LR9: Klout

I was out for dinner the other night with one of my hedge fund’s investors and the topic ofBijaPoo on Klout Klout came up. I’d heard the word mentioned earlier in the week while on a business trip to NYC as well. Two unrelated mentions in one week perked my ears and piqued my interest, so I had to find out more.

First, both conversations focused on the fact that Justin Bieber has the most influence of anyone on the Internet and that companies are actually paying him to essentially do product placements on his Twitter, Facebook, et al accounts. How do they know he’s the most influential person in cyberspace? Well, he’s the only person in the world with a Klout score of 100 out of 100.

According to their website,

The Klout Score measures influence based on your ability to drive action. Every time you create content or engage you influence others.

The Klout Score uses data from social networks in order to measure:

    • True Reach: How many people you influence
    • Amplification: How much you influence them
    • Network Impact: The influence of your network

I’m a pretty heavy user of the Internet, so when I first signed up and received a score of just 13, it was pretty shocking. It made me wonder how low my less Internet friendly friends must be and also what it takes to boost it up. Then I saw a friend who isn’t social media savvy with a score of 17! I had to understand the score better.

Again, according to Klout’s website, “influence is relative so it depends on your goal and peers. The average Klout Score is not 50; instead, it is around 20. The Score becomes exponentially harder to increase as you move up the scale. For instance, it is much harder to move from a 70 to a 75 than from a 20 to a 25.” Wow, 20 is average and I’m a 13?! I wondered what it would take to improve my score to a more respectable level. Klout says, “the best way to increase your Score is to consistently create great content that people want to share and respond to. For the most accurate Score, we also recommend connecting all of your social networks.”

Turns out, it takes a couple of days for your networks to update on Klout. The 13 represented just my Twitter account. Once it added my Facebook page my score jumped to 23. It still hasn’t fully registered all of my networks, like YouTube, Instagram, 12for2012.com, LinkedIn, FourSquare and Blogger, but my score is already a very respectable 51. Pinterest, ravelry and many others are not yet incorporated.

Why should my Klout score matter to me? Power and influence is a good thing to have, whether in the real world or cyberspace. If I am going to be successful at launching LPE, it will certainly come in handy. (LPE’s Klout score is 23, but for some reason it’s only registering the LPE’s Twitter account. Since it’s influence is much greater on Facebook, that score should be much higher when it does register.)

Besides, even as it affects this blog, it’s much more fun writing for an audience.

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GR6: LPE’s “IF” Campaign

I met with an amplification consultant, which is essentially a business designed to help get a message out via the full array of social media outlets. Amplification, Inc has come on board to help us do just that. This is an iterative process, that will require us trying things, assessing their success and making adjustments. What I learned from our 1st discussion is that in the world of social media, a picture is worth 1,000 words and video is worth exponentially more, especially short videos. Children and animals are a huge plus. Nothing new in any of this, but if we are going to be successful at getting our message out, it’s important for us to be cognizant of what works. Here are the first 5 images from the new “IF” campaign for the League of Professional Educators. I would greatly appreciate it if you would share them via Facebook and/or Twitter. Every “Share” and “Like” helps get us closer to fixing education.

Click here to share “If children…” on Facebook

If children are your concern, then so is education

Click here to share “If poverty…” on Facebook

If poverty is your concern, then so is education

Click here to share “If crime…” on Facebook

If crime is your concern, then so is education

Click here to share “If women’s rights…” on Facebook

Women's Rights

Click here to share “If terrorism…” on Facebook

If terrorism is your concern, then so is education.

LR9: Social Media

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Cell PhoneFor a guy almost in his mid-forties, I consider myself to be fairly computer and internet savvy. I’ve always been an early adopter of technology. I was one of the first users of yahoo, converted to Apple in the 90’s, had a cell phone as big as a briefcase (and a monthly bill that was just as large), and even left my career in 2000 to launch my own Internet startup (think Facebook meets Match meets Yelp, which was ready for launch just as the Internet bubble popped).

TwitterI have pages on Tumblr, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and so many others that have either disappeared or faded into obscurity. The reason I do all this is that I have an insatiable curiousity. I want to experience everything for myself and most of all, I have a deep seeded desire to understand people. That curiosity about the way people (I) think and why they (I) do what they (I) do is so powerful for me. Behavior, including my own, but especially that of the herd, fascinates me. One look at my reading list will serve as testament to that statement.

While my interest in social media began as mere curiosity, it has turned a corner. I’ve gotten a taste of its power as a result of the yarn bomb. I’ve been writing a blog about my resolutions since 2007 but until the yarn bomb, noone ever read them. It never bothered me though, because the point in the blog was really just to keep a formal record, a diary of sorts, of my journey, and a blog is the perfect tool for that.

Then I began blogging on WordPress, which provides tools for analyzing traffic, seeing where people click, where they come from, what search terms they use to find you, etc. It’s all anonymous of course, so don’t worry, I’m not watching you in particular, just the flow of visitors. It peaked my curiousity. I began to wonder, how could I alter that flow with better content, better organization, use of relevant tags and categories, linking Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and other social media tools together to drive traffic, etc. I have no expertise, don’t know anyone with expertise and have no interest in reading books on the topic, but I do love me an iterative process. So I got the bug.

Enter the League of Professional Educators. The LPE is, at its core, an idea that was developed for maximum leverage, so that one man, with limited resources could effect systemic change. It is a grass roots based idea, that will require me to connect with an audience that will itself take the ball and run with it. Yeah, I know, every business has a plan to “go viral”. I don’t know if I can pull it off, but this resolution is simply about learning how social media is used to “amplify” a message and drive traffic, so that I can do some good in this world.

I’ll be posting what I have learned and will learn along the way so that others may benefit from my successes and failures. As always, I’ll keep it short and to the point.

LR 9: Social Media Posts