Some people love it, some people hate it and some people just love to hate it.
Personally, I’m of two minds about Klout. I think the effort to quantify and qualify online influence is an interesting one, yet I am sympathetic to some of the criticisms of Klout’s approach.
But I pay attention to Klout and I’ve tried over the past couple of years to incorporate it into my social routines. This has led to much gnashing of teeth and rending of clothing. But I keep coming back to it.
Here are the 12 things I find most frustrating about using Klout:
This is the biggest frustration about Klout. I like the idea of measuring influence, but I don’t like the way it’s been executed by Klout. Problem is, no matter where I turn, someone else is relying on Klout as a shortcut to assess online influence and action. Despite ample competition on all flanks, Klout can’t be ignored because of the strength of its brand. It’s just frustrating that Klout can’t seem to deliver what it’s brand promises. Ugh.
By tracking your social media activity, Klout purports to be the “standard for influence.” To start with, Klout only measures online activity, so there are lots of influential people online and off who don’t score well on Klout. If that counterfactual is not enough, there’s the whole question of the Klout’s proprietary algorithm: what is measured and how is it weighted? I’ll grant that Klout is measuring something and that something has meaning, but let’s stop referring to it generically as “influence.” Puh-lease.
Rather than gradually growing, which is my actual online trajectory, my Klout score lurches upward then gradually falls back for several days in a row. When I recently counted over a 30 day period, my score declined on 20 of those days, though it rose overall for that period. This just seems stupid and frustrating to me: why give your users the daily impression that they are failing at their social media engagement activities when, in fact, they are succeeding? Argh.
The list of things Klout thinks I’m influential about makes absolutely no sense. Once, I tweeted:
Just saw a guy in a kilt wearing a t-shirt that said: “Think outside the boxers.” #efmf #DadsTalking
Some people retweeted it. Then I never tweeted about kilts again. Yet, according to Klout, “kilts” was now a topic in which I was influential.
How hard is it to discern what people Tweet about? PeerIndex seems to do a good job and so does Twylah — why can’t Klout? Some people even use Klout’s topical ineptitude to mess with other people (See Screwing with Klout). Huh?
Content is the oxygen of social media networks.
Great content is the fuel for valuable conversations and productive interactions between you and your followers. In a world of too much information, the simple act of finding and sharing great content that is relevant to your audience is among the best ways to express and differentiate your brand.
Content curation refers to the process of finding and sharing the best content on a particular subject. When done effectively, it is based on three key activities:
This article presents 19 practical suggestions for how to discover, contextualize and share great curated content. While I use specific examples of financial services content because I work in this area, the methods and tools are universally applicable to virtually any subject matter.
Read full post about how to curate great content.
Effective social media engagement is becoming table stakes for many businesses, even more so for business leaders themselves.
Unlike other tools, technologies and strategies, social is not just a tactic that is employed to market and promote and, ultimately, sell products and services. In order to be effective, social media demands to engagement and participation in relationships with your markets. After all, markets are conversations — and you need to be participating in them to be relevant.
So how does a small or medium-sized businesses get into social media if they’ve been sitting on the sidelines for a while?
Mark Schaefer addresses this question in his excellent piece: How does a small business move into social media marketing? I’ve used Mark’s basic responses as a framework and tailored them to the specific situation of professional practices in financial services.
Read full story about getting your small business into social.
In regulated industries such as financial services, it’s only a matter of time (usually minutes) before conversations about social media turn to compliance. These conversations, however, often miss the most important factor contributing to social media success: having an effective strategy.
As many investment and wealth management firms begin to dip their toes into social media, they are typically focused on two main activities. First, they draft social media policies to provide guidelines as to what is acceptable and compliant behaviour for financial professionals in social networks. Think of these policies the “thou shalt nots.” And second, firms deploy some kind of compliance monitoring software to ensure they can fulfill their regulatory obligations as their employees begin blogging, friending, connecting, following and tweeting with clients and prospects. This software becomes part of the social media “plumbling”.
There is no question that clear social media policies and effective compliance monitoring software are required aspects of any financial firm’s foray into the social media space.
But these rule-setting and policing efforts are primarily motivated to mitigate the perceived risks associated with a firm’s representatives engaging in online settings. They don’t prescribe to an advisor or other financial professional within a firm what actions they should take online in order to succeed — in order to position their personal brand and firm’s brand effectively online and grow the business.
As consumers, we make buying decisions every day for large and small items. Whether we are considering where to go for dinner or what movie to buy, or we’re making a large consumer electronics purchase, we all have a process for making those decisions.
When I read Brian Solis’s post – The 6 Pillars Of Social Commerce: Understanding The Psychology Of Engagement — I realized the extent to which our buying decisions are influenced by social factors. Referencing an infographic entitled Social Commerce Psychology, Solis highlights the 6 heuristics we use to make buying decisions.
Everything you thought you knew about the media, public relations, and marketing your business is changing.
Social media and online social networks have catalyzed disruptions in many businesses. Most of us are familiar with what digital music sharing did to a music business built on CD sales. Some of us remember the good old days of paper airline tickets booked through a travel agent.
The same forces are at work transforming financial products and service delivery models. Payments, banking, investing and financial advice are all on the verge of seismic shifts.
Social media is changing everything for professionals and their business practices.
It’s common practice in the social media space to be transparent with respect to your clients and vested interests. I’ve wanted to write this post for some time. It’s part disclosure and part ode to some of the remarkable people I call clients – and friends.
My work with the following individuals and organization spans a wide range of services – from social media training and coaching, to blog design and content development, to online personal branding and content marketing. Some engagements have been modest, while others involved more significant time and resources. In all cases, I feel I’ve received as much value as I’ve (hopefully) delivered.
Twitter has evolved into it’s own universe – the Twitterverse, if you will – and with it comes a wide range of tools.
To anyone trying to get into Twitter and understand what it is and how it works, I recommend starting slowly. Walk before you run.
For instance, start with the Twitter client itself. Available on the web and on mobile devices, Twitter.com does a good job with the basics – following, direct messaging, making lists, and checking who has mentioned you or retweeted your tweets.
This question gets asked lots of times, so I will try to shed light on how I do it and why I do it that way.
1. I would strongly recommend that you use WordPress for your web site and blog. It can easily function in an integrated way as a blog and a traditional web site, so that’s all you need. And here are 8 more huge reasons why WordPress is a great choice.
2. There are many professional WordPress theme designers who are offering top-notch designs that can be customized to your needs very cost-effectively. For example, see WooThemes, Obox, Elegant Themes, BizzArtic and ThemeForest, just to name a few.
While the case for getting engaged in social media is growing more compelling each day, significant barriers remain.
Chiefly among those barriers are the following two:
This post is about overcoming the second barrier to social media engagement: time.