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Author: Andrew Lamb

Andrew Lamb

How to find communities online using social network analysis

In my last two posts I introduced the Econsultancy Twitter network, and wrote about how we could use social network analysis to identify influencers and innovators in this community.

In this post I'll look at how mapping a network can help us identify sub-groups in the community and target content to them more effectively.


Twitter network analysis: identifying influencers and innovators

In my last post I introduced the Econsultancy network, a map of the follower relationships between 3,930 users talking about the brand, sharing links, and tweeting at the official @econsultancy account.

I pointed out that it was pretty remarkable that all these users talking about Econsultancy are bound together in a web of follow relationships, despite not necessarily sharing anything else in common. 

But how can we use this network data we've gathered to give us some more concrete insights we can use in our campaigns?

For example, to identify influencers, segment audiences, and understand what content is interesting to them. 

A detail of a network map of 3,930 users sharing Econsultancy.com content on Twitter

How network analysis can make us better digital marketers

Social ‘networks’, computer ‘networks’, ‘networking’ events, agency ‘networks’ – even the ‘Internet’. ‘Networks’ of one form or another are everywhere, but what do all these things have in common? And how can an understanding of networks help us become better digital marketers?

I want to go beyond our often unthinking use of the word network, and explore how a deeper understanding of networks can help us identify influencers and communities online, creating content that really resonates and is more likely to be shared.

I’ll use an example of a network generated from Twitter, showing the follow relationships between people talking about Econsultancy, and sharing links from the site, over an eight day period in October 2013.