April 14, 2012

Return on Influence by Mark Schaefer

In Return on Influence, Schaefer stresses the importance of creating good content to become a true influencer.  With the prevalence of social media, it’s no surprise to see the rise of the citizen influencer with everyday people having a voice that wasn’t available years ago.  However, although all of us have the power to speak online, it doesn’t mean anyone is listening.  It takes time to build trust and authority with an audience, but it can be easier to do online than offline.

Schaefer also discusses the controversy surrounding Klout, an online social scoring system.  Reactions to Klout include finding ways to cheat the system, fear of being offline too long in case one’s score drops and even experiencing depression when a score is perceived as low.  Frankly, I was surprised and a bit appalled to see how people are responding to this system and allowing themselves to be so “defined” by a number.  

But the fact is companies are using it to ‘qualify’ you and I can give a personal example.  I do reviews for different publishers since I’m such a big fan of reading.  One group sent out an email not too long ago stating they would be using Klout scores to determine which book selections you would have access to review.  I signed up for an account just for this reason and have maintained a decent score just by use of my social media accounts and writing for several blogs.  Other than for the purpose of accessing a wider variety of books to review, I don’t care about my Klout score.  Should I?  I suppose if I were to apply for a full time position in marketing or media, I’ll need to, but I’m not there yet.

This is a good book for people like myself who use social media but aren’t overly concerned with scores.  It makes for an interesting read on human behavior.  However, people who are hard core about their Klout score will also find this helpful since it provides tips on raising your online score- without cheating!

Disclaimer: I received this book from McGraw-Hill in exchange for an honest review.

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