Posts tagged ‘Klout’

Personal Brand, or Client Business?

Image courtesy of ariesgdim.com

Last week I read a very good article last week on TechCrunch. The author was questioning the importance some people are giving Klout scores, even in some cases using a person’s Klout score as a metric for employment. The article cites a Salesforce help wanted listing that requires a Klout score of 35 or higher.

The articles raises many good points. The one that really hits home for me is that a rating system like Klout is designed for someone who spends a great deal of time building their personal brand. That’s fine to an extent, but what about putting your client first?

I saw a lot of this when social media was shiny and new, especially a couple of years ago in the b2g space where (naturally) it was called Government 2.o. To be clear, social media technologies create very real channels for government to citizen communications, and many of the people who made a name as Government 2.0 experts are very sharp people.

But every marketing and communications trend contains froth, and there were some who spent more time speaking at conferences than building client successes. Klout seems like the epitome of that pursuit of the personal brand, supposedly producing an empirical number that signifies an individual’s mastery of social media tools.

Of course a communications professional today needs to demonstrate an understanding of social media channels. I also believe that if you are going to consult clients on how to engage in social media, you need to show you do as well. That’s one of the reasons I launched this site over four years ago.

However, let’s keep thing in perspective. Klout is providing people with a rank, in exchange for access to their social media activity. That’s a lot of valuable personal information, in exchange for a number you can compare with your friends and colleagues.

That”s fun, but it’s not something that should determine your next job. Or keep you from focusing on meeting client objectives.

October 5, 2012 at 8:28 pm Leave a comment

How Much Can You Automate Influencer Tracking?

Image courtesy of Fast Company via Flickr user practicalowl

If you’re in any type of communications role, you know every vertical has influencers. How to automate finding them, scoring them and cultivating them is a rapidly expanding cottage market within the broader social media marketing space.

Marc Benioff of Salesforce.com has brought his formidable promotion skills to this space. Salesforce acquired social media monitoring company Radian6 back in May, and now has launched a new service that integrates Radian6 into Salesforce’s CRM software. SocialHub promises to monitor thousands of online conversations and score each commenter, basically identifying the influencers that warrant some kind of response.

BusinessInsider has a pretty slick slide demo here, and here’s good coverage from ZDNet’s Between the Lines blog, with a useful overview of how marketing has changed from message projection to audience engagement.

When determining the need for a response, SocialHub incorporates the person’s Klout score. Steven Vaughan-Nichols of ZDNet takes Klout to task for being very inconsistent and non-transparent in its methodology, but he also acknowledges its influence (pun intended).

Of course reaching the influencers is the intent of every media and analyst list. The process used to be much more manageable – now the term is more amorphous and opinions can be harnessed to the power of the Internet. There’s no doubt that some people are more influential than others, but which metrics correspond in exactly what ways to best measure that influence? That’s the secret sauce these companies are selling.

It’s a far cry from an algorithm, but experience in a particular industry niche is a sure way to know which influencers matter. For example, Strategic employs experienced staff with deep backgrounds in areas like telecom, satellite, security and online advertising. When we bring on a new client, they already know who the influencers are in the space, and have relationships with them.

Plus our clients don’t usually sell to the mass consumer market, which cuts down on the noise level. The most important area of automation we typically focus on is tying our social media efforts into a client’s sales automation platform.

All that said, we constantly evaluate new tools that could bring value for our clients. Currently we’re evaluating a tool called Traackr, which promises to identify influencers based on careful keyword searching. Here’s a good overview on the service from the Social Media Explorer blog.

There’s no doubt that consumer facing brands need help sifting through the daily cacophony of online discourse about their products and services. Salesforce certainly took the SaaS business model to mainstream acceptance, so I’m sure their offering will generate a lot of interest

What social media automation tools are you using to support your organization? Do you anticipate exploring this type of service in 2012? Drop a comment and let me know.

December 2, 2011 at 8:36 am Leave a comment

No Need for ROI? Where Do I Sign?

I’m a regular reader of Fast Company, and find it useful in keeping up with current business trends. Often the tools and trends I read about aren’t immediately applicable to the B2B and B2G worlds my agency lives in, but it’s good to keep an eye out.

Last week I read a story that definitely doesn’t apply for my clients. It was an article that basically said it’s really hard to quantify the ROI of social media, so it’s a good thing a lot of B2C companies don’t care. What!? Here’s the link.

The poster company of the story is Audi, which hired the startup firm Klout to help them run a Twitter campaign. Klout promises to find influencers online by examining their Twitter and Facebook profiles and assigning them a number, their “Klout score.” It sounds like Audi put real resources behind this effort, identifying 1,100 online all stars to tweet their hashtag #ProgressIs over 12,000 times.

So, did that translate into sales success? Doug Clark of Audi told Fast Company they just don’t know:

Clark concedes that, so far, he doesn’t have any numbers to prove that all this engagement has resulted in, you know, selling more cars. Amazingly, the company isn’t too interested in finding out, either. For Audi, Facebook and Twitter “are places where we know tech-minded consumers are active, where they’re seeking to engage with the brand,” Clark says. “But can I say that a fan is more likely to buy an Audi? No.”

I have a really hard time imagining any of my clients being so blase. They expect that the social media tactics I design and execute for them actually support business objectives like deal capture, lead identification/generation and improved SEO. As a former client myself, that makes total sense to me and I’d expect nothing less.

Here’s a tongue in cheek reference guide for social media marketing terms in the consumer world, graphic courtesy of Fast Company. I especially like the comment about how a nice looking social media dashboard gives the CMO an illusion of control:

I’ve talked often on this blog about how I prefer B2B and B2G social media to consumer. The objectives are usually clearer, the target audiences well defined and the goal is quality over quantity. Of course, you do need to define the ROI of the engagement if you hope to secure funding.

But apparently that’s not necessary in consumer work. You can design some pretty UIs and try some fun, creative stuff. And if you can’t quantify the benefit well, who cares? Apparently not the clients.

Sounds great — how can I sign up?!  (note to my clients — also said tongue in cheek)

June 30, 2011 at 8:37 am Leave a comment


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