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Google+ Hangout Influencer

 

Is an online influencer someone that gets you to do something or to do something differently?

 

This is not my area of expertise which is why I refer to people like the following to enlighten me:

Mark Schaefer -  Return On Influence: The Revolutionary Power of Klout, Social Scoring, and Influence Marketing (affiliate)

Jure KlepicParadox of Online Influence (one of many great articles on the subject)

and

Daniel HebertWho is an Influencer? An Ongoing Debate Daniel is co- founder of Steamfeed.com and also works at, InNetworks as their Influencer Relationship Manager

 

Each has a different spin on what an influencer is and how to measure influence.

I encourage you to check out their writings. Mark’s book is an examination of online influence scorers and the impact they have on marketing and the workplace.

 

Jure, on the other hand, has a bone to pick about how these “scorers” such as KLOUT and KRED define influence.

In short, he says their measurement system is flawed because they’re measuring the the wrong thing.

They define influence as the ability for someone to drive actions as opposed to change behaviours.

 

I was very pleased this week to have Daniel Hebert join us for our weekly Google+ Lunch Hangout (for subscribers to my G+ Tips Newsletter) where coincidently, the topic of the day was “Influence”.

I wanted to get a sense of how people in general feel about the issue.

Do they even think about it?

 

What is an Influencer?

Daniel defines influence as:

Influence is the art of creating action. In the case of social media, this could be creating action personally, or on behalf of a brand.

Does this mean an influencer is someone who can persuade you to share, “like” or retweet their content?

This is pretty much how KLOUT measures influence.

 

When influence is taken “offline” does the definition change?

Is it the ability to change “behaviour” as Jure suggest?

Maybe the definition of influence changes depending on the context – digital verses in real life (IRL), Facebook “friend” versus real friend.

 

As a kid, I was influenced by my parents, my teacher and my peers.

They were personal influencers who definitely had an impact on my behaviour.

Unless you knew them personally, there’d be little chance that they’d have any influence over you. 

 

My York University Canadian History & Culture Prof., Paul Kennedy may though.

He has his own radio program, Ideas and is well known among the CBC, NPR literati.

So, if I introduce you to him online and he then recommends you attend a lecture series, you just might because we’re friends and you trust me. And he has the social proof to give you confidence in his expertise.

 

Mentors change my behaviour, they’re people I look up to.

That’s why I subscribe or sign up for their sessions.

Do I consider them influencers? Certainly.

 

Would they be considered so by KLOUT? - If they have a substantial online presence.

I may have retweeted their posts or shared their articles, but until I invested something more than a click of my mouse, they have little affect on my life choices.

Online influencers can motivate you to do something, real influencers motivate you to become something. 

I wrote a post a couple of years ago which asked the question: Does Klout have Clout?

Not a lot has changed since then.

For better or worse, brands do put a value on your KLOUT score.

Is their standard for online influence more “bitcoin” than gold?

 

Here’s a few influencers that I shared on my Hangout…

Online Influencers

 Twitter:     Mark Schaefer    @markwschaefer

Blogging:   Stanford Smith   @pushingsocial

Facebook:   Keri Jaehnig       @kerijaehnig

LinkedIn:    Viveka vonRosen @LinkedInExpert

Google+:    Strategy connecting:  Martin Shervington

                 Hangouts / YouTube: Ronnie Bincer

                 SEO/Authorship:        Mark Traphagen

Who are some of yours?

Update: Daniel kindly clarified his position on “influence”. It’s included in his comment below but I want to be sure you see it so am reproducing it here:

The art of creating action doesn’t stop at retweets and likes – comments, signing up for newsletters, entering a giveaway, downloading a file, buying a product, writing a follow-up response, etc., are all actions that Klout cannot measure, but are definitely part of influence. Action and behaviour tend to go closely together when it comes to online influence. Perhaps my definition should be changed to “Influence is the art of creating action, or changing behaviour…”


About Ray Hiltz

Ray Hiltz is a Google Plus Specialist and Social Media Strategist helping small businesses establish their brands and build their communities on the social web. A strong proponent for the power of collaborative communication and "humanized" digital networking, Ray writes about social media, social business and Google Plus. His clients include hotels, restaurants, consulting firms, entrepreneurs, writers and individuals just trying to make sense of "social". Ray is a popular speaker on Social Media, Social Business and Google+.