Klout, Kred or PeerIndex… What’s with all these new social scoring sites? I wanted to know the answer, so I picked up a copy of Return on Influence.
Schaefer’s book is not intimidating, it’s a short 180 pages plus a short appendix with a primer on all things social media.
Upon first opening the book, I wanted to get right to the meaty topic first, so I flipped straight to chapter 10 – how to increase your Klout score. I mean that’s really what we want to know right?
It lists three steps:
1. build your network of relevant & related fans
2. build content, create, curate or conversation
3. find influencers and engage
Of course the devil’s in the details.
When I was first exposed to twitter, I would crosspost blog posts or newsletters, then sit back and wonder why no one was clicking on my links! Is it only valuable for brands to send out press releases and speak to loyal customers?
The answer takes time, with trial and error to get the hang of. How do you write punchy 140 tweets that grab people, and make them click? That’s a talent all by itself. Being on point can only get you so far if you can’t shake people up with those pithy one liners.
Mark Schaefer has done a laudable job introducing the world of social media with great page after page of good stories. What’s more the title itself is what grabbed me, flipped Return On Investment on it’s head to the more nebulous social media influence measured by scores like Klout.
Still all those chapters discussing Cialdini’s concepts of social proof and reciprocity are all fine and good, but I learned most of what I needed to know about the topic from the first page.
After big time interactive marketing exec Sam Fiorella learned about Klout the hard way, he set out to improve his score that sat around a lowly 45.
[quote]Fiorella went on a tweeting rampage to increase his Klout score by any means. He was determined that his experience at the ad agency interview would enver be repeated. He carefully studied and tried to reproduce the online behaviors of top-rated influencers. When he spoke at conferences, he made sure that every slide had a tweetable quote aimed at the Klout algorithm and asked attendees to tweet his name throughout the presentation. He engineered his online engagement to attract attention of high Klout influencers who could bend his score upward and filtered his followers by their levels of influence so that he knew which contacts to nurture to affect his score.[/quote]
And what was Fiorella able to push his score to? The Elite level of 70! Wow not bad at all. You might call it gaming the algorithm, or you could call it doing all the things that social media marketing and networking demand. I’d personally be happy to hit the 45 myself!
Marketing isn’t just for the big guys anymore, and as the ranks of freelancers and independent consultants swells, more and more will be looking to improve their influence and reach. Social scoring, like website page ranking is another one of those measures and one of growing importance.
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