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 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 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, find what you’re known for.
- Give people recommendations.
- Focus on your main area(s) of interest.
- Offer something of value.
- Don’t underestimate the power of social media.
- Keep being authentic.
- Be interesting.
- Be useful.
To conclude, Andrew gave the audience a chance to ask some questions. Here are the questions and answers in a nutshell.
Q. How do you know if a brand is giving you an authentic incentive and not just a “bribe”?
A. You don’t always get something in return from a brand that asks you to review their product. Unfortunately, unlike with journalism, there’s no code of ethos when it comes to social media, and there’s no set of rules either. So, the best thing to do is – be honest, open and transparent to the brand; check what the brand is about and ask yourself: is there any correlation with your main areas of interest and theirs?
Q. How does Kred work for smaller businesses?
A. Kred works very well for smaller business – it looks at the whole ‘Twitter universe’ and it measures your influence and the influence of people and communities that share the same interests as your business/company. This is great for businesses with limited budget for instance, since Kred is a free service.
Q. How can individuals boost their score to get on the radar for recruiters, clients or customers?
A. If you have a point of view, an opinion, and you can articulate that in a tweet and talk about it, you will be found. Additionally, there are so many things you can do to get noticed, but one of the most important things is being proactive – have you looked for potential employers, clients and customers on Twitter? When was the last time you checked who has viewed your profile on LinkedIn? If you want to appear more influential or more visible, there are several simple things you can do to get noticed. However, once you get noticed you need to have something to say, and Twitter allows you to do that and amplify your voice.
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’.