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24 Brilliant Bloggers Talk About Influencer Marketing


Brilliant Bloggers is a bi-weekly series here at NMX where we look at the best posts from around the web all surrounding a specific topic. Every other week, we’ll feature a brilliant blogger, along with a huge list of more resources where you can learn about the topic. You can see more Brilliant Blogger posts or learn how to submit your link for an upcoming edition here.

This Week’s Topic: Working with Influencers

Back in 2011, one of our Brilliant Bloggers editions was about working with brands. It was packed with great advice about how bloggers and other content creators can be work with brands for reviews, advertising, and other partnerships.

Today, I wanted to flip that topic and instead talk how brands should work with influences. In the past year, the term “influence marketing” has been popping up more and more. Brands are starting to realize the power content creators have over their followers online, and they’re looking for ways to harness this power.

Working with influences isn’t always easy, though, and some brands are getting it really wrong. Raise your hand if you’ve ever gotten a pitch to promote something that had NOTHING to do with your blog.

If you’re a brand who wants to amplify your message through influencer marketing, this is the Brilliant Bloggers for you!

Brilliant Blogger of the Week

Why Influencer Marketing Is Failing In Retail by Macala Wright (@macala)

While this post on psfk is specific for retail companies, there are important lessons here for brands in all industries. Macala talks about why there’s been a “bastardization of influence” and how redefining influencers for more strategic long-term relationships is key to getting influencer marketing back on track.

In this piece, Macala also gives some practical suggestions on how your brand can successfully implement influencer marketing, so it’s a must-read for any brand interested in this kind of message amplification.

Even More Brilliant Advice:

Did I miss your post or a post by someone you know about influencer marketing? Unintentional! Help me out by leaving a comment below with the link.

Next Brilliant Blogger Topic: Facebook Ads

I’d love to include a link to your post in our next installment– and if you head to the Brilliant Bloggers Schedule, you can see even more upcoming posts. We all have something to learn from one another, so please don’t be shy! Head to the schedule today to learn how to submit your post so I won’t miss it.

Are You Targeting the Wrong Social Influencers? 3 Mistakes Brands are Making


Working with major influencers might be able to help your brand reach new audiences, but are you reaching out to the wrong people online? How you measure the value of an influencer can drastically affect the success of your campaigns. Let’s take a look at three mistakes brands are making when it comes to working with social influencers.

Mistake #1: Working with Influencers Long-Term without Monitoring

Most companies monitor the the ROI of working with individuals or groups of influencers, but this isn’t the only thing you should be monitoring. In a post for Social Media Examiner, Russ Henneberry from Content Measures notes that one of the most important things for you to follow is what else a person is saying online. Why? You might not want to endorse what they are doing.

Remember, when you’re working with an influencer to promote your brand, they are a low-level spokesperson for your company. Someone who has a large, engaged network isn’t always a good choice if they are also saying things that aren’t in line with your brand’s mission statement. For example, someone who curses or talks about adult topics often might not be great for promoting a family brand, even if they are followed by a lot of parents.

Mistake #2: Working with Influencers who Promote Anything for a Buck

We all need to make a living, but if you’re working with social influencers who are willing to promote nearly anything, you might be missing the mark a bit. Someone promoting several things throughout the day is doing little more than broadcasting. Even if they have a large, engaged audience, few people will read the message about your company simply because the stream is moving too fast.

Instead, look for influencers who are a little more selective about what they promote. These influencers, because they work with a smaller number of brands, are more useful to you, since their audience doesn’t have as much content fatigue as influencers who are constantly promoting something or other.

Mistake #3: Neglecting Social Influencers who Already Like Your Brand

Before you start making a list of social influencers with high Klout scores or large Twitter followings, look at who is already talking about your brand or at least using your product. It’s important to reward influencers who are already loyal to your brand before you go outside of your community to find more influencers willing to talk about your brand.

Keep your community, especially the top influencers, engaged, offer sneak previews, coupons, and other offers. Retweet your fans and republish their content (with permission). Above all, listen. Don’t just respond to complaints. Show your appreciation for positive comments as well.

Klout CEO “We Messed Up On This One and Are Deeply Sorry”


Klout has been dealing with quite a bit of criticism lately when it comes to how they measure your social media influence and who they measure it by.

There is an interesting story in the New York Times about a mom who discovered Klout had created a profile for her 13 year old son. Needless to say she was surprised and shocked. Here’s an excerpt from the story:

The boy had never set up a Klout page for himself; he was only her Facebook “friend,” so she could monitor his interactions there. Klout had automatically created a page for him and assigned him a score. Then Ms. McGary’s 15-year-old daughter Mimi popped up on her Klout page — this time not with a Klout score of her own, just a nudge to Ms. McGary to invite Mimi to join.

Basically, Klout was creating profiles without social media users even knowing about it. Which meant it was creating profiles for minors. Klout has said they do not market to children and they no longer create profiles automatically.

In a blog post entitled “We Value Your Privacy” from yesterday (November 13th), Klout CEO Joe Fernandez, offered up an apology.

We will always be vigilant in working with the platforms (Twitter/Facebook/etc), our legal counsel, and the community to do what’s right here. We messed up on this one and are deeply sorry.

There are so many people who are already questioning Klout, so this came at a really bad time for the company.

At the end of February, Allison did a Brilliant Bloggers post about Klout. It definitely makes for some interesting reading and I would love to see how many of these bloggers have changed their mind about Klout since then.

What are your thoughts on Klout’s misstep with creating profiles without permission?

Do You Have Klout? Now, Your Friends Can Weigh In


The more I learn about Klout, the more I like it as an influence measuring tool. Here are BlogWorld, Klout is something I’ve talked about in the past, and we even devoted a week of Brilliant Bloggers to Klout. Since then, Klout has made some changes in both their interface and their algorithm, both of which I thin has made the service even better. Plus, I love the new Klout badges you can earn. Today’s introduction of the +K button takes the cake, though, at least in my opinion.

I first read about the +K button on Mashale, and headed over to Klout’s site to check it out for myself. It’s an interesting concept, and they thought out the functionality well. Here’s how it works:

  • Klout generates a list of topics that it thinks you’re influential about. Basically, it’s what you’re tweeting/mentioning on Facebook that gets noticed. They’ve been doing this for a long time, but before now it was nothing more than a weekly-updated list.
  • You now get 5 +Ks to give out each day. They’re basically points or likes.
  • You give a +K when one of the topics on someone’s profile matches how they really do influence you. Essentially, you’re saying, “Yes, Klout, you’re right. Allison really did influence my thoughts about blogging.” (or whatever the person/topic might be)
  • Your +K rating lasts 36 hours.
  • You can give another Klout user as many +Ks as you want, as long as they are for different topics.
  • You can give another Klout user a +K in the same topic once a week.
  • In the future, they’re going to introduce a function where you can submit your own topics.

There are some things I like about this right off the bat. First, I think it will help Klout’s algorithm choose your topics better. My list includes things that I definitely do tweet about, like writing and social media, but other topics on my list right now include hacking and Samsung. Ermm…what? Not sure I’ve tweeted about either of those topcis ever in my life. Luckily, Klout gives you the ability to opt out of any topic they’ve chosen for you that you think is a bad fit, so I was able to hide hacking, for example, from public view. I don’t want people to think I’m a hacker.

One of the downfalls that commenters on other sites have already noticed is that this definitely makes Klout more of a popularity contest. You can campaign to get people to give you their +Ks for the day in specific topics, making your Klout rise artificially.

Or…will it?

Here’s how I see it: Yes, you can “scam” the Klout algorithm that way, but it really isn’t scamming because popularity is what Klout is all about. If you can influence people to give you their +Ks for the day, your Klout score should rise. That’s the point. Klout measure how well you can influence people.

I like that you’re limited to giving people a +K in a certain topic only once a week. I also like how Klout comes up with the topics, since that means the topics you see really should be topics that the person talks about. If you could give a person Klout in whatever topic you wanted, people would definitely try to scam the system to rank high for certain topics.I’m not sure I’ll like it as much when you can submit your own topics.

Something that users have also already noted is that a +K from someone with a higher Klout number should mean more than a +K from someone with a lower number. I’m not sure I agree. I can see the logic, but I also think that if you’ve influenced someone, it shouldn’t matter who that person is. If I influence my mom to buy a purse and Paris Hilton to buy a purse, the overall affect is that they both buy purses. I should get the same amount of credit for that.In fact, even though my mom wouldn’t have as much Klout as Paris Hilton, it would probably be harder to influence her to buy a purse, since she doesn’t buy things for herself often. So, I like it that everyone is “worth” the same.

I definitely think it needs to be easier to see who is ranking for certain topics. I couldn’t find a way to search topics within Klout, just see them from people’s profiles. If I’m interested in a specific topic, like social media, I want to see who is ranking high for those topics because those are people I probably want to follow. Likewise, if I’m that purse company, I want to see who is ranking high for the topic “purses” because those are people I probably want to follow. Without this functionality, the +K ability seems kind of moot. What’s the point?

Overall, I’m excited to see the ways in which Klout is going to continue to improve. This move, to me, makes a lot of sense for their Klout perks program, since companies can now target people who have +Ks in a certain area, not just users who have an overall high Klout score. I don’t know if that’s something they’ll do, but it certainly makes sense to me!

I highly recommend that you check out Klout’s very own post about their +K update to learn more – and the commends on this post are extremely valuable. It looks like Klout employees are also jumping in there to answer questions, so it’s a good place to ask them.

What do you think of Klout in general and their new +K function?

(Hat tip to @jaybaer, who originally tweeted the post on Mashable where I first read about +Ks.)

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