Monthly Archives: June 2012

What You Need to Know About “Return On Influence” – Book Review

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Return on Influence The Revolutionary Power of Klout, Social Scoring and Influence Marketing

Return on Influence The Revolutionary Power of Klout, Social Scoring and Influence Marketing (Return On Influence) by Mark Schaefer is an very interesting read and a great resource for anyone who works with social media.  It covers Klout quite extensively including chapters about their CEO Joe Fernandez and also features Calvin Lee, graphic designer and influencer, who is a great guy besides.  Mark explains social scoring and how it can be used for  influence marketing.  Learn about the rise of the “Citizen influencer” and get some insight on how to raise your Klout score. *To adhere to FTC guidelines about endorsements and testimonials for bloggers, I would like you to know that I bought this book myself.  Although I am was in no way compensated for this review, I am using Amazon affiliate links on this page wherever books are mentioned as links or clickable images.


My main takeaways:

  • About Klout
  • Social Scoring
  • Influence Marketing
  • The “Rise of the Citizen Influencer”
  • How to Increase Your Klout Score

About Klout

Klout, based in San Francisco, was started by CEO Joe Fernandez.  It is the leader in social media influence measurement today according to Schafer.

“Klout is one of a number of new status-measuring companies whose purpose is to curate billions of individual pieces of information, apply complex mathematical algorithms, and feed that information to businesses in ways that will create new marketing programs aimed at selling more of their skin care products, cars, and movies.” (Return On Influence, Schaefer,p. 5)

Klout measures over 100 different factors and will be including offline influence as well going forward.  Your score can range from 1 to 100.  A score that is over 50 is considered exceptional.  My Klout score was 54 as of the writing of this article.

Social Scoring

Social scoring measures your online activity (and soon offline activity too as mentioned above).  How you interact with others and how they interact with you.  I would assume that all of this data is being captured and analyzed.  This activity measurement can be used to determine your influence level and social score.  There are a growing number of social scoring services.  My 3 favorites right now are Klout, Kred, and PeerIndex.  Others that are up and coming include Twitalyzer, PeekYou, and the various Grader services offered by HubSpot.

Influence Marketing

Influence marketing is a channel that can harness the power certain people have (known as influencers) to spread your message far and wide to achieve your business goals. How?  Content that is shared by influencers tends to last longer and be disseminated more widely through social media like Twitter tweets and Facebook shares.  Influencers are heard above the social media noise and can help you get your message across.  Be the influencer in your niche or at least know how to identify, reach out, and connect to them.  I recommend that you do both.  Tip: Two magic words that you should use often with influencers are, “Thank you”.  For even more information read Dr. Robert Cialdini’s book Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion.

The “Rise of the Citizen Influencer”

A “Citizen Influencer” can be an average person with huge influence online.  They know what content to share and how to connect with others in large and growing numbers.  Calvin Lee, the author’s example in the book, is a graphic designer in Los Angeles.  He has a high Klout score and a massive following on the top social networks such as Facebook and Twitter.  We have not yet met in real life, but I think Calvin is someone you should know.  Reach out and connect to him on Twitter and Facebook.

“The traditional view of influence assumes that a small number of the members of our society possess qualities that make them exceptionally persuasive, driving trends on behalf of the majority of ordinary people.  In business, society, politics, and the press, they may be called our opinion, or thought leaders.  Today, anybody can be a hub, a connector, an igniter of a personal epidemic of information, collaboration, or inspiration.” (Return On Influence, Schaefer,p. 63)

How to Increase Your Klout Score

Increasing your Klout score can be boiled down to three steps from the book.  Build your networks, create and execute a content strategy, and engage influencers often.  Build your networks by hand and be focused on who you are connecting to.  Have a strategy of sharing content and creating your own.  And engage with influencers:

“Unless you are a true-life celebrity (and if you are, I’d like to meet you so you can sign my book), it does not make any difference how big your network is or how good your content is if it is not activated by engaging with people in such a way that your content moves across the web.”  (Return On Influence, Schaefer, p. 164)

How do I think you can to raise your Klout score?  Create great content and share it far and wide!  The more people you engage with the better.  All of the Twitter retweets, Facebook Likes, and Google+ +1’s add up.

Add Return On Influence to your summer reading list!  And get to work curating, creating, and sharing great content across your social networks.  Sign up for Klout and try other social scoring services as well.  Be the expert in your niche and help yourself by helping others.

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How do you measure influence?

About Peter Trapasso

Used by Autodesk, venture capital, blockchain tech clients and more! Hire me for your social media marketing needs. Social Media Strategist + Influencer with 15+ years Marketing Experience. Backed over 400 #crowdfunding #apps #startups #Fortune500 100 most followed on Twitter in San Francisco. Massive Followers: Twitter 50,000, Google+ 10,000, Facebook 3,000, and Pinterest 4,100.