While presence in the social sphere is gaining momentum, it becomes increasingly important for organisation to measure the actual impact of the social presence. While it was always difficult  to quantify the ROMI, with the advent of the social channel this has increased manyfolds. Success of  any venture lies in knowing what to measure and controlling the key metrics within the desired range. While there are a lots of theories and practices of measuring the social media ROI( SMROI), there is no one-size-fits-all kind of a management theory, which can be adapted.

While there are lots of such theories floating around, each claiming one metric to be more important than the other, one of the common metrics which many believe is effective in measuring and controlling is the social influence.  One of the established metric of measuring influence in social networks is the Klout Score. Although in social circuit, there are many who question how scientific this measurement is, but till today it is one of the best available barometer for measuring social influence.
The methodology used by Klout is focused primarily on measuring how influential you are in your social networks.When you share, like, retweet in your social networks, you influence people. The more engaged your actions are, the more influential you become. The analysis of your social influence is presented as a score between 1 and 100, the higher the score the more influential you become. Since your action changes, so does your score. Klout defines Influence as the ability to derive action. Which means that the spread of your network is less important than the depth. Keeping your audience engaged is the key. For Klout to give you a score, you must be able to add your networks to Klout. Now here is a catch, if you are most influential in a network which is beyond Klout’s measure then your influence in that network does not influence your Klout score . 🙂

The score generated is on a 90 day rolling period with higher weightage given to the later actions. It measures 3  broad parameters:

  • Your true Reach: It is the number of people influenced by you directly or indirectly
  • Your Amplification: It is the depth of influence you have on your audience
  • Your Network: It measures how influential your network is when compounded

So.. What is your Klout score?

Create a profile in http://klout.com/ and check your influence. Do make sure to add all you active network, unless you intend to keep your profiles private. Please go through the data policy though before you create a profile

It is of utmost importance for any organisation to keep two of its primary stakeholders happy. It is rightly said, that employees are the primary proponents of your organisation, hence selling your vision/mission to them and ensuring that they believe in the motto of the organisation is equally important as ensuring you have a happy and loyal customer base.

The term boundary spanner is used for set of people within your organisation who interact with the external environment. With social media gaining momentum, it makes the boundary spanners rather more relevant. So the larger the exposed surface of your organisation , your social message permeates deeper. Considering this, one of the primal strategy of an organisation planning to go digital, is to move as many people into the category of boundary spanners. Here is the difference between a large corporation and small start-up. The difference between a smaller organisation and large matured organisation is the percentage of people who are actually spanning the boundary. Take for example a start-up with less than 20 employees working for different departments, all of them strive to ensure that all customers, across channels, are attended to and the brand message propagates through the right target. On the contrary a large matured organisation has its human resources divided into silos  and keeping the brand alive becomes the prerogative of the marketing function.

With the strengths of social media, it becomes increasingly important that the curators are from all areas and not just marketing. So instead of having a social media marketing strategy, more and more organisations should strive towards having a social organisation strategy.  Having representatives from all areas, for a large organisation,  is like going back to the start-up days where you have high percentage of people in the organisation spanning the boundary and interacting with the customers. This comes with a risk. The strategic objectives of marketing campaigns run through the social medium need not be so clear in the minds of all employees sans of course the marketing department itself. So, while many of your employees can participate in such campaigns, not all can curate or drive them. So as a first check, your social campaign should be run within the organisation. This has 2 distinct advantages, firstly you get a broad idea on how your campaign will fair, secondly it becomes easy to spot those curators and present to them the strategic objectives of your campaign. Next, the boundary spanners shoulder the responsibility of converting more employees and customers as carriers of your message. The more, the better.

Lastly, one must keep in mind that the channels in the medium, unlike other marketing channels is not distinctly containable. Your campaign can choose a channel, but the message may find its way through to another channel, just by the click of a “like” or  “+1” button.

So marketing through the social medium although is the accountability of the marketing function, yet the responsibility lies with every individual in the organisation to build the social enterprise. The first step, of course, is the intent of the organisation itself.