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How to Get Left Behind-B2B Sales and Social Media Predictions

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To be successful in B2B sales today AND tomorrow, you need to actively build your social media presence. I assume since you are reading this blog that you already know that, or at least you are interested in knowing more. But it frightens me how many small to midsize companies behave like ostriches when it comes to a serious evaluation of their social media strategy.

Here are five serious ways that you will be left behind:

  1. Thought Leadership. You are not actively engaged in developing a point of view about your industry on behalf of your company. You and/or your employees are not publishing articles and white papers, or participating in online discussions, or asking and answering questions in the leading social media sites for your industry and/or your state and locale. Therefore you will not become known as an industry leader and will increasingly be perceived as irrelevant.
  2. Website. It’s a marketing piece all about you. It is not interactive, inviting visitors to participate in any way. It doesn’t offer any links to unbiased information or free white papers or eBooks or any little way to promote extra value. It just sits there, doing nothing for you. Therefore, you are by definition losing ground to competitors who are upgrading their interactivity.
  3. LinkedIn. You have a minimal presence or none at all. Only one or two of your employees are engaged here. There is a lack of personal photos, complete profiles, and connections to other professionals. You are not members of relevant industry groups. If groups don’t exist, you haven’t taken leadership to create them and invite others. Therefore, interested prospects will not find you, nor will you find them.
  4. Google Alerts. You have not set “Google alerts” (they are free) to help you monitor what is being said about you personally, your company, your industry, and your key executives on the Internet. You do not have any system to monitor the flow of industry information and where you may, or may not, fit into it. Therefore you have no basis for an improved marketing strategy.
  5. Opt-In e-mail List. You are not actively building your list of friends, current customers, and prospects, so you have no reliable and inexpensive way to reach them with news, special offers, or simply thanks for their business. Therefore you run the risk that your competitors have a much better list and the capacity to reach your customers and prospects regularly.

You may not need a Facebook page. You may not need a Twitter account. Those channels depend highly on the nature of your business and where your audience is engaging online. But even if you think today that your market is offline, I challenge you to think again and to investigate or ask your youngest, newest employee to investigate on your behalf.

Today’s communication channels will change, as did the mail, telegraph, telephone, cell phone, etc. They will continue to evolve. But the basic premise that you need to be connected will not change. If you’re not sufficiently connected, the steps you take today will pay you back many times over!

Do you have a connectivity story or comment to share? We would love to hear from you.

5 Reasons to Promote a Teleconference for B2B Sales

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One of the easiest ways to connect with your current and prospective customers in real-time is to host a teleconference. This is simply a conference call in which you provide the content and a number of people listen in, and, at your discretion, participate live in the call.There are three requirements for hosting a teleconference. One, you need to have a telephone conferencing service. We use freeconferencing.com, which allows you to have up to 1000 attendees (each pays their own long distance charge). Two, you need to have a topic of real interest to your customers and prospects. And three, you need to have a simple, inexpensive way to promote attendance. That’s the social media connection!

Let’s start by looking at five reasons why you would want to launch a teleconference program.

  1. Provide timely information and advice to your current customers.

    In a teleconference, you can provide up-to-date information of interest to your customers. This information may come from you, your employees, or invited experts that you interview during the call. It might be new sales ideas, new regulatory issues, new opportunities, new threats – anything timely that will attract your customers’ attention. Keep in mind that all of the employees of your customer companies are part of your potential audience.

  2. Attract potential new customers.

    When you promote a teleconference, people from companies that are not currently your customers will sign up. The information you gather from their sign-up will let you know a little bit about them and their company (don’t ask for too much – only what you really want to know) and give you a reason to reach out to them.

  3. Build your ‘thought leader’ reputation online.

    Becoming known as a ‘producer’ is a big step towards thought leadership. You are taking the lead in defining a topic, setting a date and time, and promising a worthwhile presentation. This step alone sets you apart from many of your competitors. Do this on a predictable schedule, and you will become known for it.

  4. Build an online archive of interviews.

    I’ve found that sometimes only half of the people who registered actually attend the call live. But that doesn’t mean they’re not interested – only that the day-to-day realities prevent them from meeting this kind of obligation. Record your calls and make them available on your website. In no time you will have an impressive archive; people who registered but couldn’t attend will download the file, and new people will find the recordings.

  5. Publish transcripts as white papers.

    It’s not hard or expensive to have your audio call turned into a written transcript. I use the service castingwords.com to transcribe audio calls. Their budget service (which means no rush on their side) is only 75 cents per minute, so you can get a 60-minute call transcribed for $45. With minimal editing and formatting required on your part, you can begin to publish written transcripts of your teleconferences on your website and also have them available to attach to emails or other correspondence with current or prospective customers.

So, there are five reasons why I advocate this practice. Now, here’s the social media connection. How will you promote your teleconferences? How will you get people to come? Well, that’s why you need to cultivate a social media presence for your B2B company. You can invite participants through the primary sites: Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. The more you do, the more connections you will have and the stronger your reach will become.

This strategy will not work without your efforts to build a social media presence. So, one more reason to get started or to keep it going! What do you think? Have you tried this strategy? How is it working for you? Or what would hold you back?

Social Media – Changing the Face of Historical Moments

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Last night, like many of you, I sat in front of my television and watched as President Obama announced that Osama bin Laden was dead. I don’t like the thought of celebrating a death, no matter what, but last night I think we were all happy to see the end of such a destructive symbol of evil in the world. It was one of those historic moments that I’ll never forget, just as many people will never forget where they were or what they were doing when the towers fell. Last night was closure.

I recently moved to the Washington, DC area, so you can imagine what it was like outside my window last night. I opted to stay in, but the celebration was no less rowdy inside – not because I had a party or something, but because Twitter and Facebook were buzzing. Social media has changed the face of historic moments – and I love that.

I love it because we can all celebrate peace together, no matter where we live. My best friend, who is a vet that served in Iraq, lives in Austin, but we were able to talk on Twitter along with our other friends who live all around the country. It was interesting to see the reactions from non-US tweeters, as this wasn’t just a US victory, but rather a world victory. I loved that people shared links, not just to breaking news on the topic, but to their reactions. Not everyone agreed on everything – and that is fine (in fact, I like seeing varying opinions).

Think about where you were when the towers fell, or where you were when you found out that Princess Diana died or even (if you are old enough) where you were when Kennedy got shot or man landed on the moon. How did you find out? Who did you talk with? How did you express your opinions? I’m sure you didn’t tweet or write a blog post or update your Facebook status. But did you do one (or all) of those things last night? I did.

I forget who posted it (I actually saw it as a retweet a few times by different people and apologize that I don’t know the original author), but someone said (and I’m paraphrasing here obviously) that when our kids ask where we were when we found out that bin Laden was dead, won’t it be a shame to say that rather than celebrating with our loved ones or partying in the streets, we were at home in front of a computer tweeting.

I don’t think that’s a shame. Maybe I love social media more than most, but I’m excited that I can share important historical moments with everyone online. You are my loved ones. You are my party on the street. I’m not ashamed at all that I opted to celebrate a historical moment on Twitter rather than in the streets – and I live in DC, where the party was epic and is probably still going on in my places.

I guess, to me it is exciting to see social media changing how the world works. I think we all have the choice to see it as a bad thing or to embrace it, educate ourselves about it, and enjoy the ride! Change is just a fact of life, and in this respect, I think it’s a really awesome thing to see.

Eight Great Sources of Social Media Content to Boost B2B Sales

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Here’s a challenge: suppose you are a manufacturer of machine tools. You’re not a consultant, you don’t sell to consumers, you’re not a marketer, so what does social media have to offer to improve YOUR sales?

I have argued that your customers and prospective customers are hungry for relevant, easily located information. Therefore every company should have a content strategy-a method for providing extra value to customers, especially when customers are shopping online. That doesn’t mean they are buying online, but they would much rather get information about your products (and those of your competitors) online than from your salespeople. Your customer is not “the company,” but rather the engineer or the factory manager or the purchasing agent or the tool-and-die maker who uses your products.

But if you don’t have a big marketing staff and if you don’t want to create new content, how could you provide them with relevant information to make their lives easier? How could your website become known as a “place to go to” when they are investigating?

One way is to offer a industry-relevant links and embedded content. Here’s what I found on my tour of social media sites looking for content about “machine tools.”

  • First, I Googled machine tools blog and found CR4, “the engineer’s place for news and discussion.” The blog is up-to-date and the associated forums are very active. At the moment I landed there, 243 visitors were online! Link to this space and introduce your customers to some useful conversations.

  • I went to Alltop and searched for “manufacturing.” Alltop is a site that aggregates the most popular blogs on a wide range of subjects. Link to that site and show your customers where to find relevant blogs.
  • How about YouTube, the online site for sharing videos? What does that have to do with your company? Well, I found a series of five videos about machine tools and their history, Modern Marvels. YouTube videos can be embedded into your own website or blog (as illustrated below!)
  • I tried SlideShare, the online site for sharing slide presentations, and found an analysis of the global machine tools market. Like YouTube, SlideShare permits you to embed content into your own blog or website.
  • Searching Twitter @MachineTools, a stream of tweets about buying and selling used machine tools.
  • On LinkedIn, I found a Machine Tools Group featuring discussions with 348 members.
  • Turning to Facebook, I located Machine Tools Mart, whose CEO lives in India and offers global information about buying and selling machine tools.
  • At amazon.com I searched for books on the machine tools topic. On the amazon.com site you can create your own list of favorites that you recommend (search for Listmania) and feature it in your profile. You can also create a bookstore on your website or feature books in your blog with direct links to amazon.com where your customers can buy them. Incidentally, you can earn a commission on those sales.

Please note, this post is not about machine tools. no matter what your B2B business, you can improve your sales position through social media, even by using social media very passively. Make your website, your blog, or your Facebook page a source of timely, relevant information. It will be relevant because YOU selected it, because YOU know what your customers are looking for.

Remember Danny DeVito in OPM (Other People’s Money)? Well, you can boost your sales strategy with OPC (Other People’s Content)!

Thought Leader: Tired or True?

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Isn’t thought leader just old biz jargon? After all, the term’s been knocking around for years, like ‘headhunter’ and ‘game changer’ and ‘team player.’

But no, for a B2B company today, being known as a thought leader demands your attention. And fortunately, through social media, becoming a thought leader gets easier for small and midsize companies than ever before.

Here’s how elise.com defined the phrase in 2003: “What differentiates a thought leader from any other knowledgeable company, is the recognition from the outside world that the company deeply understands its business, the needs of its customers, and the broader marketplace in which it operates.

Why does that matter?

We’re in an economy where customers try to know everything before they buy. Customers want to know who you are, what you stand for, whether they like you, whether you are telling the truth, will you deliver, are you trustworthy. And customers want to know what other customers think about working with you and the quality of your products and services. And customers want to know if you really know your industry, and whether you can help them make a wise buying decision (even if it’s not to buy from you). And whether you will help them make the transaction transparent or whether you will want to leave them in the dark.

And you know what? Customers will buy from those companies that are the easiest to know.

How do you become that kind of company?

I presented a webinar to a prospective customer last week, a webinar on what frightens buyers about doing business with small companies. I used abundant examples from their industry. The CEO said at the end, “You took the time to learn about my company. Your competitor didn’t do that.” That’s one way to do it-when you have the opportunity to interact with customers, take the time to understand their business. Train everyone on your team to do that, all of the time.

But aside from when you’re talking to your customers and prospects directly, how can you earn their attention to you by behaving like a thought leader?

One simple way is to offer industry information on your website-make your site a place to which customers and prospects return for up-to-date knowledge. Here’s one B2B company that does it well: Walker Information, offering their online ‘Knowledge Center’ about customer loyalty. They have five blogs, each written by a company expert. Their library of eBooks, videos discussions, case studies, and white papers is constantly growing. The Walker site illustrates the high value of producing content. Walker expects and empowers employees to be thought leaders, and the company continually produces new content of its own based on deep industry expertise.

Another small company doing a good job of thought leadership on their website is Driving Ambition, in the trucking industry. They offer a newsletter subscription and an ‘industry resources’ page. Here’s what they say: “Driving Ambition is committed to helping our customers stay up-to-date on the latest industry trends. Bookmark this page, and you’ll have easy access to the latest transportation news and information,” followed by a list of associations, websites, industry standards, and other information made more valuable because they have posted it in one place. Their blog features timely, relevant posts about events, industry news, speakers, reports, issues, and so forth. Driving Ambition differs from Walker in that most of their informative web material consists of link, announcements and references rather than new content production.

The distinction between these two approaches is important; it illustrates that you can demonstrate thought leadership by creating new industry knowledge but also by aggregating and filtering industry information for your customers and prospects.

How you do it depends on choosing a strategy that you can manage, that you can afford, and that will be meaningful to your audience. Developing a ‘thought leader’ website and embedding a blog that invites interaction with visitors is a sensible place to start.

Ten Tactics to Drive B2B Sales with Social Media

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Hello BlogWorld readers, and welcome to my new blog post series on how social media can drive your B2B sales. I’m pleased to be invited to contribute and look forward to interacting with all of you here.

I work with small and midsize B2B companies learning how to grow their business by making bigger sales to bigger customers. Most of my customers are new to the social media world and especially confused about how it can possibly relate to the B2B sales environment.

So thought I’d start by introducing the topic and giving you my list of the Top Ten tactics that will help you use social media to drive B2B sales. My Top Ten list also forms the topic list that I’ll be blogging about/hope you will add to it!

  1. Position your company as a thought leader/team of experts in your field. Invite several of your subject matter experts to create newsletters, blog posts, white papers, discussion board posts, slide decks and/or videos about their knowledge and expertise in your industry. Provide them with policy guidelines and training for creation and have a system for distribution.
  2. Develop a content strategy to add value to the customer experience. Learn how to leverage your website, blog, and social media sites to present content that your company produces and to share content from others that will be of interest to your customers.
  3. Learn how to use social media to generate high quality leads. For example, use social media tools to invite members of your target audience to attend a teleconference or webinar and give them high quality, relevant information. When they sign up and attend, you have a warm introduction and a reason to call them.
  4. Engage your prospects and customers in conversation about their needs and their desires. Social media platforms make it easy to conduct surveys, to ask simple questions, and to comment on your customers’ observations in real time.
  5. Request and publicize referrals and recommendations through social media. Ask your key employees to request Linked In recommendations from current and past customers, for example, and suddenly you’ll have 10 or 20 or 50 points of view about the quality and capabilities of your team.
  6. Conduct sales research about prospective companies and their key employees. The networking sites give you unprecedented access to information about people at work. Just keep in mind that your company will ‘get’ only as much as you ‘give,’ so encourage your team to be contributors.
  7. Build customer loyalty through multiple social media touch points. Wherever you find your customers on the Internet-and wherever they find you-be prepared to engage in a multi-channel conversation.
  8. Keep up with trends in social media and sales/understand sales 2.0. Lots of small business owners are still hoping it will all go away. But I believe we have hardly begun to tap the potential of the Internet and social media activity for B2B business engagement. The most successful companies will be those that intend to learn and grow with the phenomenon.
  9. Use your social media resource sites to find industry reports, data, and predictions that will interest your customers. Make great resources easy for them to find through you, and you’ll add great value to their experience.
  10. Connect with ravens and mavens. Ravens are guides and protectors of the whale hunters; they want you to win big sales. Mavens are passionate knowledge brokers who know what’s what and can advise you on the trends. Subscribe to their blogs, follow them, ‘friend’ them, ‘like’ them. Most of all, allow them to help guide you through the social media territory.

How are you using social media to support B2B sales? I look forward to your comments!

#Blogchat, Social Causes, and Responsibility (part 2)

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In the middle of writing about this topic, I realized that the post was MASSIVE, so I decided to break it into two parts. You can head to Part 1 to read about cause fatigue and branding in relation to using new media and blogs to promote social causes. In this part, I want to talk about hypocrisy and responsibility.

As I’ve noted on the first post, I do realize that this is a highly emotional topic and not everyone agrees with me. In fact, my opinion does not necessarily reflect the opinions of any other members of the BlogWorld team or BlogWorld as a whole. I welcome comments on this topic, even if you don’t agree with me, because I think there is merit to many facets of this topic.

Hypocrisy

How many people retweeted a link to some social cause out there? Almost all of us have at some point or another. Now, how many people have actually donated? That number will likely be much smaller. Does that mean that we’re a society of hypocrites? Maybe…but not necessarily.

We all have our causes, causes that are close to our hearts. For me, it’s TWLOHA, an organization that helps people struggling with depression, addiction, self-injury, and suicidal thoughts. When I have extra money to donate somewhere, that’s where it goes 99 percent of the time. That doesn’t mean that I don’t care about other causes. There are some great charities out there. Even if they are causes close to my heart, I can definitely appreciate movements like #sxswcares, for example.

So, I pass on the link, just once, to followers who might be interested. I don’t want to get to the point where I hit cause fatigue for my followers, so unless I’m passionate about the cause, I don’t send multiple tweets about it. But I don’t think I’m a hypocrite for passing on the link even if I don’t donate myself. One of my followers might be passionate about the cause and wouldn’t otherwise know where to donate. (I’d like to note that I do think that if you want to support a cause, you at least need to explain it by passing on a link. I talked about the whole “changing your avatar” thing before – it doesn’t make sense to me to follow a trend without actually being vocal about the cause.)

Responsibility

I personally grapple most with the concept of a responsibility to use social media or your blog to promote causes. On one hand, if you’re someone who carries some kind of clout on Twitter or Facebook or wherever, it seems like the least you can do to promote a good cause. On the other hand, why should anyone be responsible for anyone else? It’s a very Ayn Rand way of thinking, and I’m definitely not her hugest fan…but this is a concept that definitely makes sense to me. I work hard for my money and I don’t like being guilted into thinking that I have to give it away to those less fortunate.

Not that there’s not something to be said for karma. Whether or not you believe in karmic forces, I think we can all agree that it’s a pretty scummy thing to rely on the charity of others when you’re dealing with a tough time in life, but then refuse to contribute to others when you’re in a position to do so. I’m just suggesting that it is okay to keep the money you make or spend it on yourself and your family. I don’t believe that anyone has a responsibility to donate to charity or even promote a cause, no matter how influential they are. Choosing to do so (or not) does not dictate whether or not you are a good person and it definitely does not dictate whether or not you do anything of value.

In other words, whether or not someone donates to charity does not tell me much about how good they are at their job. At the same time (I told you, I grapple with this issue), I like giving my money to someone who is a philanthropist, since it means that some of the profits they made from me will go toward something good in the world. So, even if we don’t have a responsibility per se, that doesn’t mean it isn’t a good business decision.

Which brings me back to the “profiting from tragedy” issue. If you’re only donating because you want to look good to your fans, is that a bad thing?

Maybe…but does the charity really care? A dollar is a dollar, whether you gave it just to feel good about yourself and didn’t even tell your followers or you gave it to help build your brand in some way.

Is there an easy way to wrap up these two posts? I don’t know. I struggle with how to best use my new media accounts and the small amount of online influence that I have. I like how it make me feel to promote great causes, but I always want to make good business decisions and use my money wisely. One thing is certain – I do not like how so many people lump others into groups when it comes to causes. The “if you don’t donate, you’re a bad person” argument doesn’t sit well with me. Nor does that “the least you can do is promote this cause” argument. We all have our reasons for supporting or not supporting causes, and it usually isn’t black and white.

#Blogchat, Social Causes, and Responsibility (part 1)

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On Sunday nights or Monday mornings, I usually post “Overheard on #Blogchat,” a weekly feature that pulls some of the best tweets from a popular Twitter chat where people share blog tips. This week, I wanted to do a special edition of Overheard on #Blogchat because I have more to say than usual…and some questions that are not easily answered and require all of us to do a little soul-searching.

Also, before talking about this topic more, I wanted to make something exceedingly clear: My opinions do not necessarily reflect the opinions of anyone else working for BlogWorld Expo or BlogWorld Expo as a whole. One of the awesome things about Rick and Dave (the duo behind BlogWorld) is that they encourage people writing here to voice varying opinions. People on the BlogWorld team often disagree, and I think that’s awesome. The BlogWorld blog also loves posting guest posts from people who don’t always agree with the opinions of writers here – and I’d definitely love your comments on this topic whether or agree or not!

Last night, the theme of #blogchat was using your blog and social media accounts to do good. With the recent natural disasters and nuclear meltdown in Japan, there have been pushes across Twitter, Facebook, blogs, and more to donate to the Red Cross or other organizations. One of our own, Deb Ng, got heavily involved with fundraising efforts at SxSW, and what they did was nothing short of amazing (I think totals are over $100,000 raised at this point). This isn’t the first time we’ve seen people come together on social media sites to promote donating money or use their blogs, even in unrelated niches, as a way to filter news and pass on relevant links.

I struggle with this concept, though, using blogs and social media to promote causes so others donate money. Part of me thinks it’s great. Another part of me thinks that it is problematic at best.

Cause Fatigue

At any given time, there’s some tragedy somewhere that needs help. Whether it’s a one-time disastrous event (like what happened in Japan) or a cause like breast cancer or autism, there’s always a hashtag for you to learn more about a cause that’s close to someone’s heart. There are just not enough hours in the day to promote everything, and there are definitely not enough dollars in my bank account to send money to everyone.

But I think a more important problem is that it starts to become white noise to your followers. People (hopefully) follow you because they are interested in your blog, your projects, your life, and while promoting a cause occasionally can easily fit into that, if you promote every cause out there, you start to lose relevance to your fans and readers. I’ve unfollowed people in the past because it seemed like all they did was hit me up for me (albeit, for causes, but it’s still someone asking for money all the time without providing much value).

Causes and Branding

I’ve seen a lot of people complaining about companies using a tragedy to promote a brand, to somehow profit off of the situation. The idea that someone is making money from what’s happening in Japan right now creates a knee-jerk feeling of disgust for me, and I bet it does for you too. But thinking critically, looking at the bigger picture, just because something bad happens in the world doesn’t mean that your business should stop. It’s ok to consider your brand in this context, in my opinion.

Here’s an example of what I mean: Let’s say that you’re a day care facility. One month, two high school groups approach you at the same time asking for money. The first group asks for $100 to support the local food bank. The second group asks for $100 to go toward renovating your community’s children’s library. As a small business owner, you only have enough money to give to one group – which do you choose?

Clearly, the library project fits more closely with your brand. Both are excellent causes, but one just fits more with what you’re doing. If you were a restaurant, it would make more sense to donate to the food bank.

Or, let’s say that you’re a hair salon and two high schools groups approach you with these requests for me. Except with Group B, you’d get your name on a plaque at the library if you donate. It just makes more sense to go with that cause. You’re technically “profiting” from the situation, but you’re not a bad person. You just haven’t turned your business mind off for the sake of a cause or tragedy. That’s different than saying that you’re collecting donations for a cause but actually pocketing most of the money for yourself. Yet, so many people don’t really draw a line in the sand between the two. If you profit or consider your brand in any way, you’re automatically bad – something I think is a problem.

Head to Part 2 to read more. (This post was just getting too massive to be a single post!)

MTV Launches OMAs Focused on Digital Music and Social Media

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MTV has announced that it’s launching a new awards show focused on digital music and social media. The show, called the O Music Awards (or OMAs) will air on Thursday, April 28th. What does the O stand for? Well, they’re leaving the ‘O’ open to interpretation from viewers!

The network said the awards “honour the migration of music to the digital space, and celebrate the art, artistry and technology of digital music.” and they hope the show will do for digital music what the Video Music Awards did for music video.

The goal is to present a heavily interactive awards show – spread across the internet, social media, and mobile applications.

Categories and nominees haven’t yet been announced – but MTV plans to announce a hub for the event. What categories do you think should be included?

Klout 101: What the Heck Is It and Why Should I Care?

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This coming week, our Brilliant Bloggers series here at BlogWorld Expo will focus on Klout. I’m not a Klout expert – and that’s actually a huge understatement. Until starting research for Brilliant Bloggers, I didn’t even really know what Klout was. I checked my score occasionally and though, “Oh, that’s nice…” but I didn’t understand what it really was, and I certainly didn’t know what I should care.

For those of you who are in the same boat, let’s go over some Klout 101 information – and stop back on Thursday for advice and advanced tips on how to use Klout to be a better blogger or social media professional!

Klout was founded by Joe Fernandez and Binh Tran and launched in 2009. The service measures how influential you are in social media by looking at certain Twitter metrics. In late 2010, they also introduced Facebook metrics to give a more comprehensive look at a person’s social media influence.

What’s so great about Klout is that it isn’t a clinical look at follower numbers and how often you Tweet. The metrics really study how you interact with others – and how they interact with you in return. They look at over 35 different statistics to give you a score of between 1 and 100 in three categories: True Reach, Amplification Probability, and Network Score.

  • True Reach: the size of your audience – not just raw numbers, but how many active people are listening to what you say
  • Amplification Probability: how likely your audience is to care enough about your tweets/updates to reply, retweet, like, etc.
  • Network Score: the Klout scores of the people in your network

All of this is combined to create an overall Klout score. Some of the specific things Klout measures include:

  • How often your follows are reciprocated
  • How many degrees of separation you are able to put between yourself and your content (i.e., is it retweeted by friends of friends of friends?)
  • How often people mention  you
  • The diversity of the people in your network
  • How often you tweet
  • How influential are the people who mention you
  • What lists you are on

Like I said, there are over 35 metrics analyzed, so this is just a sampling of how Klout compiles information to give you a score.

Why should you care?

Klout can actually give you a good look at what you’re doing right and what you’re doing wrong when it comes to social media. They actually give you a pretty great report along with your score, so you can understand where you fall short. I don’t think you should go to extreme measures to change how you interact with people, but it can give you some things to think about. For example, maybe looking at your Klout score might make you realize that you’re following a lot of dead accounts and should purge or it might make you realize that you’re being a bit snobby and only interacting with a small circle of people.

Klout is just one tool to help you learn to be better when it comes to social media. Make sure to stop back on Thursday for some awesome advice about the topic from bloggers around the world.

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