Personal Social Scores – Important?
Social scores have been around for a while now. Real time feedback is one of the core issues that makes Digital & Social Marketing distinct from traditional marketing. So it is only natural that everyone in marketing should be in love with social media feedback and scoring algorithms. Although we use some great tools like Twitter Analytics, Facebook Insights, and the high end tools like Crimson Hexagon, and Radian6 (for the lucky ones), social media scoring does not seem pervasive, on a personal or professional-individual level.
Several articles have been written about the loose use of the term ‘Social Media Expert’ or ‘Digital Marketing Expert’. Yet, few of the self-designated experts come out to state their expertise is based on carefully cultivated personal brands, and social profiles which achieved a certain score or ranking. As a profession we should be cautious about those willing to self-designate their expertise levels. In fact, it seems that if you have to state on your social profiles that you are a “Social Media Expert” … then you probably are not.
A colleague from my digital marketing certification program at the University of Toronto recently pointed out that in the dozens of interviews he had been on – no one asked him his Klout score. Reflecting on this for a moment, in a similar respect, having completed over 100 interviews since January 2015, my observation was the same. All these interviews were for senior digital marketing leadership positions, all with varying aspects of social media marketing responsibilities. Even in this highly competitive time, in the marketing sector (in a recession in Canada for the past year) no recruiter, manager, director or VP of marketing has asked about or wanted to discuss a social score. This seems surprising.
It is true that the social scoring firms like Kred and Klout have been very secretive about their algorithms. This has not helped their cause, or the adoption of their scoring. In earnest, Klout does at least advise about the social media platforms used to calculate a person’s social score. LinkedIn’s Social Selling Index has been an improvement, as it provides a breakdown of a person’s score into four categories. These being personal brand, right people, engaging with insight, and building relationships. These categories provide guidance to those interested in boosting their profile and score.
Yes, the argument emerges about whether such scoring is merely a popularity contest. After all, there are the social superstars among us who are simply stunningly handsome/beautiful, others who are funny or engaging, or just somehow influential on the popularity scale. This is undeniable. There is little to do but to live with it. As an example, Kim Kardashian is a widely known as being famous simply for being famous. However, for most of us mere mortals in the Digital and Social Media Marketing professions – this is not the norm. A social score could be indicative of a professional’s effort and level of knowledge or ability at managing and driving social media campaigns.
In the world of modern marketing, social scoring should be a consideration when reviewing a personal brand and profile. I would not advocate one single scoring mechanism. Building a snapshot of several scores provides a balanced and credible perspective. However, these scores cannot be accepted without also reviewing the candidate’s background, achievements, and other experiences.
Social scores should not be taken in isolation as a conclusive definition of someone’s expertise level. However, put into context with their background information and capabilities, it should be a consideration when reviewing a candidate for a marketing position. For those willing to self-designate as ‘Social Media Experts’ – the respectable thing to do would be to back this up with at least three profile scores. Perhaps that might reduce our collective eye rolling at these profiles, while adding objectivity to the claims.
About the Author:
Charles Dimov is Consulting Director of Strategy D, a Digital and Product Marketing consultancy (www.StrategyD.org). He has 20 years of experience in High Technology, with 15+ years in Product Marketing functions – having successfully introduced over 80+ new product to global markets. Charles has a MASc.(MBA), BASc.(Eng), and a BA.(Econ), and loves Photography, Marketing Strategy, and rolling up his sleeves to drive market success. He can be reached at Charles@DimovStrat.co