Category Archives: Community Management

Klout’s Komeback

The last time we wrote about Klout, we criticized (alongside many other outlets) the tool for failing to provide its advertised service. For those of you that missed the first blog, here is a brief synopsis: One of the earliest and longest-lasting challenges of social media is proving ROI – return on investment. Klout sought to solve that problem by creating the ‘Klout Score,’ a number between 1 and 100 that ranks your social media profile based on the supposed influence those profiles have. The biggest fault in this system was in its hyper-dependency on Twitter, and its inability to recognize context. Automated accounts tweeting links to Amazon.com could have the same Klout Score as a major news outlet, as long as they had enough followers.

Klout may have been all but forgotten, until last week, when the social tool everyone loves to hate rose from the grave with a brand new look.

Rebranded as a content-creation platform, Klout now actively seeks ways to improve your content and, by proxy, your Klout Score. Upon logging in to the new platform, users are asked to select a number of pre-defined areas of expertise, which Klout uses to rank and judge your influence. A user with 90 Klout in ‘social media’ and one with 90 Klout in ‘celebrity relationships’ will no longer be considered equally influential. Much more importantly, the tool will use your chosen fields of expertise to provide a newsfeed of relevant and trending content that your audience may be interested in. This gives social media newbies a shortcut to hot links to share, and gives brands an idea of possible conversation topics your consumer followers may want to see you comment on.

Will this complete overhaul be enough to win Klout a fanbase outside of the existing devotees? We think it just might be. Klout is finally delivering on a promise they made years ago: Make social media influence simple. They’re attempting to make it easier to enter the social space, and to find out how brands and users alike can make an impact. That effort – if nothing else – is admirable.

Facebook Friends Startup Company, Branch.

The spinning minds at Facebook in Northern California have officially teamed up with the innovative thinkers at the rapidly growing startup known as Branch, in New York City. Branch is a social startup with a twin site called Potluck. These two sites monitor, engage, connect and ignite unique thought and conversations between users across the social-sphere. The idea of creating and, more importantly, maintaining an intellectual community of users with similar interests is an extremely powerful tool – if you know how to use it.

Facebook currently reports a total of 1.9 billion active monthly users. So where do they go from here? What service do they have planned to continue that growth into the future? Something where users can gain insightful information about their daily lives; be it health, travel, education, world news, politics and local events could be just around the corner. That is what the Branch team intends to do following Facebook’s supposed 15 million dollar ‘acqui—hire.’ Branch professionals will manage a portion of Facebook centered around developing Facebook’s conversations group, a service aimed at helping people connect based on their interests.

Pushing the envelope one more step, connectivity and topical engagements will go far beyond the best Steakhouse in SoHo or how to stay gluten free. These particular engagements could become a forum where community managers can enter the social sphere and really learn how their product or service is being taken in by the average person.

The doors have opened for “users to connect, and engage in meaningful exchanges based on interests”, according to Branch co-founder, Josh Miller. While on vacation in Japan, Josh received word that the news would be released during his trip and so he did what anyone else would do, proving exactly why he made the acquisition deal that he did… he updated his Facebook status.

Facebook Status

Can You Automate Success? Just Ask Glen.

Is using platforms and plugins to schedule and automate your social media feeds effective? Imagine for a moment that you run a Financial Advisory firm. You hire someone to work for your company. His name is Glen, and you want Glen to generate leads for your business, build relationships, and get people to follow him back to the office for appointments. On Glen’s first day of work, he goes to a busy street corner and places a tape recorder on top of a bench. He then walks into a coffee shop where he can keep an eye on the tape recorder while he reads a book.

People walk down the street, some chatting with friends, some staring down at cell phones, while others rush by silently.  When the clock strikes 9, Glen’s voice suddenly comes out of the tape recorder, “When was the last time you spoke to your Financial Advisor? We’ve got people standing by to talk to you!”

Some of the people walking past pause when they hear the pre-recorded message but none of them stop to look for him.

This is the real life equivalent of setting up an automated social media feed. Scheduled messages come off as impersonal, perhaps even disruptive. They come off as robotic. Technology has yet to take the place of human interaction and nowhere is that more clear than on the Tweet corner (Twitter equivalent of a street corner) with Glen.

Social media is about having conversations and building relationships. It’s about community management and one to one engagement. It’s about having conversations. It’s about getting results and meeting objectives. While companies who promote the technology to automate social media feeds may call it “convenient” or even “a time saver”, what they can’t call it is effective.

And that’s the truth. Just ask Glen.

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When she’s not working as a marketing manager for Make Me Social, Mandi Frishman finds inspiration in old episodes of The Twilight Zone. During her time studying at The University of Florida, Mandi became convinced in the power of learning through play. She has since committed herself to playing (and learning) all day, every day.