So you want to be a Social Media Influencer?
What is social media influence and how does one become a social media influencer? Is it a job, or is it something you become through being useful, engaged and talented in your niche.
Influence can be measured, thanks to tools such as Klout, which was founded by Joe Fernandez in 2009, then sold in 2014 for $200 million. Klout ranks people by how ‘influential’ they are on social media, by calculating a score between 1 and 100, earned through social media engagement across the major platforms.
Being Twitter famous won’t make you a billionaire unless you are picked up by a brand under the influencer marketing banner. Celebs who are active on social media can have an attractive Klout score but the everyday person has to become known in their niche by a subset of fans to make an impact. In the words of Bros, if you are asking yourself “when will I be famous”, think again about a better question.
The Klout score in itself is great for boosting your ego, and making you feel important but doesn’t necessarily translate to dollars. I still recall the time I ranked number 4 on Klout’s LinkedIn Expert list. I nearly fell off my chair when I saw myself in 10th position out of 54,000 experts, and over the months I climbed to number 4. But no one else sees it on Klout unless you happen to be looking at the LinkedIn Expert page. Hence I took a screenshot and shared it on social media… take a look at the current rating via this link.
Some can get obsessed by social scoring, just watch the episode of Black Mirror called ‘Nosedive’ for life rating applied to real life, where the higher your score the better privileges you receive. Sure this is fiction, but it isn’t far from some people’s truth.
Klout in its hey day saw social ‘influencers’ (before the term influencer was an everyday word and career choice) rewarded with special deals through the app, and even showed up on job applications. It was on the verge of becoming a social currency in itself, but never really took off in Australia.
My Klout score would peak on my birthday… why? Because this is often the day more people than ever come to your Facebook profile and engage with you. So on that day was I really more influential than other days, or was it just my birthday? Thankfully I didn’t get sucked in, but from time to time I would take a peek at Klout. Which is how I discovered I ranked number 4 on the topic LinkedIn in 2016.
Is it the end of the era for social media influencers and wannabe-influencers?
Lithium Technologies is closing down it’s influencer scoring system, Klout on May 25th, 2018, but there will always be other tools to take Klout’s place. LinkedIn has it’s own tool (that many have never heard about) called Social Selling Index or SSI and there is the brand new app called skorr , which gives you feedback on your social influence, and how well your posts are doing using it’s own algorithm.
Any platform algorithm can be cast with doubt as the details are often not disclosed. If you look at the topics I was told I was influential in via Klout you would question the algorithm… internet explorer?!?! SunShine Coast??? Magic tricks??! I love that I am an expert Aussie.
Skorr is the new Klout.
If you need the social validation or feedback, get Skorr. We all love quizzes and feedback on who we are and how we are doing, so I can see this one taking off on a wider scale. It also has a gamification component where users can challenge friends.
Skorr launhed 4 days ago and currently have 18 subscribers on their YouTube Channel and 90 followers on Twitter, but I’m sure their audience will increase.
What is your LinkedIn SSI?
If you want to know how you are doing on LinkedIn you can always check your Social Selling Index (SSI),which also rates you out of 100 over 4 categories. I do use this tool when working with clients as a starting benchmark, but don’t obsess over it. The goal isn’t the score. Unlike Klout and skorr, no one else sees your SSI, just you and your ego. Use it to track your progress and make LinkedIn fun.
Can Your Influence Score Pay the Bills?
Don’t work on your influence score as a stand-alone activity or aim to be a ‘social media influencer’. Become an influencer through building relationships and being authentically engaged, rather than orchestrating engagement to feed your score. Make a difference through real conversation that matters and connect human to human.
Now lets check those stats again….. Ooh I’m number 6 on the Klout LinkedIn Expert list. Off to sing along with Bros…