Using Klout to Measure Your Social Media Influence

Using Klout to Measure Your Social Media Influence:
How Reliable Is It?

Have you heard of Klout? It’s a tool that measures your influence on customers, clients, or anyone else who follows you through social media. It has its flaws—we’ll discuss those in a moment—but it’s useful because it offers yet another way to measure your ROI. Whether you’re a marketer or business owner, you want to be sure you’re spending your time and money wisely, and using strategies and tools that accomplish your social networking goals. Klout can help you do that, although we don’t recommend you reliably on it to the exclusion of other tools—at least, not yet.

Currently, Klout is being used to: 

Generate guest lists for special events. Last year, Virgin America used Klout scores to find and invite guests to their Toronto Launch Event. Qualified “influencers” were flown free to the party. [1] To their credit, Virgin America told guests that they were not obligated to Tweet or blog about the event if they accepted the invitation. They also asked guests to disclose their free flights if and when mentioned the event or company.[2]

Offer product samples for review. Popchips, a company that makes all-natural snacks, has used Klout to find snack-food “influencers.” Those people received free samples of Popchips when the company started marketing their products in new cities.

Research and find bloggers. Services like Blogdash help companies find individual bloggers who have influence regarding their products or services. The Huffington Post has started putting a widget below each of its article, so readers looking for more information on the topic can find the top influential bloggers. [3]

Klout isn’t perfect. One objection users raise is that it leans too heavily on Twitter, even though it’s integrated into Facebook. Some users also criticize its algorithmic formula, saying human analysis is still needed to determine exactly how we influence each other, and why. [4] Others are already figuring out ways to “game the system,” or persuade followers to cite them as influential about certain desired topics. That kind of misuse turns Klout into a popularity contest, and skews results, rather than allowing it to work as a genuine analytical device.

Will Klout address these and other issues, and emerge as a worthy competitor to other ways of measuring your social networking outreach? Can Klout eliminate its current potential for abuse and bias? A new report says that Facebook lost about 6 million U.S. users in May, although it continues to grow overseas. Will new players like Klout move in to claim the social networking field? We’ll be watching to find out, and we’ll keep you posted.

 

 

If you’d like to know more about Professional Mojo, give us a call at 678-561-6656 or email us at Info@ProfessionalMojo.com.

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New SEO Developments:Local Rules

Have you noticed a change in the way your search results are shown in Google? If not, you should. Simply put – it very well may impact your organization.

The easiest way to explain it is via photos. Here is the Before pic of how Google served up local results. Note that in the past, local results (along with the map) showed at the top in groups of 7 entries. There wasn’t a lot of information along with the entries and if you didn’t care, necessarily, about local results, you zipped right past because the other results were clearly delineated below the 7 entries.

Local Google results before change

Results from a local search prior to SEO changes.

Here is an after picture using Atlanta dentist as the search string:

What does local SEO like now?

After the Google changes, the local search for Atlanta dentist looks like this.

A: The scrolling map is now to the right side, making the local results much more integrated into the main results.

B: Local results are integrated into the “regular” results – only at the top. Will prospects give these results more love than the results further down? It’s too early to tell, but our guess is yes. Why? Because they are first…and because there is additional information that provides value. See the next entry.

C: Google has more closely integrated reviews and other relevant sites right along with the local results. This may seem like more value to your prospect. The reviews have more weight than ever and you should be paying close attention.

In summary, your online portfolio has a greater impact than ever on your organization and its ability to reach the right people with the right message. SEO experts will be attempting to figure out these latest rounds of changes for some time to come.

 

Could you use some mojo? A little coaching to ensure your online portfolio and online presence is all it can be? Then give us a call or visit our communities online for more: http://www.Facebook.com/ProfessionalMojo, http://www.Twitter.com/ProfessionlMojo or http://www.ProfessionalMojo.com

Marketing, Advertising and PR: Oh, my!

In the good ol’ days, public relations was public relations, marketing was marketing and advertising was advertising. But, this isn’t the good ol’ days and the times are a’changing.

As the online and offline communication channels continue to mix and mingle like a pile of spaghetti on my plate, organizations are finding that it’s the

From FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Communication and marketing roles are mingled like spaghetti on a plate. Are you ready?

communication that matters – not who does it or what department it originates from. Has your organization gotten the message yet?

A new breed of communications Zen-master is emerging (we like to consider ourselves doyens, too~) and exhibits some key characteristics:

1) A keen understanding of public relations: Good press still matters. In fact, given the prevalence of crazy, anonymous bad reviews out there, it matters maybe more than ever. You are what the Internet says you are, and a good public relations partner who understands the nature of the offline/online relationship can make a world of difference.

2) A strategic marketing gift: Living inside your company’s print or online marketing bubble is no longer an option. Every marketing channel affects the other.  Your offline objectives and online objectives should inform each other. Integrating that with a whip-smart PR plan is a no-brainer. And it takes a big brain to see the big picture.

3) A flair for advertising: Most folks don’t know the difference between advertising and marketing anyway. Advertising is a single component of a strategic marketing process. As a friend of mine said, “If marketing is the pie, then advertising is a slice in that pie.” It includes ad development, placement, and more.

Your online and offline portfolios are made up of all of these areas, and your partner should understand how they fit together to create an irresistible story for your prospects.

Professional Mojo is a full-service marketing company specializing in telling your story irresistibly and consistently across all channels. We specialize in creating compelling online portfolios. Contact us for more.

In online reputation management, you get what you pay for.

ProfessionalMojo Marketing - Trusted Partner

Choose your social media partner wisely. We can help.

While doing some research, I recently came across a company who said they were specialists in “protecting your online reputation” and “managing your Twitter, Facebook and blog assets”.  Then, they pointed the website visitor (in this case, me) to their Facebook page and Twitter account as evidence, I suppose, of the quality of their work.

Here is what waited for me on those pages:

  • Bad grammar, typos and misspellings galore: How can a company possibly represent your brand when they can’t even utilize correct grammar and use the spell check?  The type of syntax reminded me of what you find in those spammy emails from foreign countries, which made me suspicious if the “posting” was being done off shore.
  • A propaganda stream: While one of the blog posts talked about social media being a dialog, there was zero indication that they lived by what they preached. There were few retweets, few replies and a steady stream of nonsense and propaganda.  At Mojo, we pride ourselves on tight messaging and relationship-building.  Again, they didn’t know what to say on their own stream, how in the world could they represent someone else’s brand?
  • Inappropriate comments: Would you want folks to see curse words and, um, racy remarks?  Well, whoever was posting to this stream sure did.  What if that was your brand? Your B2B dialog with partners, vendors, alliances, customers would be at risk…ugh.

Look, in this economy, we are well aware that the “new normal” isn’t really normal at all. As business people we are looking for ways to maximize revenue, increase profits and decrease expenses. It’s as simple as that.  However, you should not cut corners where your brand is concerned.  Putting your online reputation, one that is potentially cached forever, into the hands of companies who don’t speak the language well, don’t understand your business and have no proven methodology is just plain craziness.

Before you decide to contract with a provider, take a hard look at what they are doing.  Unfortunately, there are quite a few companies out there like the one I mentioned above. They decided to set up shop to capitalize on social media, not to create a long-term client relationship built on real results.

Be careful and vet them thoroughly:

  • What is your methodology?
  • Who else have you done work for?
  • What were the results?
  • Will you show me your own streams and community?
  • What testimonials do you have?
  • Who is doing the work?

Your reputation is easy to mess up and hard to fix.  Just sayin’.

If you are interested in vetting Professional Mojo, we welcome it.  Our Mojo Messaging Methodology is tight, we have over 20 years of marketing experience and we know how to develop an online portfolio, website and print suite that works for your business.  Contact us for more.

4 Tips for Managing Your Online Reputation

A friend of mine recently confessed that she had been Googling and searching Facebook, Twitter and Linked In for information on a potential employee.  She also did some blog checking on the prospect’s current employer to check them out, too.  Based on the information she received, she decided against making him an offer.  Ouch. 

Manage your online reputation. (photo from FreeFoto.com)

Manage your online reputation. (photo from FreeFoto.com)

Social media, along with its many opportunities to reach your customers and prospects directly, exposes us as individuals and businesses to a level of transparency that we have never before encountered.  If you choose to play in the social media game, you will have to put on your best protective wear.  Controlling the brand and the message is now only an illusion, but you can monitor and influence the conversation. 

Consider these 4 tips for helping to manage your online reputation:

1) If you haven’t already done it, set up a Google alert for your company’s name, your name, your tag line, and other key words.

You may also want to consider an alert for your main competitors.  You can’t influence anything unless you know it’s being said. 

2) Create robust profiles on the major social networking sites for yourself and for your organization.

I would include Linked In (where the two are intertwined), Facebook (individual profile and separate business page), and Twitter (since the entries are now indexed).  There are many others, but when someone search you or your company and there is vacuum of information…they fill in the blanks themselves.  Make sure you have something out there.

3) Follow a policy of what I post on the Internet will stay on the Internet – forever.

  Prospects, potential employers, potential donors, and customers are researching you. Keep your personal stuff personal and locked down only for your friends. Don’t post anything to a public, business-centric profile that you don’t want published on the front page of the evening news.

4) Don’t forget your name.

If you haven’t already spent the few bucks to purchase your personal domains, do it.  I would suggest purchasing domains with the .com/.net/.org/.me for your name or any variation of it. For less than $50 per year, you can park those domains – www.yourpersonalname.com – and know that others can’t use them.

Remember, in today’s transparent world where misinformation is transmitted at the speed of light, keeping tabs on your and your business’s online chatter is paramount.

For more information on building a quality social media plan and managing your online reputation, visit ProfessionalMojo.com and subscribe to our newsletter.
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