inbox

Making Sense of Influence

Over the past 30 days, my Klout score has climbed five points.

I guess that’s a good thing, and it suggests the time spent on social media over the past month after returning from a lengthy vacation is starting to dividends. After all, it’s difficult to remain as influential when you’re sitting on the beach as opposed to tweeting or posting updates.

But having a Klout score of 67 rather than 62  hasn’t made much of a difference. I don’t feel more influential, although anyone who feels influential probably has too high an opinion of themselves. I haven’t seen a flurry of new consulting opportunities, a flurry of PR pitches in my inbox, or special treatment at any retail establishment I patronage.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s cool to have a Klout score of 67 because it suggests the time spent building a social media presence is resonating and having an impact, which is good for my personal brand and, hopefully, business.

I’m a big fan of the emerging influence marketplace because there’s value in being able to measure peoples’ influence so it’s easier for companies, brands and other people to identify the leading thought and opinion leaders based on their interests or needs.

But it is apparent we’re just scratching the influence surface and how we assess, discover and engage with influencers. Players such as Klout, PeerIndex, Empire Avenue and Appinions (a client) are developing different approaches and technologies to determine who is an influencer, and how companies and brands can identify and interact with them.

Just like the social media monitoring marketplace, there is room for a variety of influence players. At this point, it is important for companies, brands and people to recognize three key factors:

1. Just as there’s more than one way to skin a cat, there’s more than one way to determine an influencer.

2. It is still early days and there is a vibrant and competitive marketplace that should be explored. Appinions’ Influencer Exchange, for example, assesses influencers by looking at who’s creating content and who’s attracting the most coverage and attention.

3. While giving an influencer a score is user-friendly, there are other ways to measure and display peoples’ influence.

So while Klout has a high profile, there are other compelling options that meet different needs for people seeking influencers.

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  • http://teamcamp.ca Chris Schmitt

    I can’t help but feel this is a temporary phenomenon. I know lot’s of people/companies that are very influential and provide great service and don’t even use Twitter, or Facebook, or whatever. The problem is that there are so many ways to game the system.

    The best way to earn new business is by providing great service and earning recommendations through word-of-mouth. A great “Klout score” doesn’t suggest anything about the level of service provided and could even lead people to perceive that the individual in question is out of their price range.

    But as you say, it’s still early days.

  • http://virtualeventsuccess.com Leesa Barnes

    My own Klout score has increased over the past week and it’s because I’ve stepped up my activities on Twitter and on my won blog. But to maintain or even increase my score, I have to sit at my computer and tweet myself to death? Well, maybe not “to death”, but really, who has time to do this? I’m glad you pointed out that there are other ways to measure influence and I do hope that others remember this when trying to determine who’s influential and who isn’t.

    • http://leighhimel.blogpost.com Leigh

      Leesa, I just think you Mark and I should have three or four inane tweets amongst ourselves at least once every couple days. That will solve the effort problem. That or ask your Twitterverse Advil or Tylenol – bc that raised my Klout at least 3 points in a day :)

      • http://teamcamp.ca Chris Schmitt

        Hey, there’s a great idea for an app in there somewhere: an app that increases your Klout score while you sleep! I like it. That startup would be worth millions I’m sure. :-P

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