board that is too automated, too robotic, too bare, conveys a different message from one run by someone who is a passionate advocate (and perhaps member) of the tribe’s values.
  5. Light hearted. Digital tracking is still an inexact science. It is not wise to claim too much authority, at least not until you’ve got it right.
  6. A mix of meat and fat. A Rise board is like a side of lean beef, it is wholesome but you need the fat to really bring out the full value. Mixing up your Rise board with fattier, fluffier content about the players (who went up this week, their opinion on current trends, how do they do their hair, what is their favourite film of the moment and so on) can bring much needed flavour to your board, and with flavour comes an  audience.
  7. Creeping authority. Whether you launched with a bang or not, your board needs to become a creeping authority for your sector. You are making a statement about leadership so you will need to deepen your program over time. This might be to get rid of other pretenders by being the most authoritative or it might be by simply driving more saturation among your target audience.For each influencer channel the next steps following launch will be different – it might mean giving digital badges for particular achievements, evolving the score algorithm or changing the structure of the league. Each board evolves at its own rate but evolve it must. No community stays still forever. The trick is evolving in the interests of all – you as manager, the players and the followers.



The rewards of your influencer channel should now be obvious – you have become the place every member of the community must turn to do to discover the leaders of that community. With the leaders they receive social cues to guide their own behaviour.


Now, what’s really interesting is that a Rise board isn’t just any old media channel. It’s not like a blog where you are leveraging the power of the media (to observe and comment). With a successful Rise board you become an integral part of the community governance structure – you have the role of kingmaker.

Now that’s a very interesting place to be.

If you enjoyed this blog post and would like to learn more then please sign up with your email to receive our latest blog post on a weekly basis.

Announcing “On the Move”

Today marks the launch of our new feature for Rise boards called “On the Move”.

On the move reports those players who are the key movers and shakers on any Rise board.

This is an additional rise report, included with every release of a Rise board. On the move has three sections:

  • On the Rise – those players who have climbed the highest this week
  • New arrivals – new players joining the board this week
  • Slip sliding away – those players who have fallen down the rankings

For anyone following the Rise board this is vital information – it’s often the changes that are most interesting on a week by week basis.

The On the Move section is provided in three formats:

  • On – for followers to browse the report on the web
  • Web widget – for board managers to embed on their own sites if they wish
  • Twitter show content – for managers to include in their Twitter show

On the On the Move section is kept behind a login wall. This builds up the board’s list of followers – people interested in the Rise board but not necessarily wanting to play on it.Screenshot 2016-03-17 12.34.54.png

Rise launch Top 100 UK Universities on Social Media

September approaches and brings with it the start of the new term. Some of you may be off to University for the first time, some returning and some of you may be sending children off, with a spring in their step and your coin in their back pocket. Or perhaps you work in a University and preparations for the new influx of students are well under way. Either way, the start of the new term is upon us.

Since the changes in financing a degree, Universities know that reputation has become more important than ever. Higher Education marketing departments work overtime, as competition for every student becomes ever more intense. Many Universities are using their online and social media platforms to increase their influence and add value to their brand, some to amazing effect.

This month Rise launches the Top 100 UK Universities on Social Media leaderboard. Want to know who in Higher Education is getting it right on social media? We’ll be updating the list monthly and you can follow the ScoreBook using the follow button, getting notifications directly to your email.

This month’s most influential UK University on social media.

This month’s leaderboard makes for interesting reading, the top spot going to to the world famous Cambridge. However, it’s interesting to see their Oxbridge companion, Oxford, coming in somewhat behind them at in at number 13. Work to be done perhaps?

We use Klout scores to rank these seats of higher learning. Klout takes into account social media activity and engagement across many social networks including Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn and Instagram. If we’ve left your organisation out from this list and you would like to be included, please send an email to, let us know your Twitter handle and we will gladly add you to the scores for next month.

Interested in how influential you are on social media compared to other users? Join Rise’s Online Influencer board and get a weekly personal scorecard of how well you are doing on social media.




Rise launches The Premier League Players Power 100

August is drawing to a close and to some, that can only mean one thing; the start of the 2015/16 English Premier League football season. And so begins nine months of action on the pitch and just as much, if not more, interest in the game off the pitch. From the money taken on the gates every week to sponsorship deals, football is big business. Players are worshipped and berated by fans in equal measure, but either way you can’t deny these men hold huge amounts of sway with the football watching pubic.

But does how they perform on the pitch have any direct impact on their level of influence off it?  To monitor the rise (and fall) of the online influence of those playing in the EPL, Rise are proud to announce the launch of The Premier League Players Power 100.  We will be monitoring the online influence ranking of every player and can’t wait to see how their performance with the ball affects their social media influence this season.

This week’s board makes for interesting reading already, with an unsurprising top place going to football’s richest player Wayne Rooney. All the big club names are represented in the top 10; Chelsea, Arsenal, Manchester United, Manchester City, Liverpool. But so is current number 19 position Sunderland. Jermaine Defoe is clearly making an online name for himself. Great exposure for him, but also for his bottom of the league club.

You can follow the Premier League Power 100 and get weekly notifications of who’s influencing social media this week. Think you’re an influential football fan? Why not join our Most Influential Fans board and see how you rank against the big names, and each other?





GOP Candidates – who’s who and who’s influencing online

Unless you’ve been hiding under a media rock, you can’t have failed to notice the amount of press coverage about the upcoming 2016 US Presidential Elections.  The Republican Party or Grand Old Party (GOP) has a colourful list of candidates vying for a nomination as their party’s presidential candidate.


These 17 men and women now have a little over a year to talk to the people, to reach out, state their goals and communicate why it is they should run the most powerful country in the world.

The use of Social Media will be more important than ever in reaching out to and speaking directly with the electorate. While there will always be room for for traditional campaign trail activities, 2016 will see the most digitally focussed campaigns yet. How candidates are perceived online and the influence they hold will be just as important as the speeches they give, the hands they shake or the babies they kiss.

This is why we are launching the The GOP Candidates Social Media Power Board. We will be monitoring the online influence of the candidates with a weekly release of this board and can’t wait to see how this correlates with their popularity in the polls. You can follow the board and get weekly notifications of who in the race is rising and who’s falling in their online social media influence.

Interested in how much influence you have online? Why not join our Online Influencer Board and see how you compare to your peers?

Why leaders must take control of the score

As a leader, one of your jobs is to keep those you lead focused on the goals you are trying to reach.

An underused tool in every leader’s toolbox is to create and share “the score”.

“The score” is how you have decided everyone should measure success, whether as individuals or as a group.

Whether we realise it or not, we all take account of the score in our daily lives. Indeed,  if you don’t share the score, people will invent their own. This can have hideous consequences as people chase after the wrong activities. No, it’s far better for you to take control of the score by choosing which KPIs matter and communicating them clearly.

As a leader it is your job to identify the scores that matter for the objectives you are seeking.

To do this, first write out the objectives and the success criteria for those objectives. These may be fairly numerical already. Then break down those objectives into the constituent parts and identify the important signals that you can measure reliably and easily. These are the metrics that go into making your score.

Next you need to attribute the score correctly. You have several options:

  • personal scores – this is a score for each individual. This approach works best in a group setting where there isn’t really a team objective – e.g. a conference, a group of separate businesses or a very large business
  • team scores – a score for your team. This works best when you are seeking to focus the efforts of your internal team – e.g. a KPI such as number of visitors to our website each month
  • market comparison – in more mature markets it may be more useful to focus on the comparison with peers – e.g. we are the number 1 supplier of milk in our region.

Finally, as a leader it’s not only your job to identify the scores that matter but also to communicate them regularly.

This could take many forms from a weekly email to a big screen TV leaderboard in the office. Whatever you choose, you need to remember that facts don’t speak for themselves. The medium you choose is important – people will take more notice of a leaderboard engraved in stone than one hastily scrawled on a piece of paper!

The score is an essential part of leadership. We all take account of the score whether we realise it or not. As a leader you can leverage the score and its communication to achieve the goals you’ve set for your team.

A great example of the importance of leaders and ‘communicating the score’ has recently taken the world’s media by storm. The Republican Party or Grand Old Party (GOP) Presidential candidates for the 2016 US elections recently debated each other on Fox News and presented to the audience what “scores” were important to them to keep and raise for the country. From here on in, how these individuals communicate their leadership goals to the people will be paramount. The use of Social Media will be more important than ever in reaching out and speaking to the electorate.

Interested in how much influence you have online? Why not join our Online Influencer ScoreBook and see how you compare?