Is There a Social Media Pecking Order?

By on July 18, 2011

The world is once again up in arms over new sites that have been launched, that measure your social influence online. Thought you were quite popular? Think again. Of course there is a social media pecking order! New sites like Klout and Tweet Grader are just making it more transparent – which if you remember – is the entire point of social media. Let’s investigate.

Rating influencers is new, it’s hot and it’s happening right now, to you and everyone you know – that has a Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn profile. A strange site that judges you based on numbers was always bound to leave a trail of broken marketers behind it. But the honest truth is that these influence raters are right, most of the time.

Unless you choose to keep your community small. Or you have a conservative social media strategy. Or you made the mistake of skipping a week, because you were on a business trip. The technology does tend to tie you to each social site. It doesn’t account for the fact that most businesses can’t afford to be on social media for 5 hours a day.

What it will do, is tell you who you are to the people around you, and how you should improve on that.

The Competition is On

If there’s one thing we’ve learnt from history, it’s that telling someone they aren’t as good as they think they are, has one of two effects. Either they quit, or they spend a disproportionate amount of time trying to become better at something that doesn’t really matter. The rules are simple – the more interaction, the higher your score.

As a marketer you’ll need to figure out what sort of influencer you want to be. Every single business needs to have a solid presence on social media, and should be viewed by their audience as experts. It’s hard to be seen that way when Klout says you’re not an influencer at all. That’s why social media strategists all over the world have something new to aspire to.

And you can’t ignore it either. These rating sites will tell everyone exactly who you are, whether you like it or not. Your only option is to dive into the social media world, and work at raising your high score as soon as possible. This isn’t very surprising – it was always going to end up this way. Rating influence is fairly accurate, and is beneficial to the reader.

The Future is All About Influence

It’s also going to make a lot more sense as social media grows, and every business has a full time social media strategist working on their profile pages. Believe us, you want to have a high score. Those marketers that do will be able to get products and services at a discounted rate, according to their score.

You’ll be able to offer your most interactive readers free stuff, if they do the same on your pages. It’s win-win. So stop complaining, find out what your score is – and start improving it now.

Do you think the rating system is fair? Tell us your story below!

About John Souza

John Souza is founder and chief strategist of SMMU and Social Media Impact, and is a bestselling business author. He won the 2011 Tech Marketing Awards ‘Social Media Marketer of the Year’ and most recently the About.com Reader’s Choice Award for Best Online Education Site. John has appeared on The Michael Gerber Show, and his business has been honored at the Mashable Awards, Forbes Business Awards and The Stevie Awards.
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