I’ve written about Influence a few times in the past year – including a somewhat plaintive post asking whether flawed influence measurement is better than no influence measurement. I’ve also hosted a Bootcamp at which the “influence” calculations of certain leading free monitoring tools were called into question, and then, earlier this month, I participated in a discussion in which the overwhelming mood was that influence could and should be measured – if only because it’s so damn important to marketers that we simply HAVE to try!
While I’m not keen on bogus science or flawed assumptions – having read Peter Shankman’s road-to-Damascus post that describes the moment that he realised how valuable it would be know how influential your customers are before they walk in the door – I have to say, I’m getting there.
He describes how, through companies like Klout, which use freely available data, businesses can now get a short, snappy rating against which to instantly gauge how much fawning a customer really deserves – or whether to simply send them packing.
It’s obvious really: we all have credit ratings; why not influence ratings?
The question of how this rating is calculated – whether it’s based on Twitter Followers, re-tweets, inbound links or shoe-size – is simply going to run and run…. and run. And the funny part is, most of us haven’t knowingly suffered as a result of a company knowing our “influence” rating (in other words – our commercial value) yet. Imagine when every shop, garage, restaurant and bar knows exactly how influential (or not) you really are. I predict that’s a 2-3 years away yet – but, boy, are we going to get irate about it.
“Do you know who I am!”
“Well, Sir. Actually – yes, we do”.
I’ll be discussing Influence and more at Monitoring Social Media in New York, London and Paris, in Nov and Dec.