One of the Holy Grails of social media—besides ROI—is a true and accurate measure of someone’s influence online. Twitter Grader started off the rush, if memory serves, and when Twitter Grader hit the scene we were all vying to hit that vaunted 100% score. Not to mention be on the top of the leader boards for our city (or in general). My current Twitter Grader profile looks something like this:
So I hit 100 (long time ago, actually) but my rank has dropped. This, actually isn’t surprising. First there are a lot more Twitter users out there. Second there are lots of people who have far more Twitter followers than I do. Third, and this I think is the real heart of it, I haven’t been nearly as active on Twitter (or Google+ or Facebook) in the past year (ish) as I was in the past. While working at Simply, I spent most of my time focused on their Twitter and Facebook profile. Sure mine was important, but I really needed to give Simply a boost. I succeeded, by the way. Simply has far, far more followers on Twitter and Fans on Facebook than when I started. Engaged fans and followers, by the way.
But I digress.
Klout, I haz it
Klout is the big daddy of influence measurement tools around right now. Love it or hate it, feel it’s a great measure, better than a sharp stick in the eye, or just total crap, you have to accept that Klout is out there, popular, and probably here to stay. In fact—and especially since I’m back in the hunt as a freelance writer—this post on Wired (via Cecily on Facebook) on Klout drove home the fact that you just can’t ignore Klout in this business if you wish to be in business.
The interviewer pulled up the web page for Klout.com—a service that purports to measure users’ online influence on a scale from 1 to 100—and angled the monitor so that Fiorella could see the humbling result for himself: His score was 34. “He cut the interview short pretty soon after that,” Fiorella says. Later he learned that he’d been eliminated as a candidate specifically because his Klout score was too low. “They hired a guy whose score was 67.”
I’ve known for about a week that my time at Simply was drawing to a close, so I’ve been blogging more, tweeting more, and look at my Klout score:
Nice hockey stick, if I do say so myself. The real lesson is—and the article in Wired reinforces this—if you wantb to increase (or maintain) your Klout score you need to participate in social media. Participate. Not just share and retweet (those are important, of course), but reply, mention, discuss, connect.
Oh and don’t think for a moment that I’ve been increasing all my social media activity just to raise my Klout score. My increased Klout score is a result of me re-engaging with people. Klout might not be perfect as a measure, but I’ll give it one thing, Klout does show when you’re sitting on the sidelines and not playing in the game.
Influence for your sake, not Klout’s
This is the crux of it. One doesn’t just “become influential” overnight. It takes work. Continued and applied work. Slack off, and you’re not as influential as you once were. Do I still have influence? Yes, certainly. Would I like to have more? No question. Will it happen overnight? No way.
I am lucky in that since my days of becoming a pro blogger back in 2004 (yikes 8 years as a professional blogger!), I worked hard, wrote a lot, made friends, and built a solid foundation to (re)build on. Now the hardest work begins, launching to the next level.