4 More Social Media Statistics that Should Bother You

Posted by Graham Henry | Posted in Google+, Opinion, Pinterest, Social Media, Twitter | Posted on May 16, 2012

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Social Media

4. You Watched 435 Youtube Videos Last Year

And that’s just an average. Evenly divided among all internet users, GLOBALLY, the number of views per person in 2011 came in at just over 434.7. What were we watching? Was it important? Probably not.

Rebecca Black

The good news about this statistic is that it teaches us exactly how widespread and influential YouTube is. More than ever, companies need to be focusing on how to best leverage their visual presence online (Facebook Timeline, Pinterest, etc.), and YouTube is a great place to continue that expansion.

3. 5% of Tweeters Produce 75% of the Content

Some of you probably don’t find this that surprising. It seems like people who use Twitter are often split between rarely posting updates and spewing tweets like some sort of greasy, bit.ly-crusted faucet. If you follow anyone like that, you know what I mean, and that overflow of information can often be counterproductive when looking for useful or relevant material.

Confused Bird

Why is this such an issue? Because Twitter encourages it. The more a person posts, the more exposure they get, and, as long as they keep the content varied and original, they get distributed through retweets and similar posts. Basically, it’s a numbers game, with over-tweeters betting that their visibility will make up for how annoying they are. On the plus side, the need for fresh topics does keep things at least a little interesting, and there are always more than one way to connect with someone online…

2. Pinterest Shrunk by 10% Last Month

For those of you with active Pinterest accounts, this stat should come as no surprise. Posting has slowed dramatically since the site’s initial hype in March, and many casual users have stopped visiting all together. It’s not hard to see why it’s happening; pinning is fun when you first start and have a lot of fresh ideas, but generating new content can become a chore once those ideas are used up. For example, I’m a huge fan of craft brewing, and most of my personal page is dedicated to posting about beers that I’m trying. Early on, I was able to draw from my experiences and easily come up with drafts and images that fit the Pinterest style. However, after only a few weeks, I had basically run out of old ideas and my posts became dependant on new material. At an average of one new beer a week, posts on my Board slowed to a crawl, and traffic responded likewise. Once that happened, the value of posting wasn’t worth the time and effort it took to generate the content.

No More Drinking

Since March, Pinterest has lost over 150,000 active users. This isn’t great news, but the lasting impact may be better than people expect. Pinterest is a fad, but a very functional and useful one. Their meteoric rise in popularity was bound to result in fading interest down the road. All we can do now is wait and see if they’ll be able to hold their fans’ attention over the summer.

1. Britney Spears Runs Google +

Britney Spears is, by a wide margin, the most popular person on Google+. Why? I have no idea. What does it mean? It means that now, more than ever, I want nothing to do with that social media trainwreck.

Britney Spears

Looking for more disturbing facts? Check out the original.

4 Social Media Statistics that Should Bother You

Posted by Graham Henry | Posted in Facebook, Google+, News, Social Media, Twitter | Posted on Feb 29, 2012

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4. Half of Twitter’s Users Were Never Even Active

Before you start thinking this is a gross exaggeration, think about the people you know and how they interact online. How many of your friends have signed up for Twitter? Of that number, how many are still posting regularly? Is it difficult to believe, with so many people you probably know now dropping off, that most users never got beyond trying Tweets on for size? Consider this graph, created by Twitter’s own API in mid-2011:

Twitter Following Graph

From this, we can clearly see that, by Twitter’s own admission, most tags created in the last 5 years have generated little to no traffic since they were activated. How does this affect us? For one, this inactive user pool is a huge drain on resources for Twitter itself, making it more difficult to police and update services efficiently. Secondly, that pool of 500 million users we think we’re interacting with is probably closer to 200 million. Impressive, yes, but not what we expected. Luckily for everyone, recent expansions in membership are indicating strong increases in user activity, so we’re likely to see this situation improve. In the meantime, we can turn to more established methods to getting our messages out there…

3. Facebook Ads Have a .001% “Success” Rate

Take a second and think back to the last time you were on facebook. Right now? Great. Look to the right side of your screen. How many of those ads are relevant to you? Most of them, probably. But how many times have you ever clicked on one? If you’re like most facebook users, the answer is never. This is a common trend on facebook and by and far the biggest problem facing their investors today.

Terrible Facebook Ad

All in all, this isn’t as big a problem as the numbers would make it out to be. .001% of 845 million active users is still 8,500 customers. Also, .that statistic is a blanket figure applied generally to all facebook advertisers. In reality, well-known and respected companies often have much higher Click and Conversion rates. Still, small businesses face the obstacles created by this low success rate on a constant basis.

To counter the ill effects of low ROI, many small businesses are now investing in the drawing power of their Pages. By creating attractive Landing Tabs and Like-Gates, they can secure Likes and reach a larger and more interested audience for their products. For many small businesses, this is becoming the solution to Facebook marketing and other dwindling Social Media prospects.

2. YouTube Generates More Hours of Content in 1 Month than all Major Television Networks Combined, Ever

How many hours of TV do you think exist? Think about every season of every sitcom you’ve seen or every football game you’ve watched. All of that footage could be uploaded to YouTube in the time it would take to set your DVR. Currently, people upload videos to YouTube at a rate of 48 hours per minute. That’s over 25 million hours a year and growing. While this is great for YT, it doesn’t do much for their users, who have to struggle daily to stay afloat against ever-growing tidal waves of rival content. There aren’t even enough people to watch all of that footage, even with Google creating accounts for all of its members. Yep, they’re doing that.

1. Google+ Members Average Less than 5 Minutes of Use per Month

We’ve all heard the dismal reports about Google+ usage: Growth is slowing down, people aren’t connecting as well as expected, etc.; but our hopes have been kept afloat by the reported increases in membership, the array of new features being introduced, and the relentless television and internet advertising. Now, research firm ComScore Inc. has revealed that that optimism may have been misplaced, releasing a study this week claiming that active Google+ members spend, on average, 3.3 minutes on the sight per month.

Google+ Meme

Keep in mind, this isn’t all members we’re talking about. If ComScore had factored in all the accounts created since G+’s release, the numbers would probably have been even worse. No, this is a study of people who have accessed their accounts recently, and it’s telling us that the average user spends about 8 seconds on G+ per day. To put that in perspective, most people spend a 2 full minutes a day brushing their teeth.

Obviously, decisions need to be made about the future viability of Google+. Despite the lack of prolonged use, it still has a powerful backing and a variety of user and business-friendly tools, and that has to factor in to any major consideration. In the meantime, it would be best to focus on more popular media.

Beginner’s Guide – How To Use Twitter

Posted by Graham Henry | Posted in Small Business, Social Media, Tips and Tricks, Twitter | Posted on Feb 15, 2012

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Confused Bird

How Does It Work?

With tens of millions of users, Twitter is an indisputably important tool for web presence and social media marketing development. It’s surprising, then, how reluctant so many people still are to sign up and start using it. A lot of people I’ve talked to say it seems “too complicated” or “flat”, and while I understand completely where they’re coming from, there really is a lot more to Twitter than you can see on the surface. This guide will hopefully be helpful to those of you who are unfamiliar with the platform and are looking to gain a better understanding of what Twitter really is and how versatile it can be.

Overview

The most basic function of twitter is to post small phrases or updates that can be seen and shared by the general community. Social exchanges on Twitter are essentially based on interactions between followers. Users create profiles and can choose to follow other users. Those selected users’ tweets will then be displayed to the follower on their homepage. There is no limit to who can be followed.

Having followers grants one a collection of advantages. Besides reaching more people, one can also send private messages to individual followers. The more followers one has, the more likely their tweets are to be seen and the greater their ability to generate interest in their subjects.

Tweets are composed of 140 characters and rely on a tagging system to signify common goals or connections. These tags are accomplished with the help of two symbols:

@: Reply – Placed before a username, the ‘at sign’ tags that user in the tweet, simultaneously creating a link to that user and notifying them of their tagged status

#: Hashtag – Placed before a subject of the poster’s choice, the ‘pound sign’ signifies that the tweet is associated with that subject and can be viewed with other posts containing the same tag. This feature is not restricted to private use and can be used by multiple parties to post about the same topic

Out of necessity, many tweeters use abbreviations instead of full words, allowing them more space to get their messages across. Some popular ones specific to the site are:

DM: Direct Message
EM: Email
FB: Facebook
FF: Follow Friday (tweeters posting #FF give an endorsement to people, companies, or products that they find interesting)
HT: Heard Through
LI: LinkedIn
RT: Retweet
YT: Youtube

Twitter is in fast paced and constantly changing, so it’s important to maintain a regular presence; posting two to three times a day is recommended, with anything up to five or six well-paced tweets being acceptable. As with any social media, try not to focus too much on individuals – no one likes to be spammed – but be aware of their presence and their importance to your campaign. Above all, stay current. That’s what Twitter’s all about, and your followers will drop you if you become boring or start telling them things they already know.

A great way to stay on top is to organize you and your follower’s tweets with a twitter management service. TweetDeck by Twitter is excellent for grouping, though it lacks technical features and is mostly used for collecting tweets more efficiently. A great tool for actually analyzing your activity is HootSuite, a web-based analytics service that monitors Twitter and other social networks and combines the data in order to form a more coherent picture of your profile’s efficiency.

Things to Remember

1. Twitter is a VERY public place with lots of users; everyone sees what everyone posts. If you have an issue or complaint about someone or something, be sure it’s constructive before you decide you need to vent. Not only will people find out about it, they’ll more than likely make an issue of it at some point in the future. Unless you’re trying to raise awareness, it’s better to share negative comments privately through Direct Messages or not at all.

2. People aren’t looking to get spammed. Including people in your daily business is an integral part of Twitter, but it’s also important to recognize established boundaries. Don’t tag individuals without cause and absolutely do not insert yourself in conversations that aren’t directly relevant to you or your business. There are people who monitor Twitter, and they are not at all kind to spammers.

3. Above all, stay fresh, stay connected, and make it fun; be the user you’d like to hear from. It’s a long road ahead, so stay energetic and attack the world with positivity. Tweet, develop, and make the internet a better place for you and those around you.

Social Media Tips and News – A Vicious Cycle

Posted by Justin Rondeau | Posted in Content Marketing, Facebook, Opinion, Social Media, Twitter | Posted on Feb 02, 2012

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When I Read new SoMe Tactics or News on Websites I feel like Bill Murray in Groundhog’s Day

My blog post since January probably gave you the impression that I am over social media ‘experts’ making sweeping claims and reporting on seemingly obvious ‘findings’. Like any marketing tactic, social media require common sense. Any level of common sense went out the window when I read a ‘report’ on Mashable today:

Only About a Third of Tweets Are Worth Reading [STUDY]

I am sorry to single out Mashable on this, but so many people are guilty of posting really trivial articles and sensationalizing them. Really, people don’t care about most tweets? Go figure. Most people don’t care about what the majority of people say, and the stuff people do care about they listen to. Twitter is no different than real life interaction insofar as ‘caring’ is concerned. You won’t care about Tweets if you follow the wrong people.

Twitter is 100% situational. A friend of mine who uses Twitter to stay in touch with friends wouldn’t care about all the marketing Tweets I read daily. Something being ‘worth reading’ is an entirely subjective concept, trying to add hard data to something with so many variables is simply a waste of time.

‘But Justin, now we have HARD data that only 1/3 of tweets are worth reading’

Great, now we can stick a number to a concept that has been understood since Twitter launched. With over 200 million tweets being published a day, it is no wonder that people don’t care about the majority of them. Remember, marketing is common sense and social media marketing is a subset of marketing.

In Groundhog’s Day, Bill Murray didn’t only have to come to terms with the banality of the film’s portrayal of Punxsutawney, but he had to deal with seeing the same thing day in an day out. This brings me to my next major issue with the content creation & syndication by ‘Social Media Experts’:

All of the tips you are giving, people have read elsewhere and you are merely repeating them!

Instead of being a parrot, be a critical thinker. If you have been saying something like ‘Engaging your users is the only way to have an impact on Social Media’, why don’t you do the following:

  1. Give examples of campaigns that have used engagement to build a social network
  2. Identify the trends
  3. Report on the trends with facts and data

Also, make sure to constantly question whether ‘engagement’ is actually a best practice. No matter how central a concept is to your efforts or who wide spread it has been adopted, it is always good to analyze it. Marketing has changed so much in the past few years and will continue to change rapidly. So always have a shred of doubt in your methodology, it will help you be more successful.

I guess to  close this rant, I would like to say the following:

Instead of publishing reports that simply don’t matter or repeating the same old tips, add value, critique and context to your content. The only way to be successful as a marketer is to grab the attention of the public, if you are spitting out the same old banalities people will go from reading your article and saying ‘Who Cares?’ to never reading your articles again.

Comment please!

/rant

Social Media and Small Business

Posted by Justin Rondeau | Posted in Advice, Social Media, Twitter | Posted on Jan 24, 2012

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Sick of the Same Tired Advice? Me too!

Social media is an extremely cost effective way for small businesses to market, but there is a lot of hype around some of the current best practices. Today is the first post of a three part blog series that provides practical advice for small businesses on social media. I am hoping to show you how to utilize social media in a way that will benefit your business, rather than repeat the current mantra of ‘Build a community’ and ‘engage’. Though social media is based on community and yes, you do need to build one, there are certain things small businesses must do to  avoid turning their social media efforts into a major time suck. 2012 will be the year companies are going to want to see a return on their effort and investment, something that has become extremely elusive.

All too often I have heard this question and unfortunately all too often I have heard this same answer from other ‘social media experts’:

“I am trying to build an online community through social media, how can I get started”
“Engage your fan base”

Does anyone see the problem with that response? A person who is getting started on social media, especially a small business owner likely doesn’t have anyone to engage with yet on social media! Similar to networking in real life, you need to network online to build a presence on social. Twitter is an extremely effective digital networking tool. Insofar as you aren’t blindly following people or trying to game the system to get more ‘follows’ you will genuinely start to see Twitter’s benefits relatively quickly

I have a personal Twitter account that has a link to the High Impact Designer website. I am active on Twitter and post original content that my followers expect to see. When someone asks me, “Justin how did you get followers” I am not going to respond with the ever-so-cryptic “Through engagement”. I got these followers by following hashtags that are pertinent to my marketing vertical, posting original and pertinent content that resonates with these tags so others who are monitoring these tags can see this content, and taking part in hashtag chats covering various marketing techniques.

Granted I don’t have thousands of followers, and by my method it will take some time before I break into those numbers. However, I have successfully built a rapport with my followers where they both interact with my content and then share it with their followers. I might not be a Twitter superstar like Mari Smith, but if I post something of value with a link to the company blog and she retweets it, I will see a surge in website traffic and an increase in Twitter followers. If there is one thing you can take away as a small business on Twitter it is this:

Strategy is everything, connect to people that can help spread your message while you are getting started.

Tomorrow I will have some practical tips for Facebook pages, so stay tuned.

Social Media Wars

Posted by Justin Rondeau | Posted in Facebook, Google+, Social Media, Twitter | Posted on Dec 12, 2011

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Facebook, Twitter and Google+ – Are they Really in Competition

On the surface people  look at Facebook, Google+ and Twitter and think that they are in direct competition. I get where people are coming from, they are all social media platforms so they must be in competition. However, this is a very simplistic view of these tools. As social media expands in popularity there is a more nuanced approach to each tool.

Facebook – Social Connector

Facebook is a media machine, it is great for marketers and brands. Facebook provides targets ads that are incredibly precise and have become  more effective with the inclusion of sponsored stories. On top of the appeal for advertisements, Facebook is an incredible way for brands to connect with their audience. Facebook’s EdgeRank algorithm encourages brands to post various types of content, e.g., pictures, videos, and links, to increase interaction.

For personal accounts, Facebook is the leader in promoting personal interaction. Facebook stores an incredible amount of data about you and the people you are connected with. The new ‘Timeline’ feature shows your entire history on Facebook. To put things in perspective, I have been on Facebook since 2005, so Facebook has 6 years of information on me and everyone I have been connected with on their network. No other social network can claim to have this type of information, which is why Facebook is in the Social Connection niche of Social Media.

Google+ – Niched Knowledge base & Social Search

Google+ has become a great spot on the internet to discuss in depth topics with leaders in your industry. The platform reminds me of Twitter, but without a 140 character limit. There is a lot of collaboration occurring on this network, and gives its user base a familiar place to discuss topics within their niche.

Google+ is not a direct competitor with Facebook or Twitter. Google+ is Google’s attempt to connect search and social. Think of Google+ as the glue between your website ranking, analytics and adwords. Google+ could become the answer to one of the most elusive questions in social marketing ‘What is the ROI of social media?’

Twitter – Content Aggregation & Collaborative Approach

Twitter has an amazing user base from a marketer’s perspective. it is incredibly transparent and by design all of the content needs to be to the point. Twitter users have to take complex ideas and break them down into 140 characters, when you are in the middle of a hashtag chat, this becomes a great drill for writing short and coherent ideas.

Twitter could likely become one of the best ways to share news. If I am following someone that I trust, when they post a story/article, that article is brought right to the top of my ‘to read’  list. Since I started using Twitter, I always feel like I am on the cutting edge for the latest developments in marketing and Social media.

To Conclude

Each social media platform has a different goal. Some of the other big players I didn’t talk about like LinkedIn and YouTube are clearly major social networks, but obviously far more niched. Rather than comparing Twitter, Facebook and all of the other social networks to each other, look at how they are different. When you understand that they aren’t all the same, you can start to design a better social strategy and properly use these tools.

The New Twitter

Posted by Justin Rondeau | Posted in News, Social Media, Twitter | Posted on Dec 09, 2011

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Twitter’s Got a New Look, I Read it in a Tweet


When I got into the office today, I turned on my computer and then booted up all of the applications I need for the day. One of these applications is TweetDeck. About 5 minutes after opening TweetDeck I see a tweet from Mashable telling me that Twitter has a brand new interface. Not only has the website been redesigned, Twitter also updated their mobile apps and included new features that make Twitter a direct competitor with Facebook and Google+.

Here are some of the new features you can expect when you log into Twitter next:

New Navigation

Twitter gave their website a brand new treatment. The site is broken up into 4 sections: Home, Connect, Discover and Me.

Home is the new version of the news feed. In the old news feed other forms of media, e.g., photos and videos, were pushed to the side. The main focal point of a tweet was the 140 character statement that was being shared. With the latest news feed you can see the images or videos in the timeline (after you click the tweet). You can also see a history of the mentions and RTs.I am always interested in seeing who has mentioned me or RTed a tweet of mine, so the history of the tweet is a nice feature.

Connect is the home for all of your mentions and @replies. The coolest thing about this section is that you can type a twitter handle into the search and learn more about that particular person and, well, connect with them.

Discover is the area where you can search for trends and applicable hashtags. Twitter has revamped their search so that you can see trends that are more pertinent to you and give you an overall better experience on Twitter. The new search will show you trends based on your location, language, and connections.

Me This is your Twitter profile with an updated look.

Brand Pages

A lot of writers are speculating that Twitter redesigned their page/service to focus on new revenue opportunities. The addition of brand pages really gives these speculations credibility. Though most brands already have a Twitter account, they now have the option to make a brand page similar to Facebook and Google+. Brands will be able to customize their page with logos and extended taglines. The brand has complete control of the tweets that show up in their timeline, this lets them send a focused message to the people who visit their page.

My Two Cents

Initially I was pretty excited to hear about the changes, then I realized I never actually go to Twitter’s website…ever. I access my personal Twitter account and company Twitter account only through TweetDeck and my Twitter iPhone app. I wonder hoe necessary a complete overhaul of the website is needed, should Twitter be trying to compete with Facebook and Google+? Twitter is a microblog and a microblog it should remain.

What do you think about the Twitter update?

Who is Google+ Competing With?

Posted by Justin Rondeau | Posted in Facebook, Google+, Opinion, Social Media, Twitter | Posted on Nov 17, 2011

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Brand Pages Look a lot like Personal Pages

Google+ Initial Release

On the initial launch of Google+ it was being referred to as the ‘Facebook Killer’. At first it looked like the buzz around it could have lead to it taking a lot of Facebook’s users. Google+ is the fastest growing social network in comparison to Facebook and Twitter, and things looked promising for Google+.

However, after people logged in for the first time they never seemed to log in again.  The culture was taken over by tech specialists and marketers who are trying to be on the cutting edge. Essentially, Google+ didn’t have the social clout that Facebook had, and anyone who thought it would beat out Facebook in even 5 years was foolish.

As more and more people started using Google+ it started to resemble Twitter. more status updates and syndicated content. Since more tech specialists were on Google+ it looked a lot more like old school forums that have a near ‘cult’ following. The ability to post and comment past 140 characters made Google+ a great social forum, along for self expression and focused discussion.

After Google+ Brand Page Release

Google announced the release of its brand pages and there was quite the backlash by the marketing community. The pages resemble a personal page exactly*. A few of the major disadvantages come from the lack of vanity metrics as well as no promotional capabilities or custom pages.  After seeing the lack of differences between the Brand and personal pages I really started seeing that Google+ resembles doesn’t resemble Facebook as much as it does another social media platform.

Why Twitter Should Worry

Twitter is used by many marketing professionals to discuss topics and syndicate their content (sound familiar to the earlier description of Google+?). Google+ provides a more robust way to share content and is perfect for particular verticals. As more and more people are looking for ‘authenticity’ in the people who post, Google+ looks like the best option. Twitter is often filled with automated posts and bots, which can really hinder discourse. Google+ on the other hand, has an active, albeit smaller, community.

Why Twitter Shouldn’t Worry

Twitter shouldn’t worry because it has more than just tech specialists and marketers in its user base. Twitter is used for personal use all the time, in fact in most cases is used primarily by individuals to express themselves. Google+ doesn’t have that sort of draw, and in my opinion will never have that type of draw (as long as Facebook and Twitter keep their doors open).

Google+ has become a pretty big joke in the social media community, and has a long way to go to escape these criticisms. A colleague of mine sent me this photo earlier, and this is just one of many photos that really take a shot at the future and functionality of Google+.

 

*Note that in the personal picture I provided I didn’t add the 5 images under my name, just because I don’t login to Google+ at all

Do you measure social influence?

Posted by Justin Rondeau | Posted in Facebook, Google+, Social Media, Twitter | Posted on Nov 01, 2011

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Welcome to the new wild west of social metrics

Influence is the new buzz word surrounding different social media marketing circles. There have been increased developments on how to identify influential users and why you should be identifying these users. Influence is important, but you have to pay attention to what the person is influential in. I could be best friends with Patton Oswalt (Klout Score 78) but I doubt he would get that many qualified leads from him.

Personally I feel that it is completely foolish to only regard ‘online’ influence. This seems to be the trend going on in the main influence ranking websites, especially with the introduction of Kred and the changes Klout has implemented. Last week there were some major changes to the Klout algorithm, which upset many people, but from what I have noticed people are more or less where they should be on the influence scale. Just remember when measuring influence to take into account the things that the Internet cannot measure, these things can be pretty easy to ‘game’.

Here are a few of the top sites for measuring social influence:

Klout

Currently Klout has cornered the influence market. You can read a little more about Klout in a previous post. Basically they look at 10 different social networks, and then gauge how influential you are based on three main metrics:

  1. True Reach
  2. Amplification
  3. Network Impact

Klout is great for looking at how active people are online, but that is really as far as they go.  There are plenty of things people do that exist outside of Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or any other network you have connected your Klout score to. For example, I know a lot about music, comedy and philosophy. I happen to brand myself online as a marketer, so I don’t talk about these things in the digital world. I have been pretty influential in all of the interests I listed above, but Klout would never know this. You get only one part of the picture with Klout.

Kred

Kred is an attempt by PeopleBrowsr to collect both digital and real life influence.  your Kred score is updated in real time and also offers some interesting metrics and analytics.  Currently you need to request your Kred on their website, but you can get a look at your score by visiting this TechCrunch article here’s mine:

It doesn’t go into that much detail about the specifics, but the score is broken into two pieces: Influence and Outreach. The influence score looks to be similar to how Klout measures your activity and is based on a scale of 1 to 1,000. Kred looks at the number of mentions, retweets and followers your account receives.  The outreach score shows how often you retweet other people’s content. It gives an idea of how active YOU are in the digital space.

Outreach scores are an interesting concept, obviously you aren’t generating all of the great content on the Internet (as much as you would like to). So it gives some transparency of how often you give credit to others for their hard labor of scrounging the internet for interesting tid-bits in your vertical.

Kred claims to be more transparent than Klout, which has led to some controversy. Kred is also attempting to take some of your off line influence into account, like different accolades in your life including your degree and other awards.  The company has been in ‘invite only’ status since September, and I am not completely sold that it can loosen Klout’s stranglehold on the market.

ProSkore

I just found out about ProSkore today, and on my first impression I thought it was pretty lackluster.  It ias a Pro+ option that tries to get more information and charges you for the service.  I am not convinced that this will be a viable option to both Klout and Kred. This is the first example of an influence site that is trying to make money off of their users, thoug hI think Kred might move to this model.

Klout has been able to remain a free service because they are not trying to make money off of the people they score, but from the businesses who are offering perks. A very interesting business model to say the least.

PeerIndex

Peerindex is definitely worth talking about, however I have never used it.  I actually signed up for an account today and connected it to all of my live accounts.  I like how they take blogs and my favorite Q/A site Quora into consideration with your score.

Unfortunately PeerIndex does not update in real time, so it will take a while for me to actually see my score. What has your experience been like with PeerIndex?

 

To conclude, influence has always been important but these tools only crack one part of the influence code. Do you think these tools are a good measure of someone’s true influence? I think I know the answer to my own question, but would like to hear what you all have to say.

The Top 5 Ways to Start on Twitter

Posted by Justin Rondeau | Posted in Opinion, Review, Social Media, Twitter | Posted on Sep 29, 2011

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‘Do real marketers actually use Twitter?”
In one word: YES!

 

Do you want to get more followers? Do you want to learn something new? Do you want to make genuine connections with people in your industry?

Of course you do! So to get these great benefits you need to get on Twitter!

I know Twitter can be a little intimidating, I mean there are 114 Million tweets published EVERYDAY. So you need to learn how to deal with this data and start getting something from the segmented tweets you actually want to read. Here are my top 5 tips for getting started on Twitter:

1. Get a 3rd Party Tool

There are two types of tools you need to get. The first is a tool that lets you post outside of twitter on a nice looking dashboard.  I use TweetDeck, but many people prefer to use Hootsuite.  Either will work fine, they allow you to see your posts outside of the browser.  In TweetDeck you can also set what you want to be alerted about, this is important when you start following a significant amount of people.  Rather than getting an alert from everyone, you can set it to alert you when you are mentioned or when a specific hashtag is used.  This keeps relevant information coming and and makes your Twitter feed’s fired hose of information more like a squirt gun.

The next type of tool is an analytics tool.  I use Crowdbooster to schedule Tweets, check my impression rate, evaluate my account’s growth and identify my most influential followers.  Crowdbooster also suggests what time you should be posting during the day based on the number of impressions you get. An analytics tool gives you information about how your Twitter campaign is doing and gives you tips to make it more effective.

Between TweetDeck and Crowdbooster it is extremely easy for me to optimize my Twitter campaign.

2. Follow People in your Industry

Prior to creating a Twitter account you need to have a clear persona for your user. For my personal Twitter I have set myself up as a resource for people looking for information on Social Media, Email Marketing, and Affiliate Marketing.  I know the influential people in my field so I find them on Twitter and start following their tweets.  People are notified when they get new followers, either via email or in their analytics tool.  Most people will follow you back if you are relevant to their industry and will definitely follow you back if you have enough Klout.

3. Mention the people you Follow

Now you have an account, are set up on TweetDeck and Crowdbooster and have followed some of the leaders in your industry. Great! It is time to start posting.  A good way to start is to reply to other posts and adding your spin in 140 characters. Make sure the user’s handle that you are mentioning is in your tweet and they will be notified. In most cases people respond back, so don’t just say ‘That was SO interesting’ add to the discussion.  Twitter is the ultimate place for quick, direct and to the point public discourse. People are excited when their content is Retweeted or replied to, remember this is social media (keyword SOCIAL).

4. Join a Hashtag Chat

So you have identified the big players in your industry, but one person isn’t the be-all-end-all of a topic. Expand your horizons with hashtag chats.  If you are involved in a hashtag chat and are using TweetDeck, set a new column with that particular hashtag.  Join chats that fit within your niche and start answering the questions and interacting with others.  If your tweets are of high quality they will start a wave of discussion, get you more followers, and many more retweets.  The more people mention and retweet you, the more your message & brand spread.  I attend 5-7 hashtag chats a week, here are a few I HIGHLY recommend:

  • Social Chat #socialchat Monday @ 9pm EST
  • Brand Chat #brandchat Wednesday @ 11am EST
  • Social Media Measure Chat #smmeasure Thursday @ 12pm EST

5. Post Valuable Content with Relevant Hashtags

If there is one thing you must have noticed during this entire post I kept telling you to post content that adds value.  People don’t care about everyday banalities, they care about the latest information with well thought out critique.  If you find a good blog post, then give a quick summary add the link and throw a few hashtags in like #blog and #[post’s topic, e.g. SocialMedia, FacebookTimeline, etc…].  People follow all sorts of hashtags, so now the information that would normally only be seen by your direct followers is being served up to other people.

Twitter is a fun and powerful tool. I have met some very great people through Twitter and have started some very positive joint ventures with other people.  Social media is very important and all too often we talk too much about Facebook and forget about such a great tool for networking.