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.
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.
If you are still under the spell of Klout, be sure that you don’t spend much time engaging and supporting your friends who are new to Social Media. Intrestingly, spending your time supporting and mentoring our new friends might land you in Klout Time Out. It’s seems Klout doesn’t assign influence to true Social Media relationships. Klout is an example of a brand gone bad. It is time that Klout educated their staff on the importance of Social Media relationships. Has Klout ever heard of the word Community?
In my opinion and the opinion of many, Klout is a game of online manipulation and popularity. There is no indication that Klout measures influence. However, it is clearly seen that the once respected Klout score is now measuring popularity, supports spam and gathering information to enhance their Klout Perks program.
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.