One item on my To Do list this week is to update my media database, something anyone who works with the media and/or brand reputation management should do at least quarterly, if not monthly. Besides traditional media, I have a column for blogs, blog authors, Twitter accounts for national, West Virginia, and tri-state media… but this time I’ve decided to add a new column per media market: Influencers.
Ever since Klout has come about, I feel it’s critical for any business, political campaign, etc… to identify those people on social networks whose opinions/tweets/Facebook posts engage and influence others.
Haven’t heard of Klout? It measures one individual’s influence across the online social-sphere. According to CrunchBase, “Klout allows users to track the impact of their opinions, links and recommendations across your social graph. Data is collected about the content users create, how people interact with that content and the size and composition of their networks. Klout identifies influencers and provides tools for influencers to monitor their influence.”
What kind of influencer am I? According to Klout, I’m a Broadcaster, which means “You broadcast great content that spreads like wildfire. You are an essential information source in your industry. You have a large and diverse audience that values your content.” (Thanks for the ego-boost this morning, Klout!)
Why is this important? Viral is the number one source of message dissemination, be it negative or positive, in today’s media ecosystem. And where does viral start? Social networking sites. Where can viral turn into a frenzy and spin out of control? Social networking sites. Therefore it’s extremely important to identify influencers in each media market. Depending on what content a business, campaign, or individual puts out, an influencer might take the information and put out contrasting content. If that business does not respond, they become less reputable over a short period of time. Even more alarming, if the message is not controlled, a brand, business, candidate, etc… can be discredited almost completely.
And just in case you were wondering… how influential is Klout? See for yourself.