Social media is changing the world and has reinvigorated the importance, to some, of social influence. “Social influence occurs when an individual’s thoughts, feelings or actions are affected by other people. Social influence takes many forms and can be seen in conformity, socialization, peer pressure, obedience, leadership, persuasion, sales, and marketing.” (source – Wikipedia) Should you care? Well, I’ll get to that in a few moments.
As many of you know, there are a number of services, some free, that score individuals and other entities with a social profile, on social influence by various proprietary algorithms.
Here are some:
You can check out a good write up that goes through “5 Tools That Help Measure Your Social Media Influence.”
Now let’s talk about the value of social media influence scoring for a bit. If you have been active in successful marketing endeavors, you know that identifying influencers of your target and schmoozing them is imperative. No brainer – you want influential people to say positive things about your brand. When I ran a mainframe product line, do you know how much effort we put into making analysts happy by not only delivering a great product but also by feeding their ego? Influencing the press has always been key as well.
The growth of social media has opened the doors for a new breed of influencers. And having worked for a number of top brands, I can tell you that identifying individuals with strong social reach and authority is extremely important. Rhetorical question – should a brand put more effort into engagement with some that have great social reach and influence or just your average Jane or Joe?
So I do think these tools that measure social power are important. BUT that is not the end of the story and the bottom line. Each one of the tools listed above (and others) look at specific platforms (sometimes more than one) to determine their numeric social scoring value. Why is this important to note? Well what if your target market does NOT typically participate on the platform(s) they are using for evaluation? Then the score is meaningless. For example, I am not sure if any of the tools above use LinkedIn data to determine their scores.
So as in all marketing efforts, you must know where your target market plays – step one. Then you can evaluate the social media influence scoring tools and feature sets from social media monitoring tools to see if they consider where your market is active.
One more issue I want to bring up … your concern and maybe infatuation with your own social scoring. I think many want their score to be relative high and that might mean certain brands and organizations will show you more love. Heck, I’d be lying to you if I did not admit I check my score from time to time. But for dear sakes, do not be obsessed with this. It will diminish the value of your natural social presence. If you become more motivated to increase your score with tactics and gaming the system, it will be to the detriment of the real purpose of being social. That is to deliver people valuable information, support, and entertainment.
I love this quote from one of the great minds and people in the marketing and social space, Mark Schaefer. In the New York Times article “Got Twitter? You’ve Been Scored” Mark sarcastically, but accurately said, ““I went on vacation for two weeks and my Klout score went down.” Now I know Mark and he would never be hung up on this, but there are certainly others out there who do – you know who you are.
Believe me. I am not so green and naïve. My bald head is seasoned. So words to the wise … social media influence scoring is important and needs to be used properly – not simply taken for face value. And please, please, please – if you are social, play by the ethical rules and don’t game the system. And don’t be possessed by your score. Deliver value in your own personal way. It will be recognized, appreciated, and maybe rewarded in due time.
Make It Happen!