Who Are the Health IT Influencers You Need to Meet at HIMSS19?

Janae Sharp
FEBRUARY 08, 2019
trust insights,himss influencers,himss social media,health it influencers
Image courtesy of Trust Insights.

Everyone knows Twitter is crucial to the health-tech conversation, but what do our individual presences there really mean? In preparation for #HIMSS19, I spoke with the team at Trust Insights after the artificial intelligence marketing startup posted a cloud of the online conversation about HIMSS19. Co-founder Christopher S. Penn posted the interactive map that they developed for social media influencer evaluation. So when baby woke up at 2 a.m. yesterday to eat, I looked up most of the people I know. After looking at their site, I had some questions for Chris.

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I was excited to learn that Katie Robbert is the CEO and a co-founder. She’s a leader of #WomeninHIT, and I was excited to learn more about what Trust Insights’ data on health IT key opinion leaders actually means. And now, I can safely say that I am officially a fan girl of Trust Insights’ interactive influencer map — and its ability to make sense of the people in our crazy, crowded, oh-so-important space.

Here’s what health-tech leaders need to know about the tool and how to leverage it, especially going into HIMSS. The big idea:
 

1. Eigenvector Centrality

This is a measure from zero to one. The closer you are to one the better. Estimates about Twitter and other online platforms say that at least half of the users online are bots. This score explains some of the crazy people online during the election — they were actually crazy robots.

But knowing who is an actual human is key to marketing. So, consider eigenvector centrality the “Pinocchio tool.” I was ranked as a very real person. This is a measure of interaction and also the likelihood that you are actually present online rather than automating posting or simply being tagged with a profile you rarely use.

Maybe this means that I have been outed as being on Twitter too much. I’m still in a medium maternity leave period, but I’m frequently online while feeding baby — and I love you guys.  Chances are, if you are reading this article, you have a medium/high score. Just so you know, this tool allows us to tell if you are really in the conversation.

It turns out that I am a real human. It’s also important to note that Michael Gaspar, Andy De and Nick Adkins have notably low probability of being robots, which is part of the measure.


2. Becoming your Best Friend

One thing Trust Insights can help people do is become “best friends.” With these tools, you can look up top influencers for a hashtag — for instance, #HIMSS19. Then, Trust Insights can tell you what the top influencers are tweeting about, so that you can find out who shares your interests. In my case, I love talking about health IT, interoperability and mental health — and sometimes about Lululemon yoga pants.


3. Eccentricity

Of course I wanted to know what this meant. Think of it as the marketing version of “6 degrees of Kevin Bacon.” How far are you from  people who are most talking about #HIMSS19 online? How many connections are between you and the different participants in the HIMSS conversation?
 
I was excited to hear that Katie Robbert is only 2 degrees from Kevin Bacon. She went to high school with someone who was in “Mystic River” with him. This means that I am now only three steps away from Kevin Bacon. In terms of the HIMSS discussion, I am “a 6,” which means I should go online and search out the hashtags more. That means that the conversations about HIMSS that are the furthest from me are 6 degrees away. If I look through the #HIMSS19 feed I would find more people to connect with that are talking about HIMSS online. The official HIMSS hashtag guide can help me in this quest. (I also want to note to Wareflo that I own the #HIMSSSHOES hashtag.)


4. In Degree and Out Degree

How popular are you? This measures how many people are talking about you. Someone like Seema Verma might get a lot of mentions online, but she doesn’t really sit on Twitter interacting with people. I know this firsthand because I always try to ask her potentially inflammatory questions that I can write about, and she doesn’t even see them. (She’s speaking at HIMSS, so maybe I will go find her and ask her if she wants to start interacting on Twitter--or, maybe I’ll just ask her what the data structures CMS is encouraging.)

If you mention a lot of people, then you have a high “out degree.” If you only mention your five best friends, your number is lower. Your “in degree” represents how much you get mentioned on Twitter. So, everyone, please go online and tag me and #HIMSS19 right now so that my number can go up. I need more mentions (and yes, it is a game.)


The Trust Insights Takeaway

Traditional measures of social listening and determining which influencers matter aren’t always accurate. Buying followers doesn’t mean you have engaged followers, and sorting that out is key for companies and individuals that want to connect. There are other measures of how much you are involved in relevant interactions and how much you drive the conversation. It’s fascinating to see what people can tell about you from your online interactions and what people want to share.

Chris, the Trust Insights co-founder, frequently posts dog pictures, which I appreciate, because everyone knows that Twitter is for venting, connecting and sharing adorable pet photos. But Trust Insights is a woman-owned company that helps us all to be more effective and intentional about connecting. And who in healthcare — marketer, physician, startup founder and health system executive alike — couldn’t use that?

Now, I’m going to go look up everyone I’m talking to while I’m in Orlando next week at #HIMSS19.

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