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by Louise Winters
April 17th 2012 by Louise Winters

BLOOM’s social influence roundup – April 2012

We at BLOOM pride ourselves on investigating the most relevant current news and events in social media. With social and online influence being an extensively discussed topic, here’s our first roundup post on the latest happenings in the industry…

Our first ‘bloom’

To mark the relaunch of our website, BLOOM Social Business invites you to Return On Influence, Actioning Social Business Using The Power Of Online Influence. The event takes place this Thursday 19 April at The Building Centre, on Tottenham Court Road, London. BLOOM Social Business and its event sponsor Brandwatch are pleased to announce the successful American consultant Mark W Schaefer, author of “Return on Influence” will be our guest speaker. He will be giving a short presentation and engaging in a panel discussion with leading industry figures. Panel members will be exploring topics such as:

  • How can influence be defined and measured?
  • What does influence really mean?
  • What is the difference between highly connected people and influential people?
  • How are brands creating mutually beneficial relationships with influencers that create results?
  • How can influence programmes be implemented on a practical level?
  • How can social businesses utilise influences both inside and outside the organisation?
  • What is the role of technology, people and processes?


The Rise of Digital Influence – Brian Solis

The recently released Altimeter report, “The Rise of Digital Influence”, written by Brian Solis, principal analyst at Altimeter Group has received a huge response.

The how-to guide is aimed at businesses today to spark desirable effects and outcomes through social media influence. Solis addresses that we live in a time when social networks like Facebook, Twitter and Google+ not only connect with us all, but they become part of our digital lifestyle.  He says:

“Before you start to even try and measure influence, you need to understand what you want to achieve at the end of the process.”

He goes on to make a more in-depth exploration of the benefits and pitfalls of using social influence measuring services, such as Klout and Peer Index. Check out Brian Solis’s blog post for commentary and the full report.

Chinwag Insight: Psychology of Online Influence Conference

Following the psychology session at Social Media Week in London in February this year, the journey into the world of psychology and online influence continues in a half-day conference on Thursday 3 May 2012 in central London featuring the leading thinkers in the space including Nathalie Nahai, winner of Social Media Week London’s Speaker of the Week award. To find out more, follow @Chinwag on Twitter.

Captain Morgan releases mobile social game

The makers of Captain Morgan Original Spiced Rum are getting ahead of the curve in influence marketing by releasing “Captain’s Conquest”, a US-based mobile social game that rewards players for real-life exploration, adventure and social influence by transforming cities into the open seas and encouraging players to navigate Captain Henry Morgan’s world.

The game utilises influence measurements from users’ Facebook, Foursquare and Twitter profiles. Players also have the option to interact with those around them by challenging other players to battle. The game is available for free download in both Android Market and Apple App Store and has been developed by UK-based digital creative production company Unit 9.

I’m influential because… it’s my birthday!

Recent blog posts by Paul Sutton and Stephen Waddington highlight the amusing discovery that a person’s Klout score increases on their birthday simply by virtue of people in their network wishing them well. Sutton’s Klout graph demonstrates his point:

Waddington also points out that the inverse is also true: if you disengage from your social networks for a period of time your Klout score drops.

This brings us to a controversial topic – the lively debate upon which is as yet unresolved:

What is the relationship between influence and consistency? If you are a regular tweeter and blogger, does this mean you will automatically be seen as more ‘influential’? Are influence measurement tools accurately deeming people ‘influential’, or are they glossing over so many details as to be irrelevant, or worse, misleading?

Mat Honan debunks Klout scores

A negative story about Klout recently hit Gizmodo’s top stories section. In the article “Can A Dumb Social Media Tool Turn This Chump Into the Internet’s Top Mom?” Matt Honan takes a cynical look at Klout’s influence score, saying arguing that just because people talk to us, or about us, on Twitter, doesn’t mean we have real-world influence. Honan’s argument aims to expose what he believes is a simple truth: namely that peer-ranked influence scores are ridiculous. He says:

“What we want to know is whether or not anyone can become an important voice on Klout and PeerIndex. Is it possible to make someone who is not already an established voice the leading voice on a particular topic, even if it’s totally irrelevant?”

To find out more about how the experiement is faring, check out the article for updates and follow Mat Honan on Twitter.

And the other side of the story – slightly more positive chatter about influence measurement services…

Why you should quit complaining about Klout and other influence measuring sites

LA-based social media consultant and speaker, Chris Voss recently wrote a blog post about his views on Klout and other measurement tools. He says, “Its time to quit all the whining and complaining about how Klout, Kred, Peer Index or whatever influence measuring site doesn’t measure everything in influence.” He goes on to say,

“Look the smart people get it and instead of complaining are busy expanding their influence and NOT FOR THE PURPOSE OF GETTING A HIGH SCORE. I’m tired of hearing how one person or company has metrics that are better.”

“These companies are CLOSER than anyone else at measuring influence because they are using a formula and measuring the top networks. I have a ton of respect in what they are working on and can see their vision of the future.”

Voss explains that online influencers today have spent years building their reputation and garnering a following and that if people are complaining that their Klout score isn’t high enough, it is likely they are overvaluing how much influence they have.

Voss provoked a flurry of comments with his article, positive and negative. Follow Chris Voss on Twitter.

- Contributed by Jenny Logan