BernieBorges.com Blog: Social Media and Web Marketing

4
Jun 20, 2011

3 Ways to Measure Your Online Social Influence

A Strong Personal Brand Equals Social Influence

As a career seeker you’re eager to keep the needle moving forward in your career. Whether you’re an active job seeker or you’re gainfully employed, an active career requires constant motion. I liken this principle to a triathlete who must always be in training to be in competitive shape for the next event, even if it’s six months away.

Our careers are like triathlon events.  Just like the triathlete must 1) run, 2) bike and 3) swim, likewise we must be 1) professionally competent, 2) socially competent and 3) socially influential.

Why You Need to Have Social Influence

I probably don’t need to convince you that you need to be professionally competent. This is about your industry experience. Do you have the skills needed by an employer in your chosen industry?

I hope I don’t need to convince you that you need to be socially competent. This is about how you interact with others both online and offline.

The third attribute is having social influence. In this context “social” has an expanded definition. It’s not limited to your social interaction as in your non-business interaction. Rather it refers to your influence of others in social media, which spans both personal and business usage.

A savvy employer in today’s climate considering hiring you or promoting you or contracting with you may measure your social influence in these three easy ways:

LinkedIn Footprint

LinkedIn allows your profile to be available to the public (unless you change the setting to prevent your profile from public access). For detailed insights into how you can develop your LinkedIn footprint please refer to several articles I’ve written on this topic including how to maximize your LinkedIn profile. The point to understand is that your LinkedIn footprint is a “low hanging fruit” way for others to measure your social influence.

Twitter Reach

I realize that not everyone is into Twitter. But, savvy employers know that Twitter is a valuable research tool. Just doing a search for your name in http://search.twitter.com can reveal valuable insights about you. Reviewing your Twitter account (if you have one) can also reveal insights into your social influence.  Unlike your Facebook profile, your Twitter page is public. Anyone can visit your Twitter page to read your profile, see how many people follow you, how many people you follow, how many lists you are on and generally how you engage with others on Twitter.

Klout Score

While Klout is somewhat controversial it represents a sign of things to come. Klout has emerged as the most popular, and currently the most reliable measurement tool of a person’s social influence represented by a number between 0 and 100. Klout currently measures social influence by your interaction on Twitter, Facebook and (new) LinkedIn. Klout’s algorithm looks at your true reach as measured by real followers (not bots), lists you’ve been added to and how people respond to your engagement. Klout also measures amplification, which refers to the extent to which your social content is engaged by others through comments, retweets, shares, likes, etc. And, Klout also looks at network influence, which generally measures the influence of your network. In other words it’s better to have 1000 influential friends online than 100,000 non influential friends (these are arbitrary numbers).  This is a measure of quality over quantity.

Klout is still considered a work-in-progress technology but it’s the closest thing to a single metric that measures social influence.

Join Career Central and Improve Your CareerThe point to this article is that in your career you should build your social influence and be aware of how easy it is for others to measure your social influence. Likewise, as you engage with others in your career journey, you can measure their social influence.

I urge you to strive to build your personal brand everyday in order that your social influence will help you achieve your career goals.

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    Klout looks like a tool I should be using with my online marketing.  This is the first time I’ve heard of it.

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