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.
So, therein lies the paradox – in social media, popularity means influence and is being used to make marketing decisions, yet those with the most influence might not necessarily be the most popular. The time has come to stop relying on the tired definitions of influence, and develop new ways to find those in the social media atmosphere who really have influence and the power to change behavior.
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?
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.
The simplest way to describe Kred is Transparency, Relevancy & Community. Kred is not a judge and was not born to judge people based on Kred. Kred is not scoring us. Kred will not make us feel special one day and miserable the next. You have control of your it yourself. Kred shows us that everyone has influence in their own unique areas of expertise. Kred is helping us to grow our community and to become more social. Kred is influence with transparency.