As a recruiter, have you ever considered what your online influence is? What do clients and candidates think of your online presence? This very hot topic was address at the most recent Social Media Meetup entitled “How to boost your social media influence” with Andrew Grill, CEO of Kred the open standard for measurable influence, based in London.
Some background information
The meetup started with a brief introduction about Andrew, his Australian background, his presence on the web (he’s been working online and blogging since 1994) and Kred, the company he works for as a CEO.
Andrew then gave the audience some hands-on practice on Kred, influence and how it works in real life – he set up a special Kred leaderboard for the event (visible at http://smlondon.kred.com/) and anyone tweeting using the Social Media London hashtag (#smlondon) with a mention in the tweet will be given ‘outreach points’ and the person (or people) mentioned will be given ‘influence points’.
To start the event, Andrew touched on the main topic of the meetup: Influence.
What is influence?
As a social media keynote speaker, Andrew has spoken to a multitude of events and meetups, and the constant question he often gets is “what do you do with influence once you’ve found it?”. The challenge is not increasing your influence score – whether it’s Klout, Kred, PeerIndex or any other influence measurement facility. Andrew then shared a few experiences of the outcomes of using his social media influence – he was able to change his relationship with brands because brands knew who he was, he was able to get goodies and benefits from brands who wanted him to advertise their products and becoming their ‘advocate’.
So, how can you find the right people who can talk about your brand?
Nowadays brands are gradually moving away from paying ‘evangelists’ money to talk about them, while they prefer to look for the unsigned bloggers instead. One way they do so is by finding people with a high social media influence score. However, such scores are not always reliable. In fact, more often than not, they’re just numbers.
Don’t take your score number at face value – it might be high in the wrong area.
For an influence score to have a meaning, it needs to provide a context, a description of how the score works and how it’s calculated. just the fact that someone has a high score does not mean that they’re the right person for your brand – their high score might be in health, hospitality, technology or dog-walking, which might not necessarily be your area of interest.
Kred takes a different approach – it provides context to such scores. Since November 2008 to right now, Kred has acquired 100 billion tweets in its database and analyses those tweets and each interaction (going back to a maximum of 1,000 days) to score you in your main areas, to connect you with people with a similar or higher score.
Anyone with a public Twitter profile can check their Kred score and see what tweets are increasing (or lowering) your score. This helps users gain insight on how they’re gaining influence.
I know my influence score, now what do I do?
Once you know what you’re influential in and once you know what you’re doing to make yourself influential, keep doing it.
Here are a few tips to help you improve your social media influence:
- Find what you’re influential in, probably what you are recruiting for.
- Give people recommendations from clients and senior candidates.
- Focus on your main area(s) of interest.
- Offer something of value to your target audience.
- Don’t underestimate the power of social media.
- Keep being authentic by mixing in ‘human’ updates.
- Be interesting, have an opinion, don’t just repeat what others say.
This was definitely a timely meetup for me. I’ve used Klout for quite some time and I’ve always wondered what my score meant. Klout thinks I’m influential in technology and social media, and I’m glad that it’s showing that. However, it also thinks that I’m influential in Starbucks – I might enjoy the odd Starbucks coffee every now and then but that doesn’t really make influential in that area.
So, I signed up for Kred after the meetup and used it for a while. I’ve used it for a few days and I have to say – I quite like it. I personally don’t find it as intuitive as Klout, but it has definitely given me more insight on what I’m influential about and who else is influential in my areas of interest, or ‘communities’.
If you haven’t used it yet, it’s definitely worth trying: www.kred.com. You can signup for free, all you need is a public Twitter account.
Bernardo Donkor is a blogger at TechLume and a Social Media Executive for Groupon UK. He blogs about social media, technology and startups. He is a student at Birkbeck College doing a BA degree in Linguistics and Languages.