What’s Your Klout Score?

Have you ever wondered just how many people are reading, sharing and reacting to your Tweets, your comments or your posts?  How influential are you?

Let’s admit it:  Us social media addicts want the whole world to notice and react to what we are doing online.  Did you ever post something and no one responded?  You felt disappointed, didn’t you?  But at some point you’ve probably posted something that resulted in a lot of  responses.  And I bet you were just thrilled!  If I’ve got you pegged then it sounds like you’d enjoy Klout.com, a site that measures your online influence on a scale from 1 to 100.

So it’s game on everyone!  If you are using Klout, let’s have some fun right here online and check out everyone’s Klout score!  This is no time to be bashful – it’s time to talk about yourself and tell everyone about your score and what happened that increased it.

I had a recent surge in my score so I am going to lead off the brag-fest right now.  The surge happened right after my favorite author re-tweeted a link that I sent her.  Alright, I cannot contain myself – it was Margaret Atwood.  Honestly!  I could barely sleep that night!  So go ahead – now you will not be the first brag about your own score.  Don’t be shy!

Here’s an analysis of my current score of 37 which could easily go down within 90 days if I don’t keep up the activity that created it in the first place.  The analysis helps you understand how the Klout score is generated.  It is a combination of your Reach, Amplification and Network.  Klout does a good job at helping you understand influence and it’s fun and exciting when you see your score go up!  Here are some screen shots explaining these terms which are also described in detail on the site.

First, here’s the above-the-fold screen giving me the thumbs up on overall influence:

True Reach is a measure of how many people you have influenced:

Amplification tells you how much people in your network react to your activity:

Your network impact tells you about the influence of your network – not just your contacts but your contacts’ contacts.  This is probably the component that created my score surge after Peggy (my best friend now in my own mind) re-tweeted my link.

The site is rich in information, features and details.  It shows you who you are influencing and who you are influenced by.  There are opportunities for giving recognition to others by giving +Ks and inviting your friends.  It even offers perks (products to try) that the Klout team could send you in the mail if you have a high enough score.  Of course the hope is that you will use the products and comment or post about them but you are not obligated to do so.

So give it a go if you don’t already have an account.  And if you do, please comment here and BRAG about your score!  What did you do to attain it?  Who did you connect with that helped raise your score?  And do tell us all, what are your impressions of this site?

Here’s a link (embedded) if you want to read more from a different point of view regarding the use of amplification as a social media metric.

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You vs. Cat – The new iPad app by Purina Friskies

A new iPad app has the potential to take social to a whole new level!  Now we have an iPad app offering a cross-species online game!  With You vs. Cat, you can now engage in online fun playing a form of tablet hockey with your pet!  But don’t make any big bets with Fluffy.  According to the world-wide leaderboard, the felines are trouncing the humans. With their quick reactions, probably inherent in their superior mousing DNA, they are natural goal-tenders and can easily shut you out regardless of your best stats for shots on goal.  The demo cat Buddy is building quite a star reputation and an ego to go with it.  By all reports, he has taken cat arrogance to a new level after wiping the floor with his human opponents.

 

What makes this so interesting to marketers is that we are talking about some really great content with  unique value to consumers while creating some great buzz for the Friskies pet food brand by Purina.  Promoting a brand by offering apps that do very little will become a thing of the past if the You vs. Cat app becomes a trend leader.

 

If marketing efforts just push the message over a variety of channels, the message will likely get lost in the clutter.  But create valuable or interesting content and people will use it, talk  about it, write about it, love it and post videos of it.  They will blog, post, comment and ask for new features and new equally fun or useful media.  The potential for word of mouth exposure to the brand is enormous and that’s sure to include all kinds of posts in the social media sphere. And what cat-loving social-addict is not going to love this?

 

Can we have some fun?  Let’s keep an eye on the various platforms together over the next few months and if your friends or colleagues post something about You vs. Cat, record it in the comments here.  Include scores if that detail is offered.  I’d be interested to know how far and how quickly the news spreads.  And I would like to see if the cats continue to win!

140 Character Assassination – aka #McDstories

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By now most of us have heard about McDonald’s infamous social media campaign that went horribly wrong when a hashtag became a so-called bashtag in January 2012.  From a marketer’s perspective, it was a cringe-worthy experience to behold the horror of the 140 character assassination on #McDstories where twitterers relentlessly posted believable horror stories: Everything from finding foreign objects in meals (like a fingernail) to being physically sick after a meal.  McDonald’s pulled the paid promoted hashtag within an hour but of course the blogosphere had powered up enough to light Times Square by that time.  So what should they do now?

Well this is not the first organization to experience such a debacle so what can be learned from previous missteps that have landed so many organizations in social hot water?  Let’s look at David Amerland’s Top 10 Social Media Disasters 2011 where he discusses “teething problems” as the practice of social media grows.  Many sins abound!  Try to spot the common thread in the aftermath of things going  wrong:

  • After BlackBerry’s extended service outage in October 2011:  The communication strategy appeared to be a near wall of silence with only messages containing technical jargon.  Afterward, BlackBerry seemed to pretend nothing happened.  Their first tweet, coming right after the service disruption, was “Happy Monday”.  #DearBlackBerry exploded on Twitter complete with the usual expletives and biting jokes.
  • Paypal’s Social Media crisis ensued after telling a single blogger that she could not use a donate button because her cause was not worthy.  Paypal deleted negative comments on Facebook as if they never existed.  Bad move pal – with social media, you cannot run and you cannot hide.
  • GoDaddy CEO tweeted a link to his video of his personal experience in elephant-shooting.  Thinking himself a protector of a village in Zimbabwe, he forgot that not everyone would see his actions in the same light. Animal protection groups criticized while competitors capitalized.  His response to criticism was perceived as making excuses for his actions and GoDaddy learned the hard way that a high-profile company principal cannot separate private life from business.
  • Prominent bloggers ragged on Ragu after Univlever appeared to hate Dads in their Twitter campaign.  Making matters worse, Univlever was then criticized for not responding to negative comments on Twitter. They became defensive and blamed the Twitterverse for unbalanced comments as if they were the victim.
  • Regarding the infamous Weinergate scandal in which naughty Twitpics were sent by a powerful US congressman. Wiener’s modus operandi?  First deny it, then say your account has  been hacked.  In the end, he was forced to admit he did it.  Lesson learned?  Denials and lies only make the media lions hungrier. Tweet your meat, you lose your seat!

The common practices seem to be denial and impenitence.  Although there was one brand that seemed to get it right after disaster struck:  After much online criticism for using an Arab Spring hashtag to get attention for the Kenneth Cole brand of shoes, several quick apologies were made using different applications.  At least the damage was limited by acting quickly and appropriately.

So what should MacDonald’s do now?  Could they improve their food or their processes and talk about it as a direct response to the bashing they took?   If I had been a complaining ex-customer I would want them to tweet apologetic replies to me.  They could re-establish relationships and turn bashers into advocates.  But it appears there is no plan when damage or crisis strikes.

Listen up corporations, big brands and public figures:  If you mess up, you must bow your head and take responsibility if you want a shred of respect or loyalty to remain after a major gaffe!  Address the problem directly!  Admit your errors right away!  In social, you are in the middle of a conversation!  Poor service, insensitivity, questionable actions, inappropriate comments or whatever caused the crisis was poor judgement.  Apologize over here, apologize over there, then apologize everywhere else and follow up with an apology.  Provide refunds, coupons or other free stuff.  Tell your customers what you are doing to fix the problem.  If it doesn’t sound ridiculous, say thank you for providing ideas for where to improve.  And don’t forget to actually say the word “sorry”.