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What’s Holding Social Influence Back?

What’s holding social media influence scores, of the likes of Klout, Kred and Peer Index, back from wider adoption?

At Big Data World Asia I gave a well received talk. In it I argued that there were three reasons:

1. Business social media maturity

Most businesses are not mature enough in their use of social media. Three issues:

  • It tends to be human led (hiring of community managers or social media managers) rather than automated approaches.
  • Strategy is skewed towards a PR agenda – ‘let’s listen, let’s maintain our reputation’ rather than an integrated business agenda “how do our customers want to engage with us on social media?”.
  • Scattergun approaches dominate – few businesses actually segment their social communities properly – instead it is by channel (“our Facebook fans”) or by territory (“Fans of ABC Inc EMEA”).

2. Immature social CRM market

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There are few industrial scale systems in place to market on social media. Adoption of enterprise social media management tools remains sketchy. Social CRM vendors like Nimble CRM are only just gaining traction.

3. Customer wariness

“I am not a number!” is the cry of many a social influence score customer. This is a potentially insurmountable problem, however it’s just not true – at one level we are just a number – a customer number, a telephone number and so on. The promise of social influence scoring is that this number becomes more accurate and within our control rather than being simply arbitrary and unchangeable.

In my next post I’ll look at the weaknesses inherent in standard influence scores, and how a leaderboarded solution allows us to rise above them.

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