Tag Archives: Klout

Part 2 – 18 Amateur Social Media Marketing Mistakes To Avoid

More Amateur social media mistakes to avoidIn Part 1 of our series on Amateur Social Media Marketing fails, we covered some of the more common mistakes we see on a daily basis. We are continuing our series with an additional nine mistakes that you really should avoid.

Again, we want to reiterate that this post is specifically for those that are using social media for marketing. We also want to restate that there are no steadfast rules to social media marketing, just best practices.

Everything in this post is designed to educate you on things that you may want to avoid and provide you with the details as to why.


Here are the 9 additional amateur social media fails:

10) Inviting Followers to Connect Somewhere Else – Someone walks into your store and someone on your staff tells them, “hey, it would be great if you went to our OTHER location on 5th street.”  How well do you think that will go over with your customer? If you wouldn’t do it real life, don’t do it in social media.

Your new connection has connected with you where THEY wanted to. Make the connection valuable and interesting enough for them to WANT to visit your other connection points.

11) Not Following Others – You’re so cool that you don’t care about anyone else but yourself? #FAIL When I see a social account that has thousands of followers/friends, yet follows very few of them back, I run!

There are typically only three reasons that they do this:

a) They’ve purchased friends/followers/likes to appear important.

b) They think they are really important and it’s all about them. (they don’t care about anyone else)

c) They have no clue about social media marketing -or- relationships.

12) Mass Event Invites – So you have a new event and you want everyone to be there so you click to invite people on your friends list. STOP! It is more than acceptable to invite people to your event that you have a relationship with and/or are in the city/state of the event you are promoting, but mass inviting your entire “friends” list is a huge fail.

Would you send invitations to everyone in your address book to a local Christmas party you are holding at your home?  If you answered yes, we really need to talk…

13) Cold Facebook Page Invites – Nearly identical fail to number twelve is mass inviting people to you or your clients Facebook page. If we had a dollar for every time we had been invited to like a page for a company that is thousands of miles away from us, about a product or topic we have no interest in, or from a person that has never engaged with us in any way, we would be driving a Bentley.

Build relationships first and earn the right to pitch what you do, your other social properties and events, etc. – And for the love of everything that is Holy, target your invites to people who are geographically or demographically appropriate! (*takes deep breath)

14) Cold Group/Community Invites – Groups and communities are great for some people and niche topics, but remember that many others don’t think so. Before you invite someone to your group or community, be sure they want to be in it. Recognize that the notifications and noise that many groups generate are much more than individuals want every day. It’s not about YOU!

Build relationships with people you would like in your group and ask them if they’d like to join. Randomly inviting people to your group is such bad form and annoying to most. You’re showing your newbie again.

15) Falling Asleep – Ok, not literally, but figuratively. The best way to kill your social media engagement is to not respond when mentioned. On the same note, the slower you DO respond, the less effective you are going to be.

16) TrueTwit Validation – Probably one of the biggest Twitter newbie fails is TrueTwit. Imagine starting out a relationship with a new connection telling them that you don’t trust them and you are also too lazy to look at their bio to determine if they’re real or not. THAT’s what you are doing by using the TrueTwit app.

Read more on the fail that is TrueTwit click here

17) Klout Focused – So you got Klout game? So what… We suggest that you spend far less time focusing on your Klout score (which can easily be gamed and has no relevance to your social media marketing skill, ability or results) and focus your time on actually getting real results.

Because you have a number that makes you feel important, does not change your pocketbook. Focus on real results and the things that you should be doing to get them.

18) Cluster Posting – Since social media marketing is not your “real focus” and you’re awful busy, posting 22 pictures in a row on Instagram every morning, 14 Twitter posts that same hour and 8 Facebook posts that afternoon makes sense. At least you got your required number of posts done today, right? Not so fast.

Cluster posting as we like to call it is kind of like the person at the dinner party that never shuts up, takes over every conversation and makes everything about them. Don’t be that person. Spread your posts out across the entire day, every day. Do it consciously, with intent. You’ll lose less connections, frustrate fewer people and most importantly get way better results!

Wrapping It Up

You really need to understand the why surrounding what you are doing in your social media marketing, not just the what. Understand the effect your activity has on your connections and the things you should really avoid doing. If you are just doing something because you saw someone else do it can be a recipe for disaster.

Did you miss Part 1? Read it Here

What stood out to you in this series? Is there anything you disagree with?



Filed under Engagement, FAIL, Followers, influence, Marketing, Relationship, Results, Social Media, Social Media Marketing, Social Selling, Strategy, Twitter, Uncategorized

How Social Media Actions Within Relationships Build Trust

There seems to be a new round of social scoring and now “trust” based sites that purport to either determine a persons social influence or business trustworthiness. As if we did not have enough of these sites already, it seems every geek that can code is trying to jump into social media software to try to get a piece of the pie in this ever-growing industry.

Seeming to coincide with this new rush of social media influence and trust score platforms are some bloggers telling people to shut up about them. Not to stop talking about them because they are tired of it, but telling people like me that are highly skeptical of such services ability to accurately measure social and e-commerce influence and trust into a score to shut up. Really?

“Actions Within Relationships Build Trust, not easily manipulated false scores.” #quote

  • Actions that result in trust with your online community are what is important.
  • Real results, actions and revenue are the measurement of trust and value you deliver to your community.
  • Relationships that go beyond conversations with your peers is what truly measures your successful social media marketing.
  • The right social relationships that are earned through proper actions will result in something well beyond an inaccurate score, something that imparts monetary value to both you AND your community.

I was approached a couple of times recently regarding a newer social scoring site. One conversation went something like “I think u would want to because #TrustCloud is like your online credit score. They evaluate profiles & give u a score.” To which I replied, “No algorithm can do that. A credit score is based on your payment history. These social scores can easily be manipulated.”

So let me be very clear. I will not shut up about easily manipulated social media influence scoring sites like Klout, Kred and the like. I will continue to preach real results and help guide my audience to things that will help them achieve those results in their social media marketing efforts. I will continue to battle against all efforts by those people in this industry that have high scores, but no real results to show for it.

Dare I say that ROI matters? You need a return on your investment of time and resources from your social media management that goes beyond your ego and the perception others have of you because of your score!

If your social media marketing success story is about your book, seminars and speaking revenue covering the social media industry, that does not qualify you to preach the validity of scores to a restaurant, entrepreneur or brand. Having done social media marketing successfully for one does. I can and have “gamed” these scoring platforms to get my score to increase. Doing so has always resulted in a reduction in “real” effectiveness and results.

Focus on your actions within your social relationships, so your social media marketing achieves a clearly defined goal, not a high Klout score that doesn’t buy groceries!


Filed under Community, influence, Klout, Marketing, Relationship, Social Media, Social Media Marketing, Social Media ROI, Strategy

Social Media Is Becoming A Pressure Cooker That’s About To Explode

The social media industry is nothing like anything we’ve ever seen online before. Outside of high school and Hollywood, nothing else can compare to the pressures associated with “being popular.” This unique element affects speakers, authors, social media agencies and even the person looking for work. Between Klout scores and the size of your community of likes and followers, the pressures have become daunting for some. For the many who make their living in or around the social media industry, the pressure to be or at least appear to be an expert, the best, or just a player is reaching a boiling point.

An industry friend of mine started pushing me to write about this after reading my recent posts about industry experts, etc. She said “I really would love to see you do a post about the nature of the industry and how it puts pressure on people embrace these misleading/unethical practices in order to be competitive.” I promised I would and here it is.

Likened to sports, social media is truly competitive. The speaking gigs at conventions, the choice brand contracts as well as consulting  opportunities are all up for grabs. Rightly so, the folks who hire for these opportunities want the best they can get or afford. Those with huge communities, the most influence and recognized names are obvious choices. The pressure to be perceived as one of them is so great that many feel they must resort to performance enhancing drugs, so to speak, à la  Lance Armstrong.

Purchasing followers on twitter, likes for fanpages and gaming Klout to appear more influential is equivalent to athletes using performance enhancing drugs. In social media, the pressure to perform and win can be so great that many are resorting to these tactics in a desperate move to succeed. This goes for beginners wanting to build a name, brands themselves and worse than all else, the social media professional.

Even students fresh out of college looking for their first real career position are feeling the pressure. With misinformed employers making Klout scores a prerequisite for interviews and requesting social media logins and passwords, pressure on the unemployed continues to scale.

So where does it end and where do we go from here? In my humble opinion, the focus must change…

I think the Klout score has damaged this industry immensely. It has added an undefined metric to the game that has captured the focus of most newcomers and simultaneously derailed veterans from what should be important. I talk to so many people everyday in the social graph who are so enamored by my Klout score that they fail to hear me explain its irrelevance. They are so focused on their Klout score that they are spending hours upon hours every week DOING social media, yet have no real results to show for it.

Please hear my next statement:  When I am getting my best results, sales, revenue, click-throughs, software demos, etc., in other words, the things that really matter, or at least should matter, my Klout score declines. When I am not focused, am not doing my best work and am unable to spend the proper time on relationships, my Klout score goes UP! Further proof that Klout is being run by people who do not get social media or how and when it is effective and influential.

Ask yourself this – Do you want a high score that means nothing, or do you want tangible results that you expect from any other marketing medium?

How do we change the focus?

1) Stop focusing on your scores, your community size and your ego. – Provide value, have conversations with your target audience and build relationships that lead to ROI.

2) Stop adding focus on scores and community size. – Stop propping up the fake authors, speakers and “experts” by giving them your Klout, and buying their books, Look deeper to see if they are actually getting real results beyond book sales and speaking. Many are simply celebrities who have robbed the industry and led many astray through their celebrity status.

3) Focus on what is important. – Have a goal and a strategy to achieve it. If you are going to spend 8+ hours per day doing something, you’d better have a plan to show some real results for all that time spent doing it. If you have no real results in terms of clients and revenue, then get a job at McDonald’s instead. Your ego will suffer, but your bank account will do MUCH better.

The pressure to appear influential is off of your shoulders because now you have the knowledge you need to change this. The only pressure you should be experiencing is that of getting real results. And, I might add, when done properly, results are easier to achieve than a fake expertise and there is no risk of getting caught taking performance enhancing drugs.


Filed under Facebook, Fakers, Fanpage, Followers, Marketing, Social Media, Social Media Marketing, Strategy, Twitter

It’s Nearly Impossible To Become A Social Media Professional Part 2

Sitting here this morning working on tomorrow’s blog post for this series and there are so many circumstances I have seen or experienced over the last two months that are flooding through my mind. Trying to organize them in the best way that will add value and examples that can help you is the challenge.

In part two I want to dissect the scenario I reference in the opening post of this series. The new trend on Facebook where people are Image Tagging others. Let me be clear about what I am referring to here. I am not talking about spammers tagging you in the pic of the Nike sneaker we have all experienced. I am not referring to friends tagging you in pics because something is funny or you were at their house. I am not talking about people you engage with all the time and have a relationship with tagging you in pics that are relevant. I am specifically talking about the new trend of certain “social media” marketing types tagging large groups of others they rarely engage with and have virtually no relationship with in order to hijack the other peoples influence on Klout and/or manufacture engagement that has the appearance of effective.

The very next day this entire situation occurred, the same very inexperienced social media marketer who was replicating another name person’s activity of tagging people in images, posted a request for people to give them +K in social media strategy on Klout. Still frustrated, I commented on the Facebook status that maybe they should demonstrate the ability to develop and deploy one properly instead of asking people, and that tagging people in pics is not an effective strategy. They responded by just deleting my comment on the post and ignoring me. What’s more, the very NEXT day shared my part 1 of this series via Triberr, clearly showing they never read it.

Let’s start putting some actionable detail to things you can do to better ensure you are replicating behavior that will get you the results you need. Here are some questions to ask yourself if you are deploying a watch and learn method of social media marketing.

1) Is the person or brand whose activity you are replicating, actually driving the results, revenue and ROI that you need to make your social media marketing effective?

2) Is the person or brand whose activity you are replicating, have Klout scores and followers because they are truly effective the way you need to be or because they are a celebrity or excellent at driving blog traffic?

3) Is the person or brand whose activity you are replicating appropriate for the market you are targeting?

4) Is the person or brand whose activity you are replicating actually going to speak to my target audience, or is it really more effective at connecting me with my peers and/or competitors?

I am not looking to pick a fight with any social media people out there. My intent here is to get social media agencies and marketers that desire results to actually get them and more importantly the results that are inline with their needs and goals.

What are results? Well that depends on the goal and reason for your social media marketing. For some it is revenue and sales, customers or inquiries. For others it may be customer service or tech support. Whatever the goal, be sure that the articles you are reading and the people you are mirroring actually get the results that you are attempting to achieve, rather than just Klout scores and huge followings.

Honestly, Klout scores, topics of influence and large followings are easy to get. Actual results with in a social media marketing program is not! Please remember that…

In the next post I will get into some of the things to look for in people and behavior when learning social media and how to determine whether to listen to what and who you are reading.

Want more?

Part 1

Part 3


Filed under Agency, Followers, Marketing, Social Media, Social Media Marketing, Social Media ROI, Strategy

3 Effective Ways To Use @Klout Everyday

Though I am no fan of “the Klout score” and have written on this extensively. The fact that that self-described scientists and engineers are behind the social influence scoring system and NOT social media professionals, makes the score by default far less that accurate. Further, I am not sure that you can really measure one’s social influence down to a single score.

Having said that, I had originally stopped logging into Klout for sometime after their last score algorithm snafu, however I never did delete my account as many did. I waited a while for the dust to settle and went back in and began to develop some effective uses for their technology outside of my main score. Today I am going to share the three main ways I use Klout daily to improve my social media marketing, messaging, strategy and efficiency.

1) Follow backs on Twitter – Again, though I am not a fan or believer in the Klout score accuracy, I have found that when you get a ton of followers daily (I get between 100-200 new followers every day) it is one of the indicators we look at to determine whether we will follow back or not. Since we do actually look at every new followers bio (at a minimum), we often have to take it further by also reviewing their actual timeline and even Klout score to determine if we are going to follow back. Loosely using the overall score as a measurement of their engagement level, influence or spamming makes quick work of deeper investigation of a follower.

2) Measure content strategy effectiveness – I believe one of the best things about Klout is that it tracks the topics you are influential in. This can be incredibly useful to measure how well you are managing your messaging, conversations and content strategy. If your Klout tracked topics are not inline with your content strategy, messaging and company focus, you need to make some adjustments on your content and conversations to change that. Additionally, if you are not receiving +K from your target market on the proper topics, again you need to make some adjustments.

3) Give +K – One way to more deeply connect with your prospects, customers and influencers is to give them +K on Klout for topics that are important to them and their strategy. I have found this to be as helpful in furthering conversation and building relationships as Follow Friday on Twitter and Likes on Facebook. Remember that your social media marketing should not be about you, but helping and connecting with others.

Again, I am not a Klout fanboy by any stretch. I have simply found ways to use their technology, outside of their main score to make me more effective at social media marketing, relationship building, content strategy and efficiency with follow backs.

Rather than spending time modifying your activity in an attempt to get your Klout score higher than your friends, I highly suggest that you instill some strategy, discipline and good practices that result in return on your investment. Social media marketing is more than content, engagement and relationships. If it is business related, there must be a clear plan, goal and method to deliver value and extract measurable return on investment (ROI). ROI isn’t always or completely measured monetarily, but rather is often a compilation of many metrics that equate to results that are desired. Hopefully monetary measurement is a large factor you are taking into consideration, but not the only one.


Filed under Facebook, Followers, Klout, Relationship, Social Media, Social Media Content, Social Media Marketing, Social Media ROI, Strategy, Twitter

My Klout Experiment And The Disturbing Results

In my professional, humble social media opinion, it is about value, engagement and relationships that lead to ROI, not what someone or something says about how influential you are. Having said that, many of you that read my blogs on social media marketing and Klout know that I have been fairly supportive of the company, it’s business model and their perceived desire to provide a reliable, yet imperfect overall influence score.

Fast forward to just after the recent substantial changes Klout introduced a week ago yesterday and the firestorm of unrest that ensued, I wrote a post that supported the changes and tried to put everything in perspective.  In my article titled “Klout Changes Affect Millions” I state “It’s NOT the number increase or decrease that is important here. What’s important with the score is what that number can tell you and how you can make changes to your activity”. As I watched my score and others in the industry continue to decline for no apparent reason, I also began to watch and compare my Klout data with some major brands to try to gain some insight to share to all of you. I noticed only three significant differences between my @fondalo account and some of these brands, celebrities and industry experts:

1) Number of followers – most had thousands more than I do.

2) Following percentage – most don’t follow more than 10-20% of their followers. I follow folks that aren’t spammers and that are my target market. (as should all social media marketers)

3) Engagement – most do not respond and engage with their fans/followers at any significant rate.

At this point there has been so many posts and articles about the substantial changes Klout made and the anger toward the lack of explanation and transparency or any semblance of sense around what has resulted. So I don’t want to add to that. I did however begin to have a hunch regarding the algorithm when comparing my score to some brands.

I know I influence thousands on a daily basis, based on conversations, mentions and RT’s, let alone the significant number of comments, likes and shares I experience. We see significant ROI with our social media efforts as well, which in my opinion is a huge indication of our influence. One rule I have within social media is that I respond to every single mention, comment and RT. Whether it is furthering conversation or a polite thank you, I firmly believe this is important. Most of the larger brands out there do not. I also know that as a social media marketing software company, our target market and therefore friend, fan and follower base is mostly made up of peers with similar or lower scores than myself.

*Note – the time between Klout’s change and the start of my experiment, I wrote a blog post that received the highest traffic, views and comments, as well as being shared more on Twitter and Facebook than any other article I have written. Furthermore, that same period included a Friday, where my twitter account receives literally thousands of mentions in a single day. All the while my score continued a steady decline. Is that possible if influence is truly being measure?

All of these things got me thinking, then asking myself some questions…

1) Does Klout now determine you are more influential if you DO NOT engage/respond to everything?

2) Does Klout now determine you are LESS influential if the folks/brands that mention engage with you have less influence than you do?

I embarked on experiment that was very painful. My hunch regarding number one above was combined with a change in activity to see if anything interesting resulted. Over three days I only responded and engaged when someone directly asked me a question or their mention or comment really required it. All other likes, comments and RT’s were ignored. (I want to note this was so hard for me. I pride myself on not being like the other arrogant social mediaexpertsby always responding and helping others, etc.) It was incredibly difficult to stay firm with my activity pattern change to ensure these 3 days resulted in accurate findings.


My hunch related to number one above was completely wrong, but I noticed something that is even more disturbing. Based on my reduction in engagement and response to my friends and followers as well as blog comments, you would expect that the rate my score is declining would substantially increase. This did NOT occur. As you see in the image, it maintained the approximately the same level of decrease during the experiment.

Why is that important? It says that according to Klout’s new algorithm, responding and engaging with your friends, followers, fans and Blog “commenters” (which I might add builds relationships and therefore increases opportunity for ROI) has little to do with your influence in the social graph. Disturbing doesn’t even begin to describe my feelings about this discovery.

What’s more, the data in the image shows two additional frightening discoveries that should be pointed out:

1) Amplification Stabilized – Even though I stopped conversing at usual levels, my amplification stopped declining at the previous steady pace since the Klout changes. Seriously? How does that remotely make sense or be in anyway possible? So by not engaging and thanking people, how much I influence them increases? Disturbing to say the least.

2) Network Impact Increase – After a steep immediate decline at the beginning of my experiment, my Network Impact began to show a pattern of slow steady rise.

So while my overall Klout score continued its steady decline, my overall amplification influence and network influence became more stable or even started to rise.

As a previous proponent of Klout and someone that consistently saw their system as one with proper focus, leadership and focus on accurate depiction of the social graph, I am dismayed. As a heavy social media user, consultant and someone that has driven ROI and strategy for many businesses large and small, I am now almost speechless at what I have found.

Based on my experiment, it appears that Klout’s algorithm changes are not focused on improving their social measurement system, but a clueless attempt to prop up larger brands and celebrities anti-social behavior and stifle effective relationship building that leads to ROI for those that do it right. -OR- even worse, tech geeks and scientific formulas that have no real understanding of social media and it’s proper use in business.

Being a social media technology company, you would have thought Klout would have better managed their decision to release this new tech as well as get in front of this story with better answers that made some kind of sense. Instead, they decided to let social media do what it does and react to it, albeit poorly. This entire thing is an incredible example to other brands on how NOT to manage a crisis and to tech companies on how NOT to let your head get too big. Your customers and users should have a lot to say about the game, not just you.

I am not upset at all that my score lost 11+ Points. I am pissed that a company I trusted, upheld and cheered for has fumbled in such a horrific way. The only way Klout could save face with me at this point is to do what Bank of America is doing in the banking sector. Roll back to previous algorithm and make small incremental changes that are accurate and thoughtful.

*note – I did not add or remove any social media platforms during my experiment. I only altered my engagement pattern. Nothing more, nothing less.


Filed under Facebook, Klout, Social Media, Social Media Marketing, Social Media ROI, Strategy, Twitter

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.


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