Reality of Influence

Influence appears to be one of the topics of 2011. As Klout secures an additional $8.5 million in funding means that enhanced metrics are sure to follow. But what does influence really mean?

Klout provides a fairly detailed overview of how they measure influence which is a starting block for this new metric. While measuring influence is still in its infancy, but rapidly developing, what does this mean for you?

When you login to Klout for the first time, connect all of your social networks and click the “measure” button you wait eagerly for the results. Logically, it will lead to three emotional reactions:

-1-     Happiness

-2-     Disappointment

-3-     Who Cares

 

Happiness

“Yes, my score puts me as one of the most influential people in the online social webs!”

This might be the reaction of someone seeing a top score return. This is a metric you would expect to see from a Chris Brogan, Brian Solis, Seth Godin or another of the like. This will be someone who has 5-figures of followers and is viewed as a leader in their space.

Others will get to this status as well depending on their personal or business niche. Is it possible to get to this level without thousands of followers? Sure. But it helps to be followed by people with thousands of followers too.

 

Disappointment

“I really thought I would score better than a 36.”

What if you have 300 followers on Twitter that you are really active connecting? This score may return lower than someone who has thousands of followers and but is re-messaged less than you. You could argue over more influence but you network numbers may not compete.

An interesting question may arise, would a negative or lower-than-expected score impact how you use social media going forward?

 

Interesting

“But what does it really mean.”

Brian Solis wrote an interesting piece last year regarding the Influence Project put on by Fast Company. The post basically said influence is not popularity… which ironically was the name of the article.

This group might find the results interesting either way but not put much stock in the numbers, it’s too early to truly tell what this means.

Personally, I find myself in the “Interesting” group. I believe Klout – or similar metrics – are on the right path but not to a particular accepted standard. I am skeptical over influence. Damien Basile wrote an excellent guest post on the subject on not confusing influence and popularity.

What if a friend/follower reads something I post and does not repost, comment or retweet? I may have influenced someone but because it was not shared further it hurts my number? Also, if I do not connect all of my networks it will impact my overall score. There are still too many variables to consider for this to be a truly accurate measuring tool.

Influencing metrics is currently subjective, no matter what science and math you wish to put behind it. In time it will become more accurate and grow into something robust but it still needs time and adjusting.

I do use Klout but as a snapshot in time for me. Using it fairly regularly it could provide trends and analysis to my network and how I connect with my friends/followers. But I do not put more recognition into this tool than that.

Please share your feelings on Klout or other metrics tools, I am very interested in hearing your impressions on the metrics of social influence.

 

 

Photo credit to BplusD and Servant of Chaos.

 

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Aim High and Then Get Realistic with your Social Media Plan

Recently I spoke at #BrandsConf in New York about HR being left out of social media conversations. In short, I shared with a predominantly non-HR audience what many of you already know and maybe have even discussed yourself: HR and Recruiting MUST be included in strategy, best-practices, legal and implementation discussion and activities.

This may seem like an over discussed topic but it is amazing at how many companies, employees and external agencies ignore HR and Recruiting professionals in these conversations.

Let’s face it, HR/Recruiters are talking with external candidates and are sometimes it maybe the first time a candidate is learning about the organization. Recruiters are sales and marketers in these instances which happen daily. How is it possible then that we are often a forgotten group?

Here is what I propose and even challenge to you. If this sounds at all like your company and social media is a space that you have identified as a place you need to have a presence, make a social media “wish list” for your HR group. Make a lofty list and push the boundaries of what you want to implement but make sure you know the 3-4 initiatives that are critical sites to have a presence.

Now, after you have created this list and the business reasons HR needs them, schedule a meeting and invite the existing stakeholders (often Marketing, PR, Legal) and present to them this vision. Be prepared for push-back and embrace their feedback. Then sell them on why you must have the 3-4 tools you identified.

If you are lucky, you will get more than those 3-4. Worst case scenario, you have presented your case and importance as to why HR must be included.

If this sounds like something you have already experienced or are going through now, please share your comments so others may hear about your successes or concerns that you encountered along the way.

Get ready to welcome HR to the social media table. Good luck friends!

Photo credit: Social Media’s Future

Improve Your Recruiting Practice

Recruiters tend to be creatures of habit, we stick with what works. While being productive and filling open positions is the ultimate goal, we shouldn’t get rooted in our ways and afraid to adapt to new techniques and methodologies.

I continue to be surprised while talking with recruiters about what they haven’t tried. I understand that not all social networking tools are not for everyone and there are far too many for any one person to have an impactful presence on all of them.

I still believe that recruiters, or people in general, must expand into areas that are uncomfortable to grow. Trying a new tool isn’t a bad thing. But don’t just try it and move on. Truly spend time with the tool and give it a fair try. Otherwise you are cheating yourself out of a potential new and valuable sourcing tool.

Make 2011 the year you try at least 1 new tool. Give it time as anything new takes time to evaluate. If you are unsure as to how to use the particular tool or if you are looking for tricks to make it easier to use, ask someone. Most recruiters enjoy being viewed as a subject matter expert and will be happy to provide insight and helpful hints.

Spend time doing research on what sites might be best for you to use. If you are in the Federal or State/Local government space then GovLoop will be a great option for you. If you are seeking entry level or recent college graduates then you may want to consider KODA. If you recruit on a wide variety of positions, then give Facebook a fair try.

Also, please don’t say that you are going to try LinkedIn (http://www.LinkedIn.com). I mean, isn’t that cheating? You should be there already.

These are just a few ideas but give something a try starting in January. If you really want to challenge yourself, try one new tool every 3 months to see if you are able to continually expand your sourcing toolbox.

Have fun!

Photo credit: Significantblog