My name is Saul! I'm an award winning Word of Mouth Marketer, Professional Speaker on the subjects of Social Media, Customer Service and best of all... Word of Mouth. I collect Air Force One sneakers and think you should hire me... (as a consultant) to teach you how to get your company doing interesting things!
the smartest man in the world.

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Photos from the Drupal Conference in San Francisco, CA 2010

Thursday, Jan 01, 2011

I’m way more influential then you.

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Influence is a fascinating thing. A lot of people think they get it, and even more think is really important but I am not sure people actually understand it.

Everyone’s favorite Influence measuring tool KLOUT declared today that MuchMusic and MTV Canada where the two most influential social media brands.

This was determined by a formula including the speed of how many followers they obtained, how many “likes” they get on content as well as other things and while what they have accomplished is amazing it doesn’t make this statement accurate and the timing of this report is funny since there has been a lot written this past week about how Celebrities with HUGE follower numbers don’t help sell products through social media.

To really understand true influence you need context. This in a nutshell answers the “who” question. Are these brands influential with 13 year old girls or are they influential with Construction Workers because it would be very difficult to be influential to both and by that logic you could have hundreds of  Most Influential Brands on Social Media with Pharmacists [or whatever group you want to reach].

I live online and found it interesting that I wasn’t following either of these brands because I don’t fall in their sphere of influence. (something I wrote about a while back)

To really determine true influence and to use this example you need to understand who are these people following MuchMusic and know if they are even watching the Network or do they just follow the feed because if they are just following the feed then they are not being exposed to advertisers and definitely not supporting advertisers.

Everyone will have different goals but staying in business is a pretty universal goal among all companies and when it comes to a brand (and not a personal brand) the measurement has to include more then conversations and engagement it needs to be thought of as a channel (sales or communication) and that includes goals that have to show results and results usually (but not always) include some form of revenue.

What I am trying to say is a small brand selling “vertical hydroponic farming systems” like my friend Britta’s company who have a community of 17,000 people who not only purchase products but are also a very active super niche community who are also working together as a volunteer (I may be wrong about that part) mass collaboration team to constantly improve the products is by every definition more influential then a mass entertainment property could be but because the community/follower numbers pale in comparison they would never come close in a head to head. It’s a shame because that type of measurement would be really valuable.

That being said/typed, I am very influential and asking you to please tweet about or comment on this post.

  1. I really don’t like the use of the term “Influencer” because it has been abused and overused on the internet. I think you make a great point with the Muchmusic/construction worker explanation. This leads to the same thing with people asking to “Like” on Facebook. If you have thousands of “Likes” just because you ask user(s) to do so, does that really mean they are engaged or liking your brand or product? I don’t think so. Nice post.

  2. Totally agree Saul. The days of number of followers and Klout score is (or should be) over. In my opinion, it needs to be about customer acquisition, customer retention, brand building and the like. How social tools impact (good or bad) the bottom line needs to be seriously looked at.

  3. Pingback: Tweets that mention I’m way more influential then you. | Saul Colt – Saul is – The Smartest Man in the World --

  4. We really need to separate the terms “fame” and “influence”. Fame a raw popularity contest, how much to people know you. You can come up with a math formula using twitter followers, Facebook fans, Klout score or whatever you wish. Influence means you want something done, or you want others to share your point of view, and others do it. That’s a different kettle of tea and will need its own math formula perhaps using some other set of online metrics to score it.

  5. I say use your influence to start a reformation! We need some sort of measurement change!

  6. I agree and I apologize.

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