Is Klout a Necessary Evil?

The buzzwords of our Social Media landscapes are engagement, relationships and the ubiquitous “online influence” as an ever increasing army of brands begin falling over themselves to take advantage of the powerful data behind these buzzwords but how can it be measured?

A few years ago Klout stepped forward to become the “standard of influence” and uses social media analytics to rank its users according to online social influence via the much maligned “Klout Score” which is a numerical value between 1 and 100.

However, a score that is calculated by an algorithm that is top secret, but worryingly revealed that Justin Bieber is more influential than the president of the United States quickly tainted the project.

Some brands have admitted that one of the key benefits of knowing how influential someone is online, is that it can help greatly when a customer tweets a complaint or praise, as this can determine how much attention they should give the user, which ultimately goes against everything people working in social media believe in.

Delivering some sort of two tiered customer service where only the voices of online influencers are heard, will never be an acceptable Social Media strategy but understanding how much power and reach some users have is also essential to managing certain situations or reputations. (more…)

Why Businesses Need To Listen To Customers On Social Media

The age old questions surrounding Social Media continue to be heard in boardrooms frequented by grey suits who have been repeating “but what’s the ROI?” on practically every strategy for the last 50 years and although you can attempt to explain this through measuring engagement, click rate, page impressions, online influence and analytical software with social media, there are still people running businesses who think that Facebook is for kids and say things like “I don’t get Twitter, I would never use it and no intention of using it”

Possibly the hardest lesson for many to learn is that the brand is no longer the marketer, but the customer is. Even if you manage to tackle this wall of negativity, you often quickly run into the “What if people say negative things about us?” These are just a few examples of everyday 20th century thinking and how it has no place in the modern world if you want to run a successful business.

Prepare for a wake-up call, no matter how much you bury your head in the sand, there are hundreds, maybe even thousands of conversations taking place online right now about your brand. You have a simple choice of either embracing this as an opportunity to understand your customers or carry on ignoring what is happening.