My influence can beat up your influence.

Back from SoSlam, a copy of Return on Influence sits on my desk, just waiting to be read.

Influence.

WTH does a Klout score mean anyway? According to reports, Klout and PeerIndex really measure something else. My default position: it doesn’t measure influence so much as it counts online activity.

See also, Ken Mueller – measuring influence is an ongoing process, not one and done. Howie Goldfarb – find people talking about Audis not just on the Internets – since most of our communication is in fact offline – but getting to actually walk in a showroom and buy an Audi, that is real world influence.

And I can’t decide if these are signs of the apocalypse or a return to reason, alas talking about measuring so-called ‘influence’ ain’t going anywhere.

Who cares?

I was bemused by this post on important wine bloggers, as the comments played out ye olde influence debate:

-”Who are those people?! No one outside the industry knows them. Hell no one outside the wine blogging industry knows them.”

-”Who cares if Joe Consumer knows, he’s too busy buying Two Buck Chuck to be influenced by wine press. These are making themselves known, lots of counting and metics and eyeballs and ads.”

-”They’re just talking to each other.”

-”Well, they get published in mainstream media.”

-”Chicken, ‘Hi, Egg.’”

Who cares about your score? Who cares about your ‘news’ release? Who cares if you know something about Disney World or CRM software? No really, that’s what it boils down to: exactly who cares. Is it someone who is ever going to buy or recommend your company or not? And will whoever is listening care?!

Sucking up FTW

Apparently there are at least 14 ways to build strategic relationships with the ‘who’s who’ of social media. Part of me gets it, but as I discussed with Kaarina Dillabough, mostly I’m insulted.

According to that post, I’ve done everything right but since can’t ‘move the needle’ on my own I need:

a little help from the influencers (and their massive audiences) you can move from obscurity to a firm place on the map. Without their help, your future’s unclear.”

Really? I’ve not brown nosed with the jet set huh? I don’t have popularity in certain circles? That is why I’m not pushing ahead?! I call bullshit.

I’d deal with being a so-so blogger or not being very business minded or just plain dumb. I genuinely value my connections, but networking with the “who’s who” to trade on their influence – spare me.

I meet with small business owners all the time. There’s no talk of influence, they’ve barely heard of the scoring systems, and — other than people trying to sell them automated ‘online presence’ — little discussion of social media. Deer, meet headlights if you start name-dropping the ‘internet famous.’ Tell them something that can help their businesses, then they pay attention. Because that’s all they care about.

I’m damn smart. I bring good, actionable ideas to my blog. I have an eye for details, vision for branding and a way with words; I can tell a good story. The people I care to influence – the ones hiring me, signing my contract.

I don’t care if your scores are higher than mine. Who influences me absolutely matters; for my business, it’s whomever I influence that matters more. You? 

Comments (14) | Trackback

14 Responses to “My influence can beat up your influence.”

  1. I totally agree with your comment on Klout measuring activity and not influence. Just because many people are following you on Twitter does not mean that they are influenced by you.

    I found this funny site called http://klouchebag.com/ (I have no financial or other interest in it besides thinking it is hilarious!) I checked myself and my friends out – looks like I am not to bad despite “Improper English usage…” Hmm…
    Christian Hofer recently posted..Change management (2 of 3)

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    Davina K. Brewer Reply:

    It’s funny – I’ve never been one to fall for celebrity endorsements either. Other day shopping at Macy’s I was telling someone, ‘I gotta admit, I don’t who’s designing for So-and-So, but they make some decent stuff’ – because I don’t believe for a second that person does more than a couple of photo shoots, boards meetings. See also, folks not buying – and not buying – that Tiger Woods drives a Buick. Think it’s the same with the online famous.

    Add to that my narrow view of influence. I really think about what I tweet, post, share but at the same time, I don’t consider getting me to hit a button on a computer much of an influence. Grrr.. stopping before I start ranting b/c part of me still wants higher numbers, in case some would-be employer or client is lurking out there.

    Thanks for stopping by. I’ve used the Klouchebag before Christian… I’m not too bad, but I RT too much. And the improper language, b/c of the acronyms I sometimes use. FWIW. ;-)

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  2. [...] or points of view among your followers, it’s easier to know how to interact with them: the same way you did in high school. Or [...]

  3. “I’m not at that level that I can afford to ignore it”
    –Same boat ;)

    Haven’t read Game of Thrones. I hear the HBO series is great though.
    Craig McBreen recently posted..Don’t chase your big dream, live it one little step at a time

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  4. Hi Davina,

    Two Buck Chuck is now Three Buck Chuck, at least in my neck of the woods ;)

    If I sing the praises of Gini Dietrich often is that brown nosing or general toadery? If so, I’m guilty as charged ;) I just wanted to drop her name for the one-thousandth time because she popped in.

    There was a very interesting (and very long) article on Klout. Ah here it is … http://www.wired.com/epicenter/2012/04/ff_klout/all/1

    Anyway … someone being eliminated as a candidate specifically because his Klout score was too low, um “34″ Well too bad for him he couldn’t match the witty and charming Kim Kardashian, huh?

    Like Shakirah, I can’t force engagement. There is nothing wrong with networking and seeking people that might help you on your way (ahem … Gini) but c’mon, try and be human about the process … which to me means you kinda, sorta have to like the people you’re engaging with. That’s all I have to say.

    I read Neal’s comment with some interest: “buying of Twitter followers” So where do I go for that? I want about 20K ;)
    Craig McBreen recently posted..Don’t chase your big dream, live it one little step at a time

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    Davina K. Brewer Reply:

    I JUST finished reading that Wired piece and now you mention it.. Dude, that’s just freaky! But very on point Craig. It’s part of why I won’t opt out — too many people in power take it (too) seriously and I’m not at that level that I can afford to ignore it. But I also still don’t know about all this influence talk when at the end of the day, I convince you to hire me – that’s what matters.

    I’m human, as apt to spend time online talking wine and Game of Thrones as I am PR, just being social. Everyone networks, and most of us do it for work, for our own personal and professional interests. IDK I just don’t like being told my merits aren’t good enough, high school kool kidz club b.s. – get their ‘influential’ stamp of approval or else. And even MORE w/ the over-thinking it — that’s been my theme this week, so time to turn the brain off for a while. ;-) FWIW.

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  5. As a naturally tight-lipped person, it’s hard for me to force engagement with anyone–influence or no. I can feel the vauge anti-social panic rising and it stops me in my tracks. Where am I going with this conversation? How will I sustain the “bond?” Oh, nevermind.

    But also, grabbing the speeding Express Train and hanging onto it has too much of a chance of blurring our journey and taking control of our destination away from us–no matter how chatty we are in the meantime. It’s better to keep things organic, and if we happen along a friendly train, have the chat–have hundreds–but not get carried away.
    Shakirah Dawud recently posted..How To Stop Marketing To People-Like Substances

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    Davina K. Brewer Reply:

    That’s part of it Shakirah, I get very nervous and there’s no way to force engagement or to feign interest. And what interests me right now – along with all manner of things – is learning and improving my craft, making connections, growing my business. What influences business decisions of my would-be fish? That’s I think what matters most, and what I’m still trying to figure out. And the challenge to me of focusing my efforts there. FWIW.

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  6. Thanks for the link Davina!

    The concept of influence is a fascinating one, and I also think that a Klout score is a great indicator of _activity_. True, it does more than that, but if you look at some of these so-called social media influencers, they spew out a hell of a lot of tweets, and a lot of self-promotional ones! Furthermore, I’ve done some forensic analysis, and there is definitely _some_ buying of Twitter followers going on by the so-called “influencers.” Not everyone falls in this category, but there are a few of them…

    That being said, there are many, from a networking perspective, that can help spread the word on your behalf and vice-versa. What matters more about these people is not their Klout score, but how influential they are in whoever you are trying to reach out to. Only you, not a Klout score, can determine who that is. And if your target audience is not active in social, you might want to spend less time online and more time offline!

    Based upon this blog post, I can’t wait to hear what you think of Mark’s book!

    @NealSchaffer
    Neal Schaffer recently posted..Social Media for B2B Sales – 11 Tips for Building Better Client Relationships!

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    Davina K. Brewer Reply:

    Mark talked about his book, one thing he mentioned was action: the role of influence being a force that moves content. Sure I’ll find it interesting.

    I’ve written it before – scores like these matter only to those to whom it matters. I’m still on the fence b/c there is ‘something’ there Neal. Even as just as an activity barometer, were I hiring an agency or staff, Klout score would be one (of many, many) factors I’d consider. Agency has low scores for themselves, their clients.. it’d be food for thought. But is it influence, getting someone to RT something? I’m fairly selective in what I share but there’s no effort, no work there – never mind no way to know if it was either clicked or read on a RT or an autobot tweet. Influence is more than that.

    I want to make better use of my online time, mostly step up the SEO, more inbound marketing via the blog. AND for the exact reasons you mention – much of my target isn’t actively doing PR, doing social yet – I spend time offline networking as well. Fish where they’re biting, right? :-)

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  7. Guess you’d better get to brown nosing then!
    Gini Dietrich recently posted..Are We Nearing a Tech Bubble Burst?

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    Davina K. Brewer Reply:

    When I reread the post for this one I saw the warnings about overdoing it, about keeping it real – target people you actually like and respect, blah blah. But it still seems too calculating to me – esp. when I’m hunting different game (i.e. business owners). Unless of course, you want to recommend me to others.. then I can start w/ the flattery. ;-)

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    Gini Dietrich Reply:

    Oh I’ll recommend you to others, if you start with the flattery! One of the things I’ve heard you say before is that you want to stay in your own backyard, in terms of work that you’ll do. Has that changed?
    Gini Dietrich recently posted..Would You Like Vocal Fries With that Order?

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    Davina K. Brewer Reply:

    No, no, no – never meant that. I can and DO work for anyone, anywhere, businesses not in Atlanta, go where the work takes me. The catch – finding them and serving them well, and in that respect I am somewhat constrained by location.

    Say a biz wants only local media relations — I could research and learn it, sure. But at the end of the day, I think they may be served by someone who knows their town, their state, their media. That will vary per client. Then the finding – as I mentioned in the post (and replied to Neal) I’m doing more offline networking (here) AND needing to optimize the blog for better SEO, inbound marketing to reach others — no matter where they may be.

    Believe me, I get this ‘virtual’ world and love that it kinda doesn’t matter where I am – so long as I’ve got my computer and Internet, I can work. And FWIW if Disney wants me to live-blog the Food & Wine festival, I’ll start packing. ;-)

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