Which Way Will They Go? Klout’s Future Depends on . . . Klout

August 11, 2011 § Leave a comment

Klout is rolling along in its quest to become the official social network influence-measurement service. It just added five social networks to its arsenal; Blogger, Tumblr, Flickr, Instagram and Last.fm. Add this to Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, FourSquare and LinkedIn, and you have well rounded gauge of influence. Or do you?

I’m not here to question the success of Klout’s algorithms, or say that its scores are slightly irrelevant, and they suggest that some people can carry the “Social Media Expert” title. The scores do take in account how good your social voice is, or how much your network following RT’s, Replies, Comments or “Likes” the content you put out there. But, with this influx of new social networks, the big “what if” becomes “What if I’m not on all of these networks?”

Per the Klout Blog  “Connecting an account wil never lower your Score, but it may increase it as we can give you credit for your influence in that network.” – Sidenote: Yes, Klout has a typo – “wil” – on their corporate blog. UH OH

This is where the confusion begins to grow. Is Klout an honest tell-all of your entire social influence across all social channels, or is it an “Are you good at Twitter. . . and maybe decent at a few other social networks, too?”

So, you’re a self-proclaimed guru. And your Klout Score is inching closer to Oprah’s 65 Score. You magically pass her in a rat race, for you have a strong following on 8 out of the 10 networks that Klout currently supports.

That’s not a bad pick up line: “Hey, do you know me? You should. My Klout score is one notch higher than Oprah’s”

But what does your Klout score mean? Is it more of a score of your social influence or your social presence? Is there a difference?

To marketers, this can be all the difference. If you have a client, say Dr. Pepper, and they want to market content to the most influential people to help spread the word of a new flavor, Dr. Pepper X, how can you, as a marketer, differentiate which users to target? Is there a special Klout score that is the cross-over from social media serf to social media prince? And once you’ve located those users, do you target content on the basis of their following on Twitter, Instagram, Foursquare or the amount of “Likes” on Facebook?

Are there layers of “engaged’ users? Is a user who participates in a social survey or sweepstakes on Facebook more important than a user who comments and shares the content? Is an Instagram brand tag as important as a Tumblr blog post mention? This is what, at the moment, Klout cannot take into effect.

I don’t doubt Klout’s ability to be a helpful tool for marketers to figure out who to target, and how to get them to help spread the word. But, just because they keep adding – and will keep adding – a plethora of social networks, it does not give any better indication of how successful every user of a social network can be. To be the true social network influence tool, Klout must adapt and grow to meet marketer’s expectations and solve problems that currently can’t be solved.

For now, it seems your Klout Score is better suited as a pick up line than a marketers dream.

Direct Message Lab provides a central platform , REACH v4,  for brands to effectively build, manage, and analyze their social, mobile and app-based marketing. For more information, check out www.directmessagelab.com, and follow us on Twitter, @dmlinfo.

Track the Conversation with REACH’s Social Monitor

August 5, 2011 § Leave a comment

Direct Message Lab’s new and enhanced social media management platform, REACH v4, allows brands to gauge the conversation across not only Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, but an array of blogs, bookmarking sites, comments, images, networks and news portals.

Embedded into the Social Monitor feature is a Keyword Search, which provides brands the option to search for any keyword that relates to them or their competitors. Also included is a graphical representation of user sentiment — positive, negative and neutral — to give you insight on trends for future content and campaigns.

Direct Message Lab provides a central platform , REACH v4,  for brands to effectively build, manage, and analyze their social, mobile and app-based marketing. For more information, check out www.directmessagelab.com, and follow us on Twitter, @dmlinfo.

World Map of Social Communities

July 18, 2011 § Leave a comment

Online Communities 2

A lot going on here. Facebook clearly looks like Russia and China combined into a super social community. Twitter looks like it has YouTube as a defense country, and is isolated by the Sea of Opinions and Sea of Protocol Confusion.  Poor email, SMS, and Spoken Language, who are all way off in Alaskan-Land.

It’s a little dated, from Summer 2010; A year in real-world is like 8 years in social media.

Google + hasn’t been rectified yet, and, Twitter has obviously conquered some land from Facebook since last summer; LinkedIn, Groupon, Gowalla, Yelp, Tumblr, Instagram etc. could all have nice thriving countries with excellent GDPs.

Not to mention, I think Facebook, Twitter, Google +, Tumblr could all have “satellite” countries because of their share options — Like, Follow, +1, Reblog — that have taken over the internet.

Direct Message Lab provides a central platform , REACH v4,  for brands to effectively build, manage, and analyze their social, mobile and app-based marketing. For more information, check out www.directmessagelab.com, and follow us on Twitter, @dmlinfo.

On-Base Percentage and Social Media Success

July 14, 2011 § Leave a comment

Not long ago, an MLB batter was measured by three raw statistics: batting average, home runs and RBI’s. These proved, time and time again, how players would be defined and measured. Things have since changed. Now, you have metrics such as on-base-percentage (OBP), slugging percentage (SLG) and on-base plus slugging (OPS). Unlike the batting average, OBP considers hits, walks, hit-by-pitches and sacrifice flies, and SLG concentrates on how much power a hitter has. SO, theoretically, a guy batting a measely.240 with a plethora of walks and sac flies could have an OBP of .360. Not too shabby.

Such is the case for social media metrics. Social media success has been judged by number of “Likes” on Facebook and number of “Followers” on Twitter. Sure, your 5000 fans are a great way to show you, indeed, have a social media presence. And look at all those followers you have. PHEW! What a socialite. But are these “Likes” and “Followers” adding value to your social media strategy, more importantly to your brand?

As “Likes” and “Followers” are the batting average and home runs of social media, statistics such as Clicks per Tweet, Actions per Follower or Fan, and Likes/Share per Post are the OBP and SLG. These metrics show how your audience receives and engages with your content. Do they click through the links that you post, and read what is on the other side? Do they share and ReTweet with their followers? A higher ReTweets per Tweet ratio can signal that your audience trusts the content you push, and Mentions per Tweet/Comments per Post is a leading indicator to measure the engagement that your messages insprire.

So, as you scour your metrics, looking for some ways to increase the total number of Followers or Likes, you should consider how to engage with those who already do. By sparking interaction and conversation, and having an audience that is willing to listen and take action, over time, your social media efforts will become the authority of your brand.

Remember, there’s 162 games in a season.

Direct Message Lab provides a central platform , REACH v4,  for brands to effectively build, manage, and analyze their social, mobile and app-based marketing. For more information, check out www.directmessagelab.com, and follow us on Twitter, @dmlinfo.

Social Loyalty Programs: Taco Johns Restaurant

June 23, 2011 § Leave a comment

In today’s food and beverage industry, building a social presence is a significant way to connect with your consumer base after they step out the doors. Yet, it’s also easy to get lost in the social hoopla. All of your competitors have a Facebook and Twitter, vying for Likes and Followers just like you. So how do you break the plain? How do you connect with your customers in a way that not only gives you another “like” or “follower,” but engages them and brings them back through the door?

We’ve found great examples of how to take advantage of social media and connect with consumers who are not only interested, but what to take part with your conversation.  In a running weekly series, we will showcase our favorite examples of how restaurants utilize social media and not only start conversation, but take part in it as well.

Our first example is Taco Johns. Taco Johns currently has over 76,000 Likes on Facebook and 4,500 Followers on Twitter. So how did they do this?

Well, what they did was create a micro social network of people who genuinely love Taco Johns for their food and their experience. They created a social loyalty program. They developed contests, gave their customers a voice, and had incentives for their most valued customers to share on their Facebook page. And then they acknowledged them.

They refer to their customers as “maniacs.” They created an ongoing point-incentive contest called “Minute Mission,” in which they reward points to fans for completing missions through their social platforms. Missions include posting pictures with your favorite Taco Johns menu item, questions of the day, and to show your friends the “wonderfulness that is Taco John’s and take a picture of their reaction for 20 points.”

Direct Message Lab allows for the creation and integration of social loyalty programs and incentivized sharing programs into REACH v4. These social loyalty programs are a key success factor for restaurants in building their social presence. To find out more information, check us out on Facebook, or Follow us on Twitter @dmlinfo.

Direct Message Lab provides a central platform , REACH v4,  for brands to effectively build, manage, and analyze their social, mobile and app-based marketing. For more information, check out www.directmessagelab.com, and follow us on Twitter, @dmlinfo.

Top Bloggers In Social Media

June 6, 2011 § Leave a comment

In Part Duece of this two-part extravaganza, we at Direct Message Lab have put together the top social media bloggers whom we find to be most influential. In case you missed Part One — Top Social Media Websites.

These are dedicated individuals and each bring a unique aspect into the world of social media. Some even have best seller books — Brian Solis and David Meerman Scott — that are filled with insight about how to utilize the waves of social media into your business. Onward to the list. . .

Top Bloggers in Social Media (and their Websites & Twitter)
Chris Brogan – www.chrisbrogan.com – @ChrisBrogan
Jason Falls – www.socialmediaexplorer.com – @JasonFalls
Brian Solis – www.briansolis.com – @BrianSolis
David Meerman Scott – www.davidmeermanscott.comwww.webinknow.com – @dmscott
Robert Scoble – www.scobleizer.com – @scoblemedia
Adam Singer – www.thefuturebuzz.com – @TheFutureBuzz
Amber Naslund – www.brasstrackthinking.com @AmberCadabra
Michael Stelzner – www.socialmediaexaminer.com – @smexaminer
Lee Odden – www.toprankblog.com – @leeodden
Jay Baer – www.convinceandconvert.com – @jaybaer
Danny Brown – www.dannybrown.me – @dannybrown
Jay Dolan – www.theantisocialmedia.com – @jaydolan
Gary Vaynerchuck – www.garyvaynerchuk.com – @garyvee
Scott Monty – www.scottmonty.com – @scottmonty

Direct Message Lab provides a central platform , REACH v4,  for brands to effectively build, manage, and analyze their social, mobile and app-based marketing. For more information, check out www.directmessagelab.com, and follow us on Twitter, @dmlinfo.

Top Social Media Websites

June 6, 2011 § 1 Comment

In a special two-part blog post extravaganza, we at Direct Message Lab have put together a list of social media bloggers and websites that we find most influential. These websites are some of the best sources on the Internet. Obviously, we couldn’t list all of them, so if YOU know of any websites that aren’t listed, please feel free to post in the comments. We love new sources. Part one. . .

Top Social Media Websites

The Top Dawgs
Mashable 
TechCrunch

The Runner-Ups
DigiDayDaily
ReadWriteWeb

Don’t Count Them Out
SocialTimes
AllThingsD 

Social Media dot-coms
SocialMediaExaminer
SocialMediaInfluence
SocialMediaToday

Around The Industry
AdAge
AdWeek
PRDaily

Aggregate
CMSWire
Alltop

Le Finale
FastCompany
DesignTaxi
MediaBistro

Direct Message Lab provides a central platform , REACH v4,  for brands to effectively build, manage, and analyze their social, mobile and app-based marketing. For more information, check out www.directmessagelab.com, and follow us on Twitter, @dmlinfo.

Options a Plenty: Twitter To Enter Photo Share Service

May 31, 2011 § Leave a comment

Something has irked Twitter. Apparently, it’s Twitpics, Yfrog, Flickr and Instagr.am. Grr, says Twit High Guy Ryan Sarver, who warned third-party developers to stray away from putting out “client apps that mimic or reproduce the mainstream Twitter consumer client experience.”

You know, those people who have helped develop Twitter, both internally and externally shouldn’t do that anymore. Because they’re making money that they shouldn’t be making — That doesn’t sound like their brutish older brother Facebook or anything; Stop developing innovative tools to share social experiences with the masses, because we’re suppose to do that, but haven’t yet, but, we will soon…yadda, yadda.

Per Fast Company, “Twitter’s leaders have talked plenty about about third-party apps. They can extend Twitter’s capabilities, but they can also turn off the more casual, less tech-savvy user. And Twitter needs to recruit those users to grow.”

While this is true, Twitter has become successful because it targeted the more tech-savvy user, who was getting sick of the less tech-savvy users who were diluting the Facebook stream.

Also, with the success of Flickr and Instagr.am, which offers a “fast, beautiful, and fun way to share your life,”  it’s a wonder what success Twitter photo sharing will have. Especially since Instagr.am has gotten over 4 million users in just around six months, and has created a micro-social network through photo sharing. Especially since new apps like 100 Cameras in 1 are allowing users to edit and beautify their pictures directly from their mobile device. Especially since Twitter should have nothing to worry about at this stage of the game, and only benefits from third-party developers driving people to and from their platform. C’mon, man.

Direct Message Lab provides a central platform , REACH v4,  for brands to effectively build, manage, and analyze their social, mobile and app-based marketing. For more information, check out www.directmessagelab.com, and follow us on Twitter, @dmlinfo.

What the Zuck?

May 27, 2011 § Leave a comment

The good old days…where the first days of summer included a game of Monopoly long into the night, with a portable radio waving its antenna into the sky. Cell phones were “car phones,” regular phones were a nuisance and if a bag of Lays made it through the night, something was wrong.

Now? A little older, out at the bar, can’t go a minute – hell, 30 seconds — without reaching in my pocket with that “what’d I miss” mentality. Nothing, ya dummy, enjoy your Guinness already. I won’t even say how much social media is a part of our lives, too redundant. But how far is too far?

According to an article in The New York Times, Facebook is hell-bent on partnering with online music and movie services, Spotify and Netflix, respectively. Thus, adding infinitely more meaningless details of our lives into the never ending feed.

When does enough actually mean enough? Zuck needs to take a step back and just let things flow, for the sake of the 700 million people who made the company what it is. Of course these new features will get eaten up like a Bavarian donut, because when there are 700 million people sniffing around, 50% of which are everyday contributors and content clickers, you’re bound to get someone to chime in.

Remember the last social network who thought it could bully its way through every industry — adding music, games, polls, questions etc. Yea, ask Tom from Myspace how that ended up. So, how far off of their strategy of being the anti-Myspace — a central marketplace to socialize with your friends — is Facebook willing to go?

“Music, TV, news, books – those types of things I think people just naturally do with their friends,” said Zuckerberg. Who? Who shares ear buds? Who sits in a circle and reads the NY Times with their best friend on the weekends, or goes line-for-line in the Catcher in the Rye with their cronies? The fact that these things are things people discuss with friends is not the same as actually doing with friends.

The status update is ripping away the foundation of personal discussion. I don’t discuss, I update. Phooey. They want to get their hands into every aspect of everyday life as possible. Soon, you won’t be creeping Facebook, Facebook will be creeping you.

So, as June 1 approaches, and we begin to take our free-time outside, gimme a bag of Salt n Vinegar and bring me back to the days where snagging Boardwalk and Park Place was really something to brag to your friends about.

Direct Message Lab provides a central platform , REACH v4,  for brands to effectively build, manage, and analyze their social, mobile and app-based marketing. For more information, check out www.directmessagelab.com, and follow us on Twitter, @dmlinfo.

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