Saturday, February 26, 2011

Diving Deeper: Understanding A Measure of Your Online Influence

Since becoming aware of how online work reputation could impact bonuses as well as potentially the jobs you can apply to and interview for, I've started paying attention to my online influence scores. I've also been rethinking a strategy of multiple accounts focusing on one topic over a single account that touches on multiple subjects.
Pinnable image here
The two metrics for online influence that have been in the news recently are Klout and PeerIndex (Wall Street JournalForbesInc.). (Prior to these metrics, I monitored my influence with socialmention and from Hubspot. There are other tools as well, for example, Twitalyzer (shutdown 9/23/2013) and Crowdbooster.) Whether you agree or disagree with the accuracy of these tools, scoring systems based on your visible actions and results are not going away (see In Defense of Klout Measurment for Social Media Influence by Neal Schaffer of Business 2 Community).
"To be of use, social media must be measured. ... BazaarVoice and the CMO Club found that nearly 35 percent of CMOs have no idea if their Facebook page produced any ROI."
Second image here
I was curious about what would increase or decrease a score and decided for a month to observe my company's scores, a coworker's scores, and my own scores. None of us changed the ways we used Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn, and none of us duplicate updates across the platforms. Keep in mind that each of these accounts use Facebook and Twitter differently. DesignDork is more active on Facebook than Twitter. EdenHensley and ATimelessAffair are more active on Twitter than Facebook. WildPackets is a company account; at the moment Facebook Fan pages cannot be linked for scoring.
The actions that appear to have the biggest impact on scores? Registering or claiming your profile (@DesignDork, @ATimelessAffair, and @WildPackets all had PeerIndex scores of 0 prior to registration). Changing your handle (@ATimelessAffair was originally @CubesdenWedding).
The strategy you choose depends on your goals. For those starting out in an industry or changing industry, you may need a different social network. As an example, let's say you just graduated from college with a Liberal Arts degree and you're looking for a Social Media position.

Tips for Positively Impacting Your Online Influence

  1. Keep your relevant skills current. Attend conferences or live webinars on Social Media, Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Quora, SEO, Online Marketing, etc, that are given by influencers and attract other influencers and up-and-coming influencers. You need to seed your network with the right people and fill your channels with the right content.
  2. Refine or develop your ability to deliver concise, jargon-free summary statements. Snappy tweets are the new soundbite. Think 140 characters minus the characters in your user name minus 4 to 5 characters for RT or via. You need
  3. Practice your touch typing skills. Content has a short life span and the first few summaries get shared more than those delivered later. Also later summaries need to offer deeper insights.
  4. (updated 12/15/2013)Regularly participate in TwitterChats. Unlike conferences these happen at regular intervals. They're also a great way to find other influencers and up-and-coming influencers who aren't able to attend a conference and aren't local to you.

With this strategy I was able to change my Most Influential Topics. Marketing and #EmMeCon (the Emerging Media Conference I attended in January) now appear. Interestingly enough #EmMeCon replaced #IMS (the Inbound Marketing Summit, a conference I attended two years ago). My Klout score also saw a brief rise as a result of this conference-related activity. As I don't attend conferences on a daily or regular basis and I don't connect via Twitter or Facebook to the same degree in my daily routine as I do when I attend a conference, this increase in score was not sustainable. My PeerIndex score was relatively unaffected.
At the end of the day, the strategy you chose for creating and managing your online brand and influence depends on what you plan to do with your social capital.
  • Do you want free stuff? Do you want great service at a hotel when you check in and throughout your stay? Then you probably want a broad network and less category specialization. A multiple account strategy is not the way you want to go. According to VarietyCasie Stewart received a free flight to New Zealand fashion week for her hyperblogging. The Palms in Las Vegas has created the Klout Club. ReviewPro offers hotels a system "to help owners decide on whether a response should be formed to appease the ordinary Joe on the street or Twitter (and showbiz) star Ashton Kutcher (Source)." 
  • Do you want to land a job as a Social Media Specialist? That's probably a different network. And you may want to have specialize in relevant categories. The jury is still out on whether multiple accounts - at least the way I'm using them - is a good idea.
What's your strategy for expanding your social networks?
On Twitter, are you selective about who you follow?
Do you follow no one? Or do you follow everyone who follows you?

Ciao Bella!
P.S. Don't feel like commenting? Strike up a conversation with me elsewhere: Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, or Pinterest.
Credits: All layouts designed by and images taken by Eden Hensley Silverstein for The Road to the Good Life.
This post originally appeared on the blog for my Marketing Consulting firm, Words 'n More | Aesthetics of a Marketer.