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Greg Shove teaches social influence at NYU Stern

by on September 9, 2011

A few weeks ago, our CEO joined L2‘s Scott Galloway for a half-day orientation to welcome incoming NYU Stern business students. Greg took to the stage to play Professor of Social Influence for a day. Watch his presentation below and let us know – what did you learn and would you take this class?

September 9, 2011 , , ,

Weekend Reading List: Influence, Affluence, and Advertising Spend

by on July 9, 2011

Introducing effective affluence, the idea that marketers should pay attention to both spending power and a consumer’s likelihood to influence others. (MediaPost)

Seven months ago a group of business experts answered the question, “What do you think the future of Klout.com is? (LinkedIn)

The IAB’s five changes that would get brand advertisers to spend more online (paidContent)

July 9, 2011 ,

What the New York Times Twitter Experiment Means for Publisher Influence

by on July 7, 2011

At the end of May the New York Times replaced its automated Twitter cyborg with the tweets of in house social media editors. The move was a test to determine whether the paper should invest in personalized tweets over a deluge of automatic headlines, but the final decision (if we ever see one) will mark something more significant than just another hire at the paper.

The Experiment

Until a little more than a month ago the New York Times leaned on its brand image and reputation to earn influence in the social world. Journalists wrote and Twitter followers retweeted, but what happened when the New York Times put two of their social media editors to the task of Twitter engagement?

For starters, the New York Times got quite a bit of press. Writers picked out personalized tweets and added them to their blogs, people on Twitter shared their stories, and everything seemed promising for the world of social media. Then I started following the New York Time’s Klout score.

In the week that social media editors @LHeron & @LexiNYT tweeted for @NYTimes the publication’s influence score never budged. It felt like people were engaging, but the score stayed constant at 86 for the duration of their experiment. Of course when it comes to a Twitter handle with 670,759 retweets it’s going to take a lot more than a week long experiment to make a dent in their score, but I hope the paper doesn’t take the “we’re already doing well enough” stance on Twitter.

After all, when compared with the ability of individuals like Justin Bieber, or Nicki Minaj to spread information socially (with klout scores at 100 and 97 respectively), it’s hard to justify feeling satisfied with a cyborg for much longer.

The New Age of Publisher Influence

Any reaction from the New York Times on the Twitter experiment has been hushed, but the days of publications resting on their paper laurels may be over. The New York Times could slide by a little longer with a vaguely cyborg social presence, but when it comes to automation they are one of the few remaining dinosaurs.

Fact of the matter is, conversations and connections are becoming the way of the web. Today real social investment is an option but some publishers are already showing that a hand crafted social presence can help them jump ahead. More than ever consumers are looking beyond search algorithms into hand crafted curation to find what’s important. The best we can do is hope that the New York Times sees that before advertisers realize that Justin Beiber and their very own Facebook fans can drive more conversation than reputable ad supported newspapers.

July 7, 2011 , , , , , ,

Recommended Reading List

by on June 21, 2011

As a new addition to the Halogen Blog, every week we will release a collection of relevant readings. Most will be industry related but every now and then we will include other thoughtful articles and videos. Enjoy our first reading list and feel free to reach out with interesting additions you’d like to see added to our recommended shortlist.

Google Confirms the Acquisition of AdMeld

Klout extends their influence scoring to LinkedIn and about.me starts integrating Klout

Quora Explains Why Bitcoins are a Bad Idea

Perfect in light of the much debated “social media bubble”: What If Life Itself is a Bubble?

Fred Wilson explains the post frequency rule that correlates ease and brevity with network activity on social media.

June 21, 2011 , , , , , , , , , , ,

+K and the New Meaning of Influence

by on June 8, 2011

Last week Klout released +K, a feature that adds personal endorsements to their influencer metrics through a rationed social currency. The new release is an attempt to improve the accuracy of Klout as an indicator of influence, but it also opens the door for quantifying categorical impact.

From a marketing perspective, this adds a semantic layer to a scoring system that has a heritage of marking everything with an integer. This means that brands using Klout Perks can now cull through the clutter of high scorers in an attempt to reach the perfect target.

Like anything Klout related, it’s still imperfect. Many users report that they hardly know about the topics where they are listed as influential, but Klout hopes to fix this as they improve the system and move their weekly topical influence category changes toward a model that responds to conversation daily. This kind of tinkering is to be expected, but in the long term will Klout’s +K work?

The new feature certainly helps Klout from the perspective of site stickiness and time spent on site. What was once a simple score checker for most could be transitioning into a platform unto itself. For now it seems only the social media obsessed would take the time to adopt, but adding a +K button to the menagerie of Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook, and +1 buttons could easily change that.

Imagine a world where you can +K a person’s Tweet or blog comment in the same way that we currently Like brands such as Burberry or +1 search results for Bing. Suddenly we’ve entered a world where jumping to the top of the real time Klout charts is earning first page rankings on Google. This is where the currency element takes play.

Because each user receives 5 +K points per day (and can only give people repeat subject specific endorsements once every week), the system is more difficult to game than it would be to, say, buy a couple thousand meaningless Twitter followers. Just as in SEO some people will ascend the charts and receive Klout Perks with black hat tactics, but all these rankings point to one undeniable truth.

In this new era of influence brands aspire to speak to consumers like people and people are acting more and more like brands.

June 8, 2011 , , , , ,