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Webinar Q&A: enhancing and quantifying your influence

On Monday, my colleague Heidi Sullivan and I presented the latest installment in Cision’s Social Media Webinar series. The free series covers social media monitoring, engagement, and content creation. In Monday’s session we got some great questions. In occasional posts, we answer questions we didn’t get to during the webinar. Thanks for all your questions!

Andrew: I have gotten 2,670 followers for a client on Twitter in six weeks. How do you value this?

Jay: I enjoyed Michah Baldwin’s post a while back poking fun at the commodification of follower counts on Twitter with the suggestion that a Twitter follower is worth $6.19. But the value of followers gets at the question of mindshare, which is a real issue for professional communicators.

Applications like Twitalyzer and Twinfluence are providing alternate measures of influence on Twitter based on metrics like how substantive your tweets are and how many followers your followers have. But you should start by asking yourself, have you identified individuals on Twitter who have a reason to be interested in what your client has to offer?

Keep in mind that the power of communicating with a platform like Twitter lies in being able to identify the right people with whom to interact, those who have demonstrated an interest in or need for your product. Otherwise, you’re stuck with the old “marketing funnel” concept of shouting from the rooftops and hoping you’re reaching someone who might care. With Twitter, you can know with greater certainty who cares, and develop relationships with them. So the real question is, what kind of listening have you done to make sure those 2,670 people might be interested what you have to say? And make sure to have some real conversations with them before you start talking about your product or service at all.

Darek: is it better to have a personal Digg account or a corporate-branded Digg?

Jay: There’s a right way and a wrong way to go about offering your own content on Digg. Make sure you’re presenting it as part of a larger mix of compelling content, I can’t repeat that often enough. On Digg, Twitter and elsewhere, I usually encourage people to create individual profiles for real content sharing and if you deem it necessary, a less active corporate profile to help folks find the right person in your organization (witness the Cision Twitter profile). You’re investing social capital in whatever profiles you create that is not easily transferred, and people would rather talk to a person than a company.


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