social zoom factor There is definitely no shortage of social data, metrics, measurement strategies, analytics, influence scores, listening platforms, reputation management approaches and experts ready to take your credit card to help you figure it all out.

I have received several tweets and messages recently asking me for tips to help people raise their Klout score.

If you are focused on trying to raise your Klout or other influence score I have only one answer for you… you are measuring the wrong metric!

What is your Klout score going to do for:

  • Your business?
  • Your bottom line?
  • Your website?
  • Your content that connects you with your audience?
  • Your audience?
  • Your clients?
  • Your partners?
  • Your blog ranking?
  • Your SEO?

Social Capital
Yes, I know and believe that there is value in social capital. I have decent influence scores. Of course there are some bullies who give me a hard time for them. People often think that if you have a high Klout or other influence score that you must be gaming the system or focusing on the influence scores.

In regard to me, my business and my influence scores I will tell you right now I didn't game anything. I never have and do not focus on any influence score to guide my business or marketing priorities or my online social activities. My influence scores are decent only because I focus on my audience and providing them the most rocking content I can possibly can. I engage with them on a regular basis and I do so because I enjoy it, it helps my audience and it brings me business.  I do not do such because I want to get a ton of retweets so I can raise my influence scores.

Am I happy that my scores are decent? Of course. Do the influence scores help me attract good clients, partners and even investors? Yes. Do the scores also attract fake friends who are trying to game their own influence score? Of course. There is good and bad that comes with influence. It's how you manage it that matters.

Should Influence Scores be the Focus?
The jury is out for many on if influence scores matter.  My belief is that it is not the influence score that matters.  It is the metrics and the activities that got you there that matter.  If your Klout, PeerIndex or other influence score is healthy and you got there by gaming the system then your influence score means nothing.  However, if you got there by developing good content that connects with and provides value to your audience, engaging with your audience in a genuine way etc. then your influence scores may have meaning.

My point is that if your high influence scores were achieved the right way then you would still have influence regardless of if Klout or PeerIndex says you do.

Social Zoom Factor

So what does matter? What should you be measuring? How do you establish influence without focusing on the influence numbers?

Ask yourself this one question… “Are you relevant to your audience?”

I you answer anything other than yes to this question then you need to read the rest of this post.

Your social zoom factor is what I believe determines your success online. Yes, it affects your influence score but it is much deeper and more important than an influence score.

Why You, Why Now?

Your social zoom factor is the WHY you, why now!? WHY should your audience care about a word you have to say?

  • What makes you different than your competitors?
  • Why should they click like, +1, circle you or follow you on Twitter?
  • Why should they visit your blog?
  • Why should they subscribe to your email newsletter?
  • Why should they opt-in to your email list to download a whitepaper?
  • Why should they care about a word you have to say?
  • Why should they answer your poll?
  • Why should they comment on your Facebook post?
  • Why should they answer your Q&A on LinkedIn?
  • Why should they listen to you?
  • Why should they do more than visit the front page of your website or blog and then bounce out?
  • Why should they want to visit your tweet stream each and every morning?
  • Why should they believe anything you say is true?
  • Why should they trust you and your business?
  • Why should they care that your Klout score is a 75?

If you don't provide your audience with an answer to the why questions listed above then your Klout score means nothing, absolutely nothing and you probably have gamed the system.

If you are still puzzled by why the WHY matters or are inspired to hear an additional perspective, check out the recent article Brian Solis wrote, “The Number One Least Asked Question in Social Media…WHY.” As usual, a great read from Brian who is one of my favorite authors and thought leaders!

What should you measure?

For starters, I would focus on the metrics that will answer the why questions above. Start with Google Analytics, Facebook Insights, LinkedIn anlaytics etc.  Review how people are currently engaging with you and your brand.

  • How quickly are they bouncing out (leaving) your blog or website?
  • How long are they staying on a web page?
  • How many pages are they visiting before they leave your website or blog?
  • What content are they reading?
  • Are the unique visitors to your website going up or down?
  • Do you have return visitors to your website?
  • What type of lists are you getting added to on Twitter? Who is adding you to the lists?
  • How frequently are you being retweeted on Twitter? Who is retweeting you?
  • Why are you being retweeted? Is it only because you have a high Klout score or because they like your content?
  • What is the percentage of people who visit your Facebook page but have not clicked like?
  • How many impressions are you recieving on your Facebook posts?
  • Are people commenting on your Facebook posts? Do they like them?
  • Are you receiving any engagement at all in social media?
  • Are you coming up in search results on LinkedIn?
  • How is your website or blog performing on the search engines? How does it compare to your competitors?
  • Are your metrics trending up or staying flat?

Focus on the metrics that will help you help your audience

My point is that before you spend a second worrying about your Klout score you better ensure that you are relevant to your audience. Focus on the metrics that tell you the answer to if you are answering the WHY questions that give you the extra turbo of social zoom.

If you have no social zoom factor then you might as well go game the influence system and drink another cup of influence kool-aid.  As for me, I'll be head deep into the analytics that matter knowing that my influence score is not the metric I measure my success on at the end of the day.

Your social zoom factor matters. What's yours?

What is your opinion? Do you focus on influence scores?  What metrics do you focus on? Do you know what your social zoom factor is? Did this post help you think about how you might be able to better measure it and the relevance you have with your audience? How can you help others who don't know where to start?