Traditional media is not dead now and never will be. Look closely at the survey results and you’ll see that people still want information; they are just changing the way they want to receive it. As the younger generation takes over, they might look for their news online BUT they are not abandoning traditional media altogether.
Measuring online influence is not an exacting science springing forth from today’s social media vehicles, even though that’s what Klout tells you. They’re using a façade of what’s happening today to cover up the simple fact that influence has existed for centuries and can’t be measured as easily as they state. In fact Klout, Kred and the other tools work very hard to make us believe that the awareness they are measuring is equal to influence.
In my last blog, “Clout vs. Klout – Or the Real Meaning of Social Influence,” I pulled together information which concluded that the most visible people are not necessarily correlated with influence, and word-of-mouth recognition can only be harnessed by targeting large numbers of ordinary influencers. That naturally raises the question, “Who are these influencers and how DO we find them?” Is there some way of identifying those people who are connected to a critical mass of easily influenced people?
I’ve done some reading lately which has brought together and focused my theory of marketing through online influencers. Awareness Networks published a white paper entitled “3 Keys to Influence: Understanding and Leveraging Influence.”
They report several strong reasons why marketers should seek social media influence:
90% of purchases are subject to social influence
90% of consumers rely on recommendations from people they know
67% of shoppers are willing to spend more money online after seeing recommendations from friends
So, the theory goes, if we identify the main social influencers, we should be able to effect change or motivate action. That’s where the debate begins…who are the influencers and how do we find them? The Awareness Report then lists elements of influence as authority, reputation, rank, and status. While some of this makes sense, I believe they put too much emphasis on rank.
Altimeter Group just released “The Rise of Digital Influence, A How-To Guide for Businesses to Spark Desirable Effects and Outcomes Through Social Media Influence.” This report by Principal Analyst Brian Solis caught my attention because of my focus on spotlighting the differences between online influence and online popularity. As my blog readers know, I always argue that popularity is not influence and vice versa.
“We believe influence is the ability to drive action.”
Since when did the premise that simply “believing” something give one the ability to define anything as true? If I believe that chocolate makes one hungry, is that the “Standard” of hunger?
How can we trust our reputations and our own brands to a company who simply “believes” they are the standard measurement in which only their “belief” defines what it is that they measure? Be very careful. Klout is playing a very dangerous game with our brands. Klout maintains their claim that they are not selling our data. However, I will make a case today that will show you that Klout not only sells our data but also engages in activity that is a direct breach of the terms and conditions of Twitter’s public API.
In my world, a Scientist has data which they carefully record trials are run and experiments are engaged to prove a hypothesis. When a data supported and document experiment is found to support a hypothesis, the experiment must then be duplicatable or the results are deemed invalid. No Scientist in the Science world would ever toss their hands in the air and say, “Sorry we have a glitch and we are in Beta, so just be patient with us!”