Wasting Time on Klout and Influence Metrics

Klout only gives President Barack Obama an Influence Score of 48 It’s been an interesting week with all the news and ensuing hub bub about Klout’s new formula. Beyond the curiosity of the moment there’s not much to talk about, though. See, people that waste their time on Klout, determining influence on it, debating its merits, etc., are wasting time. Enough has been said about Klout, high scores and their deficiencies, as well quantifiable metrics in general. Scores are an easy way for PR people to build a list of top voices in a topic area so they can spam, er, pitch them. Yet great scores — the sign of someone who has had success — don’t necessarily produce context […]

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Overvaluing Twitter

Image by puuikibeach Given the increased focus on “Twinfluence” thanks to measures like Klout, there are many organizations eager for success with so-called influencers (at least by Twitter metrics). Though some of these measures integrate more than just Twitter, they tend to be extremely 140 character centric. That may be a huge mistake for companies and nonprofits who overvalue the importance of Twitter in the larger social web context. Let’s start with the fact that Twitter doesn’t even represent a strong minority of the U.S. population. According to Twitter’s last update in September, the network has 145 million members worldwide. Yet regardless of the number of accounts worldwide, active users are estimated to be significantly less. One study released a […]

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What ARE Influencers Good For?

The influencer hype bubble overvalues the role of popular digital voices in an online marketing program. Influencer attention can’t sustain a community over the long term, and using them often fails to produce strength of online community and actual business measurements. Rather than producing another post deconstructing the influence model, let’s try to take an objective look at what influencers can and cannot lend to an organization’s communications program. It’s important to understand what influencers achieve in the larger social context. For the most part that consists of bursts of attention, and a perception of validity. In essence, this is the online version of media relations: Earned social mentions creating an aura of credibility. Just like the traditional PR world, […]

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Strength of Community Supersedes Influence

Image by Annie Siegal With the current overfocus on influence metrics, companies and nonprofits are left to wonder at the digeratti’s navel gazing via participation scores. While influencers play a role in social media, for a company or nonprofit that role is ultimately very small. After the influencer “graces” everyone with their presence, the organization’s community remains. After a sales or advocacy campaign winds up, the community remains. When those initiatives are needed again, they require a strong community in place, openly receptive of such overtures. That’s why the most important metric should always be Strength of Community. Direct ROI — i.e. sales, donations, tonality and other key performance indicators (KPIs) — also represents a critical measurement set. It can […]

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