3 Reasons Klout, & Other Social Media Numbers, Matter to You

First let me admit that I hate Klout. It’s not so much for anything they did. I think it goes back to my years of high school, college and grad school when I was always defined by a number. And now here I am in a business that I love, where no one has ever asked what my class rank was, and along comes Klout. And they’re wanting to rank me again. If your business or job has anything to do with social media and being online, your grade point average and class rank are quickly being replaced on your resume with your Klout, Kred, PeerIndex and PROskore scores. (There are others, but those seem to be the top ones, with Klout being the most popular). I didn’t like the numbers in school because I didn’t believe in them as accurate predictors of success. But, I had to live with them. The top companies only interviewed the top third of my class. If you weren’t there, you couldn’t even get your foot in the door. My complaint with the social media numbers today is similar. I question their accuracy in assessing a person’s value to the online world. I am especially troubled by Klout because your score there seems to be arrived at by a super-secret formula that they’d tell you, but then have to kill you. I am slightly optimistic about the release of new “updated” Klout scores, which consider more factors in formulating your score.  Klout is also becoming more transparent about what those factors are, likely in an effort to address their competitor Kred, which holds...

The Social Media Numbers Game: Is Bigger Really Better?

In much of life you may be judged by the company you keep, but in social media, you are judged by the numbers you keep.  The more fans, followers, and friends you have, the more successful you are deemed to be in social media.  The more connections you have and circles you are in, the greater number of people you are presumably influencing. Makes sense, right? Well, maybe. Sometimes the Numbers Lie One of the problems with focusing on your social media numbers is sometimes the numbers lie. It’s always possible to manipulate the numbers game. In fact, if you’ve been engaged in social media for any length of time at all, you’ve likely seen it done. You can buy 1,000 “targeted” Facebook fans for about $100-$200. Non-targeted fans are much cheaper. You can get 5000 Twitter followers for next to nothing. But, there are so many problems with these “too good to be true” answers to the social media numbers game. First of all, you will almost always be amazed to find that the people offering you these great deals have a couple of hundred fans/followers, at most. Which means they aren’t going to deliver you what they’ve promised either. Second, even if the promise is fulfilled, the engagement level of these new folks – yes, even the targeted ones – is going to be little to nothing. The payment is merely for following. You’ll be lucky if even a few of these new followers ever see your posts in their stream or news feed. People who are a fan of buying Facebook fans like to argue that no one will “Like”...

Procter and Gamble’s Olympic Lessons in Online Branding

If you watched even a moment of the 2012 Summer Olympics, you were undoubtedly exposed to the Procter and Gamble “Thank You, Mom” campaign. It was all over, to say the least. Even as a single mom, my first thought upon seeing that the company had branded itself as the “Proud sponsor of Moms” was “what about dad?” It became quickly apparent to me that dad had no place in the “Thank You, Mom” campaign. If this offended me (and it did), I wondered how it must be effecting families made up of a mom and dad? And how about those single dads out there? I imagined widespread boycotts of Procter and Gamble products, apologies from the company for forgetting dad, and a general “flop” of the campaign. Obviously, I was in need of some online branding lessons, because I couldn’t have been more wrong. As I started to look around online for reactions to this bold campaign, what I saw was 95% positive. People were gushing about how “heartwarming” the commercials were, and how you couldn’t watch them without shedding a tear. And make no mistake about it, this campaign was all about moms. If you have any reservations about this, just check out the company’s popular Facebook and Twitter presence. The word “mom” or “moms” appears 5 times in the cover photo alone. The slogan “Proud Sponsor of Moms” says it all. This is a marketing campaign for moms. Twitter tells the same story: As you can see, the mom lovefest was popular. The Facebook Page gathered 769,758 likes. And 35,298 followed on Twitter. And again, the response...

Social Media: 3 Reasons You Should Post More Often

Last time we talked about how to know whether you’re posting enough, or too much, on your social media networks. Today I’ll give you some guidelines for finding that “just right” spot for your business. For starters, you should be posting more often to all of your social media networks. I’m sure they’re out there, but I’ve yet to find someone who posts too much. I can’t tell you how often to post, exactly. That will depend on you, and your audience. But here are some good starting points. On Twitter, tweet once every 60-75 minutes. On your Facebook Page, post once every 3-4 hours. Share on Pinterest, LinkedIn and Google+ twice a day. You’ve likely heard numbers much lower than this. And while there is some room for variance, “experts” who are advising you to post much less than this are wrong. How often to post on your social media networks is not a matter of opinion. Instead, you must take your direction from the fact of how social media operates. These 3 social media facts make a strong case for frequent posting. 1.  Oh So Few People are Seeing Your Posts The numbers are not a secret here. At most, 16% of the people who have “liked” your Facebook page are seeing your posts. Some estimates put this percentage much lower, dipping well into the single digit range. It doesn’t really matter. Fact is, very few people are seeing your posts in their news feed. And various studies confirm that 95-99% of your fans will never go to your Page. So, if they aren’t seeing it in their...

Social Media: Are You Posting Enough? Or Too Much?

How many times a day should you tweet, update your status, or otherwise share on your social media networks? Let me tell you upfront that I’m not really going to answer that for you. But, I will tell you how to answer it for yourself. It can be challenging to hit that “sweet” spot. You need to post enough to make people notice and remember you, but not so much to make them feel like you’re stalking them. There’s no magical formula for this. It’s going to depend on you, and your audience. So, how do you figure out the answer for you? Let’s start with this general rule: It’s easy to post not enough content, and hard to post too much.  Let’s look at what that means. How Little is Too Little? I was watching a webinar sponsored by HubSpot the other day. I love HubSpot. They consistently produce good resources. But, one of the presenters on this webinar was talking about how to put together a content calendar. His recommendations for a small business? 4 blog posts, 8 Facebook posts, and 16 tweets. Is that per day you’re wondering? No. In fact that’s what he recommended for the month. Now that is a clear example of not enough. We’ll take a look at the unique needs of the different networks next time. But here’s an important thing to keep in the front of your mind when it comes to all of your social media activity: No one reads all of your posts. No one even sees them all. Okay, maybe 3 people who really love you make it a point...

3 Easy Ways to Share on Social Media, and Why You Should be Doing It

On the surface, social media isn’t very hard to figure out. It’s simple to set up your accounts. From there, all you have to do is type something in the little box and hit the “share,” “post,” or “tweet” button. Done. Or maybe not. If that’s your social media philosophy, you’re a “broadcaster.” And if you’re using social media to build your business, it’s not likely a very successful philosophy. Because social media for business is about building relationships. Building relationships in real life involves talking back and forth, sharing ideas and information, and developing trust. You build relationships on social media the same way. So, if you’re a social media broadcaster, it’s akin to being a speaker at an event who takes the stage, delivers her message, and then leaves the event through the back door. You have no chance of building relationships through this avenue. One crucial part of building relationships online is sharing other people’s content. Sharing is good for two reasons. First, your friends appreciate it when you share their stuff. It helps them spread their message, make new connections, and ultimately make more money. There is really no greater honor than having someone share your content with their audience. Second, your friends appreciate it when you share other people’s good stuff with them. It helps them learn, grow, and find new connections. Sharing is good all around. Fortunately, social media sharing has been made simple these days. When you read a blog post; an article on a website; or a tweet, or status update on any social media site, sharing that content across all of...