Monthly Archives: June 2011

Why My Klout Score Will Not Likely Exceed 75

In my investigation of Klout and it’s scoring algorithm, as well as watching videos of Megan Berry, Klout’s Marketing Manager, explain the technology, I believe my Klout score is likely to remain where it is. I have seen the improvements with their systems and how they affect my score, combined with how my sustained and consistent activity creates an impact as well.

There are many factors that go into their scoring algorithm that in my opinion provides the best measurement of someone’s social influence on various topics. Think Google’s search algorithm and the complexities that it addresses and carry that over to the social media space and I think you will get the idea of the variables involved. It is highly complex and is taking a lot into consideration, then uses that data collection to establish a baseline for a scoring matrix.

My investigation has determined that at some level the amount of engagement you receive from those with higher Klout scores than you is a significant factor in your score improvement over time. Since I am one that does not follow celebrities, nor do I engage with industry “guru’s or #fauxperts“, this will peg my score at a consistent level based on the activity I am currently doing. I am also perfectly comfortable with my level of activity, engagement and the results we achieve based on those levels.

I for one have never changed what I do for my social media marketing in order to influence my score. Most of the people I know personally that have higher scores are also those realizing ROI and effective social media campaigns. I will share with you some of what I do as a part of my social media management that makes me effective, resulting in the success and Klout score I have.

Content is king:

Everything in social media starts with content. Sharing valuable, relevant content for your target audience is THE most important thing. You must be consistent at this practice, maintaining a constant stream of value. Additionally, you need to post about YOU, what you are doing and add the human element into your presence.  Valuable content breeds conversation, which results in relationship.

Related to effectiveness, your content must create engagement. Likes, comments, Retweets and sharing is what you are looking for and is a significant part of what Klout measures. Make people laugh, post things that spark action and involvement. This is the social part of social media. Oddly enough it is also the social part of the real world as well. It’s how we typically get to know people when we first meet them.

I am very comfortable knowing that my consistent, relevant content coupled with my engaging and helpful spirit will keep my Klout score roughly where it is today. I hope this post helps you to increase your effective social media marketing that produces financial gains and a Klout score that reflects that hard work!

Robert M. Caruso
@fondalo
Founder/CEO – Bundle Post

18 Comments

Filed under Klout, Social content management, Social Media, Social Media Content, Social Media Management, Social Media Marketing, Social Media ROI, Uncategorized

Social Media Is Not A Toy, But Maybe It Should Be…

Most of you know that when it comes to Social Media, I am one serious guy. I mean, I take the medium very seriously, though I am not opposed to a laugh and having fun within it. But a toy??? Yes! Not only A toy, but thousands and millions of toys!

I received a friend request on Facebook and was followed on Twitter by someone I had never met.  As always I do at least a cursory review of their info before approving or following back. A few weeks later, I received a Facebook message from them explaining what they do and asking for a quick coffee meeting. Being in meetings during the communication, I requested they just call me in the following 30 minutes. I had no idea what It was in for…

The young man called and explained that he was the Executive Director of a charity that found me on Google while searching for the top Social Media people in the Pacific Northwest. Since I was right in their backyard (Portland, Oregon) he decided to contact me. He proceeded to explain that their charity was growing and knew they needed to be in social media, but wasn’t sure where or what to do. He asked if he could buy me coffee and get some guidance on social media.  Of course I agreed.

Let’s cut to the chase here. The bottom line is that I was so impressed with Metro Toy Drive, this young man and what they had accomplished, I offered to jump in. Not only just jump in, but was asked to join the team to lead the social media efforts that are expanding the charity to the West Coast this year and beyond over the next few years.

With local, regional and national corporate partners, Metro Toy Drive is postitioned incredibly well to serve millions of under served children. Not just during the holiday season, but birthdays, back to school, a midst tragedy and so forth. This story represents everything that is amazing and good about social media marketing, content and connections, helping others and making a difference!

So, I ask you to please review the following press release that is sure to get you excited, then share this post and visit the Metro Toy Drive Twitter and Facebook pages to follow, like and the website to get involved and make a difference in the lives of kids year round!

The Press Release is below!

—————————————————————————————————————————————————

For Immediate Release

Contact: Huy Nguyen, Executive Director
Mobile: 503-791-9376
Email: huy – a-t – metrotoydrive-dot-com 

Metro Toy Drive Names Social Media Officer

June 27, 2011, Portland, OregonMetro Toy Drive announces the naming of Robert M. Caruso as Social Media Officer, as the organization begins its new social media campaign to expand its reach and support for children to other West Coast cities.

In 2010 Metro Toy Drive, previously known as “Portland Metro Toy Drive”, served the Portland area with the support of many local and national businesses, including coffee purveyor, Starbucks. Through these partnerships and efforts of the charity’s volunteers, 188 regional @Starbucks stores collected over 6,500 toys and books during the holiday season.

“Since our organizational goal is a year-round toy drive to help children and expand to other cities, it’s paramount to execute an effective online and social media strategy with the help of an industry professional who cares about the work we are doing for children.  We are excited that Robert has offered his expertise for the greater good and with a charitable purpose.”  Huy Nguyen, Executive Director of the organization says.

Robert Caruso shared his enthusiasm, “When Huy and Metro Toy Drive contacted me about what they are doing, there was no way I could not jump in and help. I was overwhelmed by the need and excited about how much they had accomplished with little resources. It was an honor to join the team and help build a solid social presence that highlights the massive year round hole that needs to be filled and how individuals and corporations can join this amazing cause.”

This year, Metro Toy Drive is partnering with additional corporations, local businesses and Starbucks Coffee to not only serve the Portland Metro area again, but expand across the western states, first toward Seattle and eventually through Southern California.

About Metro Toy Drive:

Metro Toy Drive is now a National charity that focuses on reaching the thousands of underserved children, year round, that government agencies miss.  The charity is focused on helping children beyond the Christmas Holiday to birthdays, medical situations and family loss, through cash and toy donations from individuals and corporate sponsors.

Follow Metro Toy Drive on Facebook & Twitter @MetroToyDrive or visit the blog, MetroToyDrive.com

About Robert M. Caruso:

Robert is an internationally recognized social media blogger, speaker and strategist. He is also the founder and CEO of Social Resolve LLC, based out of the Portland metro area, a social media technology firm and developer of www.BundlePost.com, the first social media content management system.

Robert can be reached at @fondalo @BundlePost or through The Metro Toy Drive.

6 Comments

Filed under Google, Social Media, Social Media Content, Social Media Marketing, Twitter, Uncategorized

The Future of Social Media is NOT Networks, But Relationship Management

Remember just a few years ago when Twitter and Facebook were really rising to the top and getting market acceptance in a broader way? Soon thereafter we started hearing about hundreds of new social networks popping up left and right. Those were directly competing with the two big boys for the non-business user.  Remember any?  Probably not too many. Most are gone now.

The next trend were the specialized social networks. You know, the “friends of cats” and the “over 90 year olds” niche platforms. The latest in this space are the “child social networks”, which in and of itself is somewhat horrifying and problematic. Unless you go to cat shows or hang out in the nursing home digital bridge game sites, none of these niche networks are probably top of mind for you, or more importantly the media.

Social CRM - The future of social media marketingThe Facebook and Twitter social phenomena crossed the divide to main stream to the point that major media post their social icons during every broadcast and fortune 500′s no longer even include their website address on commercials. This among hundreds of other situations have converged to make social media the norm, not the exception. Like many of you reading this post, I am very excited this has been the result.

Most professionals in the space are using various management tools, like HootSuite, TweetDeck, Bundle Post and a stream of others, to manage all of their accounts. The efficiency these tools deliver are no longer a good idea, but rather a must. Beyond Social Media Management there is something missing…

What is the future of social media, social media marketing and management? The LAST thing we need is yet another broad social network! In order for social media to move to the next level an easy to use and setup Social CRM (customer relationship) Management system is needed.  And BAD!

We’ve made all these connections on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, but there is yet a way for the average business or individual to have a place to merge people into single contact records to better manage these relationships. Yes, I know there are many solutions out there that purport to do this, however outside of the (unmentioned) big boys with expensive platforms, nobody has filled this gap. This is the holy grail of social media marketing that will not only skyrocket B2B social media use and effectiveness, but done properly will take B2C social media to the ultimate level.

Robert M. Caruso
@fondalo
Founder/CEO – Bundle Post

8 Comments

Filed under Facebook, Hootsuite, Social content management, Social CRM, Social Media, Social Media Management, Social Media Marketing, Social Media ROI, TweetDeck, Twitter, Uncategorized

Should I Comment Before or After The RT Text Of A Post?

I am asked frequently how you are supposed to handle ReTweets, Replies or Reply All on Twitter.  Do you comment before or after the post? Should you comment at the beginning of a RT or at the end? What about when replying all?

Let me start off by saying that there is no RIGHT or WRONG way here. There is no required standard or specific accepted etiquette to follow.  My goal here is to share what I do and the reasons why. Most will be preference or visually motivated. Let’s get started.

ReTweet:

Whenever I RT a post on Twitter, I always put my comments at the beginning of the post. It’s my humble opinion that since I am RT’ing someone’s post and thereby will appear in their mentions, it should be easy for them to tell I am commenting. Additionally, I want my followers to see my comments in the post first, so it is clear I think it is a good article or information.

Reply:

When I @ mention/reply to a single person I typically enter my comments AFTER their name in the post.  This seems to get their attention easily and highlight to my other followers the person I am speaking with in a good way.

Reply All: 

Just as with the Reply function, I typically enter my comments at the end of the list of people I am mentioning in the post.  As a HootSuite user, it automatically places my cursor in this location, making it quick and easy to do so.

I hope these little tips are helpful for you and clarify some ways to use Replies and ReTweets more effectively.

Robert M. Caruso
@fondalo
Founder/CEO – Bundle Post

22 Comments

Filed under Hootsuite, Retweet, Social Media, Social Media Content, Social Media Management, Social Media Marketing, Twitter, Uncategorized

Don’t Auto-Connect Your Twitter and Facebook Social Media Accounts

Just like in real life social events require certain attire, behavior and social graces are expected, so goes social media sites. Shorts and tank tops are perfectly expected on the family camping trip, as well as all the laughing, beer and casual atmosphere that goes along with it. Try the same outfit and behavior at a networking event or corporate board meeting and you will likely get a very different reception. Understanding the differences between Facebook and Twitter and dealing with them in the appropriate social manner is extremely important!

Recently I have noticed a lot of my personal profile Facebook connections have connected their Twitter and Facebook accounts so that whatever they post on Twitter, automatically posts on their Facebook wall. This is highly problematic, especially if you are using social media for business. The two platforms have very different cultures and norms that beg different approaches to be effective.

Twitter:

The Twitter platform is far more informal. It’s design automatically generates a higher volume of posting due to the fact that you can follow anyone you like, without the required approval as with Facebook. The shorter, non-visual aspect of Twitter, also prompts more back and forth communication, resulting in a much higher volume of updates.

I liken Twitter to the big commercial fishing boat with huge nets behind it.

Facebook:

Facebook is far more intimate. I often explain it to people as being your living room. Have you ever been to lunch or gone to a new friends home for dinner and had them talk about themselves and/or what they like or do the entire time? How eager were you to go back to their home or get together over dinner again? Exactly!

To be effective, Facebook requires a slightly more personal approach and FAR LESS volume of updates! A good measurement tool I have discovered is to watch likes and comments. If your Facebook updates are getting a very low Like or comment rate, there are typically one of three reasons:

1) You post so much nobody is paying attention anymore due to annoyance.

2) The content or updates you are posting suck.

3) Your friends are not really friends, or you have friended the wrong audience.

The bottom line is, I highly recommend you understand the differences between the two platforms and for Pete’s sake, don’t auto-connect the two!!!

Robert M. Caruso
@fondalo
Founder/CEO – Bundle Post

42 Comments

Filed under Facebook, Social content management, Social Media, social media automation, Social Media Content, Social Media Management, Social Media Marketing, Twitter, Uncategorized

Klout Perks – Going Beyond the Social Media Checkin

As most of you know I am heavily involved in most things in social media. I was an early adopter of Foursquare, HootSuite and Klout. I am constantly checking in when I am out and about and love how it fosters discussions. Due to how often I discuss coffee and/or am meeting at Starbucks, I even made Brian Solis’ blog post about “the top 100 most connected people within the group mentioning Starbucks” back in February. Check out number 90. :-)

The fact that I discuss coffee and Starbucks so frequently has resulted in being constantly jabbed by friends and followers. It has also become an incredible connection point to build closer relationships with many people simply because we have this love in common. This common connection leads to conversation, which leads to relationships, which leads to discussing business. This is social media at its core.

This weekend after church, I took the kids to Subway. As usual I checked in on Foursquare, which pushes my checkins out to Facebook and Twitter automatically. This started some fun conversations both on Facebook and Twitter as it often does. But something carried over to the next morning, that I found incredibly powerful and I thought it should be shared with you.

Monday morning Klout sent me a tweet from their @KloutPerks account. (See pic to the left) What do you think the chances of me getting a “Perk” for Subway, the day AFTER I recently visited? Slim to none in my opinion. Clearly Klout is doing something incredibly smart and effective, that transcends the social media check-in marketing we are all familiar with.

By having access to my Twitter account when I signed up for Klout, and using their algorithm to analyze my posts and content, they are able to discern the topics I am influential about. More importantly, they are also able to track various places I check-in to, my social media content, as well as brands I tweet about, then use this data to provide promotions for brands. The ability for a brand to target influencers based on their interest in a brand AND also tie their follower counts and Klout score into that data is beyond brilliant. Major brands can generate buzz through those people who can generate the largest reach and reward them for doing so.

This not only represents an incredible tool for larger brands, but a very interesting additional revenue model for Klout. I believe we will continue to see more of this from Klout as it is a far more effective marketing solution over the standard location-based coupon scenario.

Robert M. Caruso
@fondalo
Founder/CEO – Bundle Post

16 Comments

Filed under check-in, Facebook, geolocation, Hootsuite, Klout, location based services, Mobile, Social content management, Social Media, Social Media Content, Social Media Management, Social Media Marketing, Twitter, Uncategorized

Smart Phones – Crucial to Your Social Media Success

We can all agree that timing is important in most things business related. We also know that in today’s business climate, the Internet speeds everything up, somewhere close to the speed of light. Add social media into the mix and well, let’s just say that “beam me up Scotty” has a whole new meaning. Am I right?

Remember the email age of the internet? How sometimes it would take a week or more to hear back from someone? What about the friends that still take a week to text you back about something? It’s nearly impossible to build relationships with these kind of people. Lightening fast real-time communication within the social graph is imperative.

I had this article title on my list to write for some time. However, I recently had two situations that brought it to the forefront of my mind. One had to do with a brand account on Twitter that took so long to respond to a collaboration suggestion I made that I couldn’t even remember what I had in mind. Another was on a personal relationship level. The lack and delay of response has caused me to draw back and stop pursuing a relationship.

The point is pretty simple. Social media marketing is not a nine to five, Monday through Friday kind of thing. It requires much more than that to be effective. It is crucial that you have either an Android or dare I say an iPhone, with apps that keep you connected. Responding to Twitter mentions, Facebook comments or any other engagement points, when the conversation is active is terribly important. In fact, your social media ROI depends on it.

Things to consider:

1) Social Media is 24/7 – Though nobody can be awake and connected all the time, being away from your computer is no excuse to stop engaging.

2) The BlackBerry – Yes, I purposefully did not include the BlackBerry in this post. My experience as a previous long-time BB user is that the apps just aren’t stable and will not allow you to be effective. I recommend Android for many reasons I won’t get into here.

3) Monitoring – Your mobile social media apps enable you to monitor your (and your clients) accounts. Monitoring the conversations are every bit as important as responding and engaging in them.

I know some of you are reading this and saying to yourself, there is no way I want to manage content, engage and be attached to social media that often. My response to you is either you are an enthusiast, not using social media for business or you are fooling yourself and still don’t understand the medium. Either way, your effectiveness and relationships will suffer, or at least evolve much slower. Social media management is real-time, all the time…

Robert M. Caruso
@fondalo
Founder/CEO – Bundle Post

4 Comments

Filed under Facebook, Mobile, Smart Phone, Social content management, Social Media, Social Media Content, Social Media Management, Social Media Marketing, Social Media ROI, Twitter, Uncategorized

Social Media Business Creates New Family Connections

A true social media story that resulted in new family members added to my life.

The background to an amazing story:

As some of you know, not too long ago my two year old little baby boy was having trouble sleeping after my divorce. As usual I share things going on in my life with my social connections, as I believe it displays my human reality and helps build connections and deeper relationships.

At the same time this was going on with my little guy, I was also doing 18+ hour days preparing for the launch of our technology.  These combined scenarios left me with very little sleep. Like clock work, every time I called it a night at 2 or 3 am in the morning and just fell asleep, my baby boy would wake up and the cycle would start all over again.

The story itself:

So what’s the point in all of this you ask? Well, let me answer that with a question.  How many of you can say you have a Twitter Mom? Some wonderful woman that always checks in on you, making sure you are ok, that the kids are fine, that you are eating, dating and getting rest? During this difficult transition time for my kids and to this day, I have been adopted by the marvelous @MegCarver.

Not that she was the only one that showed encouragement and support regarding my kids, but my Twitter mom went above and beyond. To this day Meg will comment on my posts, make sure I am getting FIVE servings of fruits and vegetables per day and ensure I am raising my two wonderful kids correctly. We are connected on Facebook, we Skype often and even talk on the phone.

Call me crazy, but this doesn’t happen too often…

The update to the story:

This week my Twitter Mom and her daughter were in the Pacific Northwest. Coming from Ohio, they were here to review the college where Meg’s (other) child will be going to school in the fall. We connected and made arrangements to get together for lunch and they drove to Portland. We met, ate, laughed and spent the afternoon together. A truly amazing experience.

The important lesson of the story:

When you are real and largely transparent, people can tell. Within social media marketing, this opens the door for people to approach you in similar ways they might in the real world. It enables relationships to be established and trust to be developed.

Not only is @MegCarver a client of our BundlePost technology due to the relationship we have developed, but I am honored to have another Mom and sister.

Robert M. Caruso
@fondalo
Founder/CEO – Bundle Post

21 Comments

Filed under Facebook, Social Media, Social Media Content, Social Media Management, Social Media Marketing, Twitter, Uncategorized

Why Content is SO Important in Social Media

Within the social graph, content is everything. Text, posts, videos, blogs, pictures, etc are the currency we use to start conversations, provide value to others and maintain relationships. Everything in social media starts from content and much of the time it also ends there as well.

The most successful people I know in any industry have one thing in common. They are consistent…  Social Media is really no different. You must be consistent with everything you do. Providing relevant, interesting and valuable content on a consistent basis is the foundation of an effective social campaign.

Posting and sharing or retweeting content is at the core of what we do in social media and social media marketing. Whether it is something you wrote, photographed or video you shot, -or- similar content you post for your friends, followers and fans it matters. Posting consistent content on focused subjects can also positively effect your Klout topics and ultimately your score.

An example of this fact is the recent incident with the lovely Rep. Anthony Weiner. He shared some content that really created a buzz.

You can't make this up...

Or what about this gem I shared on Facebook from Russel Williams. How many comments and connections do you think were made through this incredible content.  You just can’t make this stuff up!  The comments, RT’s and discussions this photo created on my Twitter account was amazing as well.

But seriously, social media content is extremely important and needs you consistent attention. Here are some suggestions to consider in your daily social media efforts:

1) Be consistent – both in the quality and quantity of the articles and content you post.

2) Value is key – be sure the majority of the content you are posting will be valuable and helpful to your audience.

3) Funny – The most shared and commented on content within the social graph is clearly humorous. When you laugh with people, you create connections and relationships that transcend the average. Don’t be afraid to have fun and be silly. This makes you human and people can relate to you.

4) Create your own content – in addition to sharing other people’s content, create your own. Blog posts, photo’s, videos and simple text posts. Make sure it follows the previous 3 suggestions above to be the most effective.

So remember that though engaging, connecting and building relationships are crucial components, it all starts with social media content!

Robert M. Caruso
Founder/CEO – Bundle Post

12 Comments

Filed under Facebook, Hootsuite, Klout, Social content management, Social Media, Social Media Content, Social Media Management, Social Media Marketing, Social Media ROI, Twitter, Uncategorized

3 Reasons Why @Klout Matters In Your Social Media Success

Is there anything perfect in this world? Not so much. We know nothing is perfect within social media either, however good enough sometimes has a role in how we do things in life and business. In my humble opinion, Klout is a good example of this.

Your Klout score mattersSince social media took off, the measure of how well one was doing was often judged by number of fans, followers and friends, outside of limited click tracking and assumed ROI metrics. These are all good, but there was nothing that really measured how social a person or brand really was. How well they were engaging with their audience or leading on various topics.

Though I have no dog in this hunt (I am not an investor in Klout nor am I being paid for my views), I do believe that their technology fills an important gap within the social graph. Perfect, no. Evolving relevance to everyone, I think yes.

Here are three reasons what Klout and your Klout score should matter to you and others you connect with:

1) The most accepted and integrated measurement tool available.  It’s integrated into HootSuite and various other tools already and will only continue to be adopted as the default measurement.

2) It combines someone’s Twitter, Facebook and soon Linkedin Presence to establish their score. This alone is an exceptional advantage. Crossing both of the major platforms and combining the data separates the tinkerers from the real social media players.

3) It gives people an “IDEA” of how active and relevant you are, and the social content topics you most cover. I check most of my new followers Klout score in HootSuite.  I check everyone’s bio that engages with me, including their Klout score. It gives me a very good idea of who they are and how they use their social media account. It does influence how I engage with them as well.

My recommendations:

DO: Keep an eye on your score. More importantly the details surrounding your score to get an idea of where you are doing well and how you can improve. Engage, share and build relationships. This will not only improve your score, but most importantly, your social media effectiveness.

DON’T: Manage your social media marketing efforts based on your Klout score. Like anything, you can find behaviors that may improve your score, but will not improve your social media effectiveness. So don’t do it!

Again, nothing is perfect, we all know this. But be aware that Klout will not be going away and you need to understand the technology and take steps to utlize it in your daily activities if you truly want to make social media marketing effective.

Robert M. Caruso
Founder/CEO – Bundle Post

24 Comments

Filed under Facebook, Hootsuite, Klout, Social content management, Social Media Content, Social Media Management, Social Media Marketing, Social Media ROI, Twitter, Uncategorized