Influence - knowing the value of your customers

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Picture1Guest blog post by Luke Brynley-Jones who is hosting Monitoring Social Media 2010 in London on 22nd November.

I’ve written about social media 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 where I questioned the “influence” calculations of certain leading free monitoring tools. 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  important to marketers that we simply have to try to calculate it.

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 to know how influential your customers were the moment they walked in the door - I have to say, I’m getting there. However, the question of how influencer rating is calculated - whether it’s based on Twitter re-tweets, inbound links, number of comments on a blog or shoe-size – is simply going to run and run. But all that really matters is that it works for your business.

If your customers are online and into social media, an influence analysis service like Klout, which uses freely available data, might work fine. In his post, Peter describes how businesses can use Klout to get a short, snappy rating against which they can decide how much “engagement” time a customer really deserves – or whether they should simply be sent packing. 

Most of us haven’t yet knowingly suffered as a result of a company knowing our “influence” rating (in other words, our commercial value) – but 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 can you imagine the situation:

“Do you know who I am?!”
“Well, Sir. Actually, yes - we do”.

Luke has kindly offered our readers 10% discount on the ticket price for Monitoring Social Media 2010, taking place in London on 22nd November - please use the discount code “fresh”. Charlie (Osmond) will  be speaking about How to Identify Influencers, including details from our up and coming report on using tools to identify social media influencers.

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