There are many different application for measuring social media influence online. The current popular application seems to be Klout although it may have lost ground since it made changes that reduced people’s scores. Which might, in some way, be evidence that my wondering if it’s all that important might have some validity. When you stop to think that out of over 1 billion PC users, only 200 million use Twitter, you kind of have to ask what’s influencing the rest of them? Apparently it’s not social media.
What exactly is social media influence and what is being influenced? Are we talking about information we learn online being applied in our daily lives offline? Is it convincing people to buy one product over another because I say it’s a good one? Do we decide who to vote for based on the campaigning we see online via blogs and Twitter tweets? Why is it so important to have social media influence anyway?
I saw a tweet on Friday that indicated the average person on the street didn’t know about something that we online are quite familiar with. I mentioned a few bloggers that the average person, of my acquaintance, is unaware of and was told that they still have influence. “The blogosphere is a powerful entity.” He said. You have to understand that I believe it is for those of us who are online, but what about those who don’t use the internet in the same way we do?
I have a blog, for the fun of it, and while my family allows me ample time to have my fun, none of them drop everything they’re doing to read it. They spend their time online playing games or sharing pictures with other family members on Facebook. Texas Hold’em seems to be the game of choice among my brothers. They play the game for awhile and then spend their time doing the kind of things that improve the value of their homes. They have the kind of priorities that don’t allow them long blocks of hours online.
It seems to me the only people that we can inform and enlighten are those who use the internet all the time rather than “just” for recreation. Since most of them have either blogs or numerous social media accounts, what are the chances of actually influencing their opinions? Based on the number of fights that happen online, I’d say slim to none. Which is problematic to me since there are so many issues here in the US that could be made better through well informed voting.
I wish that social media influence was really all it took to make life better. That is something we can accumulate in the comfort of our homes or offices, while sitting on our asses. All it takes is the need to be popular and the ability to tell people what they want to hear. Which isn’t going to keep a roof over our heads or feed our children. However, it will give you the kind of Klout you believe you deserve….Maybe!