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Return On Influence: The Revolutionary Power of Klout, Social Scoring, and Influence Marketing (Business Books) Hardcover – March 7, 2012
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"This book is fascinating. I could not put it down and have written notes throughout!"
"Mr. Schaefer's new book, "Return on Influence," is a highly readable primer on this brave new world of influence marketing."
"Social Media Examiner gives this brilliant and extraordinary book a full 5-star rating."
"In his easy-to-read manual, Schaefer fearlessly tackles the complexity and controversies of social media influence."
-- BookList Magazine
"Through timely and relevant anecdotes and an accessible writing style, (Schaefer) guides both veteran social media users and laypeople through the world of social influence. VERDICT: HIGHLY RECOMMENDED for anyone interested in the sociological as well as the practical impacts of social media and marketing."
- The Library Journal
"This book is a pathfinding contribution on how social media platforms are reconstructing the traditional concept of influence. Schaefer demonstrates that the world of social media has enormous consequences (opportunities and problems) for people and organizations that seek online power and influence. The book is supercharged with examples, interviews, and case studies detailing the experiences and thoughts of industry leaders. Among the many attractive attributes of the book are appendixes that feature an excellent social media primer and a description of how the leading websites and platforms measure online personal influence. Schaefer offers a splendid description of Klout, the undisputed market leader among companies that measure the level of online influence. Many practical ideas are put forth on how to improve a Klout score by building a relevant network; a clear strategy to provide compelling content; and a system to engage those influencers and advocates most likely to distribute one's content virally. The book is essential for those who want a thorough understanding of online influence--how to gain it and why it is so important to organizations and individuals. Summing Up: Essential. Marketing and social media collections at all levels." Choice 20130101
From the Author
How do you become powerful on the Internet -- a world that rebels against rules, leaders and hierarchy? Seems impossible! And yet people are certainly becoming influential on the web every day. Trying to understand these dynamics and the vast differences between influence in the "real" world versus the online world led me on a fascinating journey where not all is as it appears to be! Through "Return On Influence," I take you along on the ride. It's a fun book to read filled with interesting characters, amazing stories, and the inspirational new "Citizen Influencers" who have learned to harness the power of the web and establish their own voice despite all odds. You can do it too and this book teaches you how. Influence has been democratized. This is your time, no matter where you are, what you look like, or where you live. This is a book that teaches you how to find YOUR Return On Influence. Thanks for buying my book!
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Top Customer Reviews
Mark explains how with mathematical modeling & statistical inferences, the invisible influence has now become a number-Klout, visible & even used by top brands to promote their products & services.
The concept of Citizen Influencer gives every person a chance to become an Internet Celebrity & discover the power of one's own "Return on Influence" says Mark, while on the topic of democratization of influence. As he says, this new class of citizen influencers can use internet to ignite epidemic across a state, a country, even the world !
Excellent coverage of a very complicated subject. Thanks Mark !
Orson Welles' classic movie Citizen Kane tells of a once neglected and discarded child who grows to great influence as a king of content, but who fails to find lasting happiness. Reading Mark Schaefer's description of Citizen Influencers in his book ROI: Return on Influence, I couldn't help but wonder if, in a world where clout for a few is reportedly giving way to Klout for the masses, we aren't all going to be gasping "Rosebud" with our last breath, devastated by the inevitable drop in our Klout score once our 15 minutes of self-induced online "fame" is over?
OK, so, like the movie, I'm being a bit dramatic here, but all to make a point. Online influence measurement, as with Klout, Kred and PeerIndex, is generating real love-it-or-loathe it reactions, and Schaefer's book makes a reasonable case as to why we should learn to, if not love it, at least live with the trend and leverage it.
Social Scoring: The Creation of a New Social Caste System?
Schaefer contends that "We are at the dawn of the creation of a new social media caste system determined by how and when you tweet, connect, share and comment." [page xvii] Lest you think this is merely another social media guru rushing to gush over the latest shiny object, Schaefer also takes pains throughout the book to examine the inherent failings of current social scoring systems and the potential downsides ("The trappings of social proof implied by the number of Twitter followers or Facebook "like" may be more important signs of accomplishments to many people than a lifetime of real accomplishments.")
The first part of the book is an overview of social scoring: what it is, how it's developing, who the players are. The second part of the book is all about the dominate player in the space, Klout, and, while not quite intended as a "how to" book in the manner of his popular mini-manual "The Tao of Twitter," it gives Schaefer's typically concise, practical take on how to use Klout, that is., how to boost one's score, how to earn Klout perks, etcetera.
Influencer Marketing, or Marketing to Humans?
I'm glad to see Schaefer emphasize some of his favorite themes here, particularly the encouragement to "Be real, be honest..." (and yes, he uses the "authenticity" word, which I have lately attempted to pronounce dead for marketing use... but at least he is good enough to define what he means by this beaten-to-death buzzword). He also describes how Klout et al can be gamed, but makes the following case as to why and how social scoring can nonetheless be an important indicator and tool:
"Although badges can be gamed, humanity cannot. Building social proof is important, but nurturing true authority through authenticity, meaningful content and an engaged group of followers will lead to lasting influence and business benefits."
I'd Have Reservations about Social Scoring (But My Klout Score May Not Be High Enough to Get Me Good Reservations for Anything)
My Little-Luddite-Within must confess: I cringe when I hear folks like Jeremiah Owyang predict (on Six Pixels of Separation) that one day, when we all wear Google Glass, we'll be able to see someone's (everyone's) Klout score above their head... and, given human nature, accept or reject them before any more personal impression can be made.
And it worries me that, after reading both of Schaefer's books, I was able to nearly double my Klout score, to a high of 57, almost exclusively by dint of aggressive tweeting. Or perhaps it worries me more that, as I tweet less incessantly, my Klout score has dropped several points, even as I proceed to make more meaningful relationships via my social and other media activities, and reach larger audiences via my Branding magazine articles, which Klout does not factor in.
Whether you are on the love or loathe side of the Klout fence, ROI: Return on Influence is a worthwhile read on a subject of increasing importance and no little controversy. Of course, for all of you who aspire to be Citizen +K I also recommend watching Citizen Kane as a primer on how not to play your part in this unfolding drama.
In Return On Influence - The Revolutionary Power of Klout, Social Scoring and Influence Marketing, author Mark W. Schaefer examines influence on the web, this new social phenomenon and its impact on marketing. He also reviews innovative companies, like Klout, which measure social media influence.
This fascinating book explores how brands are identifying powerful bloggers, tweeters and YouTube celebrities to build brand buzz and increase sales. Schaefer shares the rise of the "citizen influencer" and how average joes have exploded on the social web with tens of thousands of listeners daily. With more than 50 interviews of industry thought leaders and several social influence marketing case studies, the book shows how to use the latest breakthroughs to meet your goals.
Using exclusive access, Schaefer provides an insider's look at Klout, the controversial social scoring company. He shares their process for assigning social scores to users' online activities and gives excellent advice for improving your own score and increasing personal power on the social web.
Return On Influence is an essential guide to digital marketing of the future that is low-cost, high-speed, and powerful. The book shows you how to reach the super connectors who ignite viral epidemics through word-of-mouth. It's a must-read for individuals and companies who crave influence and desire to increase word-of-mouth power on the social web. Fascinating look at the evolution of marketing.