Lifelong advocate of common sense. Co-conspirator @traackr to overthrow mass marketers.
@Danny Brown I love it when your feisty Scottish side comes out :)
There's no question that *real* influence platforms, first and foremost Traackr :), are missing from @BrianSolis prism. But frankly, I'd rather be left out than added to a generic "influence" bucket alongside Klout & team as it will only add to an existing confusion from marketers as to what influence is (and as a result what influence marketing is).
In my book, influence is about affecting behavior. Branding aside, Klout, Kred and Peerindex are not influence platforms and don't enable influence marketing, they are social amplification platforms (a social media version of good old WOM marketing) who indirectly sell social impressions.
Over the past year and a half, we have seen many brands disenchanted by the results from Klout campaigns come our way to support their influence programs. The main reason for their disappointment has been an unrealistic expectation on what they were buying (amplification, not influence). Brian's Prism just is a missed opportunity to help marketing professionals get a clearer picture, but thank god we have Danny for that :)
8 months ago on Why The Conversation Prism Misses the Boat on Influence
Great write-up, Danny! As the category (of influence marketing) develops, we'll start seeing serious tech enablers make it easier and easier to bring their platforms together, and brands to assemble the combination of products that best support their strategy and organization. I agree with you that there won't be a one-size-fits-all solution. We may start seeing some dominant federating platforms though and for sure more Traackr/Nimble type integrations - stay tuned for more news on our end soon :)
9 months, 3 weeks ago on Why Social Software Platforms Fail
@OpEdMarketing @pierreloic @Danny Brown I guess we all have to give a $1 to M. Gladwell every time we mention "tipping point". It's unfortunate because I agree with Sam that influencer marketing is an actual tipping point in a sense that it's a federating agent for change for marketers in ways that other marketing disciplines haven't been, but clearly not the silver bullet many make it to be.
11 months ago on Influence Marketing Will Be the Tipping Point in Social Media ROI
@OpEdMarketing @Danny Brown Just chiming in: what we're observing is that the risk you're talking about is really limited to the noise this type of campaigns creates that results in clouding the influencer marketing space. We're also seeing that it just doesn't work: Influencers willing to participate in affiliate marketing programs don't last as influencers. Brands are already coming back from this. Next is figuring out how to create real sustainable value through influencer marketing, that will of course start by reading Danny & Sam's book ;)
@Brent@Echelonseo.com @Danny Brown @traackr Happy to introduce Traackr. Indeed different from Klout's approach:
1- There's no opting in Traackr, we find the data (opting in skews results as the scoring engine compares apples to oranges - people with more data or less data)
2- Our scoring system that drives search results is 100% contextual - non contextual scoring makes for a very sad world where the only people we'd ever hear from are Justin Bieber, Lady Gaga and Barak Obama...
11 months, 1 week ago on Is Klout Gaining . . . Clout?
Great post, Sam (and great title :)!
I'm glad you're (re)connecting the dots between marketing and sales. Our customers measure the success of their influencer campaigns in leads and revenue rather than likes and followers. Presenting influence marketing as a sales function is a very interesting jedi mindtrick to change expectations and behavior. I'll have to try it...
11 months, 1 week ago on Influence Marketing Will Be the Tipping Point in Social Media ROI
Before getting gobbled by Google, @Postrank had created a Douche Score in its Labs section just for kicks. Results were scarily close to Klout's influencer score if I recall...
1 year, 8 months ago on You Might Be A Smanker If…
ShonaliCourtVpierreloic Ha! That's an idea! I was already planning on the presentation being in French as we'll be in NO but it could definitely be sung...
2 years ago on L-O-V-E for Social Businesses on Valentine’s Day
Howie GoldfarbShakirahDawudShonalipierreloic Excellent observation, Howie! You've really nailed what's at the crux of our discipline.
We've had to deal with similar issues ourselves: for example, how can we tell when someone means "Human Resources" or "House Republicans" when they use the acronym "HR"?
The answer is that defining the context for someone's influence can't be summarized to a single keyword. Influence is topical. Keywords are a proxy to defining the topic.
Klout has gone the easy route to remedy this discrepancy with +K to let its users define what topics are but opening the door to a very easy way to rig the system (see Shonali's post on how she became an influencer on everything bacon).
We've taken the harder route to help our users create topics with keywords and apply computation to the requests.
2 years, 2 months ago on Why a Social Credit Score is an Empty and Dangerous Notion
ShakirahDawud Thanks Shakirah. Like I said, I only take issue with the packaging of the message. If you look at Klout for what it is: a step up from web advertising, I think it does the trick quite well.
2 years, 3 months ago on Why a Social Credit Score is an Empty and Dangerous Notion
jenzings Thanks Jen! Yes, just like for most things, you always get what you pay for :)
I have to confess I had to resist starting a rant on the way "credit score" itself is computed but I'll save it for another post.
rachaelseda Thanks Rachael. The analogy you're making is very interesting. You can even push it further on how it can affect behaviors: students and educators focusing on improving scores results (gaming the system) rather than teaching/learning. Very slippery slope...
Howie Goldfarb Thanks for the thorough comment Howie. You're saying 2 important things here:
1- someone's influence can't be measured by their Twitter or Facebook data because it's missing most of our activity (especially offline)
2- When quantified generically, scores can be gamed / trumped by sheer volume
The interesting thing is that as soon as you stop trying to quantify very generically something that really isn't generic to begin with, these 2 issues really vanish for the most part.
This is awesome Shonali! I'll make sure to remember I know who to call if I have questions about Kim Kardashian eating bacon :)
2 years, 4 months ago on The Klout Drama Kontinues
JGoldsborough I love this conversation. I too have figured out why you blog :)Let me try to answer your questions:
1- How do we account for / report on qualitative metrics? First let me say that we don't try to replace humans going over the data we generate to analyze it, instead we try to supplement that analysis by doing the quant work that can't be handled by a person and expose as much data and insights as we can to make it easier for people to conduct an analysis on top of the data. The quant work itself takes into account qualitative data - for example we use all endorsment metrics across the web that are highly qualitative data (someone telling someone else they liked a piece they did - like me with you on this post) - but we don't try to infer too much meaning from it. Then we let our users react to and engage with the data itself: they have the ability to add more qual data to an influencer profile, tag, add notes, like/dislike a profile we found, re-rank our list based on their campaign goals, etc. In other words, add human intelligence once we've reduced the scope of study to something manageable. The work our clients do with this is really fascinating and helps us build future versions of our app when we find repeatable patterns in their work on the data. Sorry if I ramble on this but I get very excited about this aspect of what we do :)
2- We could already (though we don't do it yet) take into account in an influencer's score/rank their successful engagement with brands. We have built in our app what we call an influencer monitor that measures the success by influencer of an engagement campaign. The thing we haven't figured out yet and the reason why this isn't yet reflected in our score is that I'm not sure it's the right thing to do... When a brand engages with influencers, they may have a very specific idea of what they want out of that relationship but our best case studies come from brands that were willing to be surprised and let the relationship evolve in unanticipated ways (hire an influencer, bring a harsh critique of their product to a product development workshop, etc.). These instances yield very high value for brands and we don't want to penalize the influencers who spearhead them by boosting those who fit the mental model of a brand.
Thanks again for the post and the conversation.
3 years ago on 8 questions to help explain influence
Shonali Agreed. Popularity (or reach) is one of the key ingredients alongside relevance, resonance (engagement) relationship (social graph), and our new addition (available soon): reputation.
Shonali I agree that you can't completely strip out popularity from influence: to commammo's point, if noone listens, one's influence is inexistent. BUT we see time and again with our clients that the correlation between context/relevance and influence (as an action-driven concept) is much stronger than the one between popularity/reach and influence. Agreed that neither reach nor relevance can be ignored but they are not on equal footing.
Great conversation Justin. Thanks for starting it. My take on your questions:
1. Influencer targeting vs. mass outreach? If you have a good story to tell, you'll get much bigger yield for your bucks targeting influencers who will relay/endorse your message with the specific audiences you're trying to get to. If you don't have a good story or product, then mass outreach may be your only way to get coverage - though I'd argue, save the money and invest it in making better products :) We have tons of very compelling case studies from our clients on the value of influencer engagement.
2. IDing influencers? Our clients use Traackr + add a layer of human analysis to make the influencer engagement as likely to succeed as possible.
3. Scorecard? Traackr offers influencer monitors to track performance but I'd suggest that you create campaign specific success metrics that you define with your client and report on as well. Success metrics can look very different from campaign to campaign (sales, media coverage, website traffic, etc.)
4. Rank influencers? That's the business we're in but ranking is only meaningful in the context of a campaign. It's not about showing the value to clients but rather help you and your client decide where to invest your time and money.
5. We have defined 3 key metrics: reach (audience size), resonnance (influencer endorsment by their community), relevance (to the topic at hand). More to come.
6. A b2b tech client ran a targeted influencer campaign resulting in an increase of qualified sales leads by 400% and conversion rates to sales off the chart (including 1 multi-million $ deal).
7. (Technorati) and Klout scores too low? Then I'd say you actually don't get the influencer story. You're still in a mass outreach state of mind... Go see if Lady Gaga or Aston Kutcher wants to talk about your governance and compliance SaaS offering. Which leads me to...
8. Is there such a thing as universal influence? Absolutely not. Influence is not popularity. To get people to voluntarily engage in specific behaviors, you need to be a trusted figure on the topic you're discussing. Would you take advice from your brother on investment? From your financial advisor on parenthood or relationships? I rest my case :)
Hamlet? Major trends or changes have always been started by small groups of people. Before we could only identify them in hindsight. Now, in part thanks to technology, we have a shot at anticipating who they are.
Thanks again for the post.