Thursday, March 8, 2012

How can Klout Measure Influence With So Much Private Communication?

In thinking about 'Social Communication' vs 'Private Interpersonal'. I think of how much I converse via email and SMS (1400 texts per month) vs 10 Facebook comments, though my tweets might be upwards of a few hundred a month. Cell phone 800 minutes a month. In person to person...whoa a lot. I email some very influential people I have gotten to be friends with. Ad Age 100 Bloggers. People who run Social and Digital for Fortune 100 companies and other well known National Brands. People I view as Brains and not the Zombie type. We discuss lots of Social Media fraud and hype in private at length in detail. One friend and I spent time dissecting the Facebook Brand Page Insights and how wrong they are (though better now they are still poor). This is someone Facebook actually kisses ass to because the company he works for is very important to Facebook's success.

So how can Klout or Peer Index measure my influence when visible communication online is so small vs how much I impact others overall. 

They don't see any of these discussions going on that are more important and influential than anything happening on the Twitter.

I still slam and destroy Mashable less in public now days but fully in private. I tell people verbally and via email almost daily that if you want to get real coverage of social media never use their site except for informative things. If you want to see a new Facebook feature go to Mashable. If you want to know if marketing on Facebook is working why would you go to a fanboy site. I mean Pete Cashmore obviously is infatuated with Mark Zuckerberg to a point of having posters of mark in his bedroom walls. (ouch that hurts Pete!). But Klout will never catch this. They won't catch how many eople I convert away from Mashable.

Or how many people I have converted in the supermarket dairy aisle into Chobani customers. I talk Chobani in that aisle there almost every week. My folks were asked the other week by the guy who works dairy 'aren't you the parents of that Chobani guy'. Klout would never know I converted probably over 100 people easily in the last 12 months to diehard fans of Chobani. I email with the Chobani Social Media Community and Communications Manager because I love the brand so much hoping to keep them a huge success with my insights. Yes she can take it or leave it when I give it, but she is always appreciative. Like when I explained this week why I don't read an email. 

Many really really smart people are leery about using Social Influence as anything but a small tool to accent the bigger picture. They know 98% of our human communication is private and would never comb Twitter and say 'Oh they used the word Starbucks 8 times this week they much be expert influencers let's contact them to help promote our new coffee'. And when you work with Brands do you have time to do this vs say see what coffee blogs have the highest readership and just go to the owners of those blogs? Shortcuts do not exist and we need to stop trying to invent them.

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