Killer Social

klout

Why is my Klout Killer?

Recently, the topic of online influence in social media has exploded into my life. The word on the street is that I am someone who influences people in the social media realm, because I have a high Klout score compared to many people.

At first, when I discovered this, I just laughed it off, thinking somehow it would go away, or it wasn’t true. But then people started asking me questions. Did I think it was accurate, important? Would I hire someone or refer someone based on their Klout score? Have I been getting really cool free stuff in the mail from people wanting to use my influence to advertise their products? To which my answers were somewhat, maybe, and… HEY! where’s my free Godiva chocolate?

I was even mentioned last week by Newsday as a “top 5 person to follow-social media guru” on Long Island, population 7.5 million, probably based on this Klout score. I swear, I didn’t give away any free jewelry and I still have all of my children.

Klout is a metric scoring system that says they measure overall online influence, using over 35 variables on Facebook and twitter. The higher score you have, the more likely people are listening to what you say, pass along what you are saying to other people, and take action when you say it.

At the time of writing this my Klout score is a 65, which is considered on the high end, for a non-celebrity type such as myself. I expect it will go up as I use Facebook more (I don’t much) and when Klout figures out how to merge the three companies I’m involved in…into ONE score. That score is for my jewelry company account, @SueanneShirzay on twitter, Sueanne Shirzay Jewelry. I also own a social media consulting company, Killer Social, and am a partner in Socialisle, LLC, another social business company. I have been on twitter for two years as @SueanneShirzay , and the other usernames are recent additions.

As far as I can tell, there is no way to cheat this system, it is what it is, and it measures what it measures. I’m not a metrics person, and trust me, I don’t want to be. I just do what I do. And I love doing it.

I mentioned to one of my partners at Socialisle, LLC, George Torres, that no matter how high my Klout score is, I will always just think of myself as “Suzy from Indiana who grew up across the street from a cornfield”. He replied, “That’s why you have influence”. That made me laugh and got me thinking. Those are my roots. I can’t escape them, just as you can’t escape yours. I moved to NYC to go to college and never left, and now reside in a beach town on Long Island, which is so laid back that surfers literally strip down in the streets.

Let me unlock the Klout mystique. Eyebrow raise. If I can. This is all just pure speculation. I could be wrong. This is my experience, your mileage may vary greatly.

I’d like to think this score is probably just saying I’m good at communicating who I am and what I’m thinking online. A communicator with good manners, humor, wisdom, creativity, knowledge, passion, experience, and just plain human compassion.

Or I could just be a schmuck. Who knows?

I genuinely like people

I actually LIKE almost everybody I meet, online and off. I think the other humans are interesting. I approach meeting people without caution, ASSUMING I will like them. It’s pretty easy to make friends online when you like people. I rarely tweet politics, religion, or negative thoughts, though of course I do discuss such things privately, and have opinions. I never tweet or post anything that is intentionally going to hurt another person. If I screw up, I apologize. I don’t follow or friend people who I see bullying other people, or complaining excessively. As my friend Mike LaMonica said to me recently “Social Media is not a safe place for Anti-Social people”. This was after the recent Chrysler F-bomb tweet debacle. It’s easy to be nice online.

Communication

I have a long history in advertising, marketing, art, writing, and recently jewelrymaking. That background allows me to write what I need to communicate in a clear, informative and very often humorous way. I do video blogs. It’s easier for people to relate to me when they can hear me speak. I have traveled a little bit, and I ship the jewelry all over the world, so I often follow people in different countries and tweet in different languages from time to time.

Creativity/Content

I’m a creative person, and when you are consistently writing new content and creating new things, people react to it, so I guess that’s a way of influencing people. You have to say or do something in order to create influence, not just react to what everybody else is saying or doing. Currently, I write four other blogs and am a contributor to Herald de Paris. You lead. You encourage others to lead. You create. You do your thing that you do to the best of your ability. You don’t compete. You just be true to yourself.

Manners

I have them, and I know how to use them. I say please. I say thank you. Actually I say thank you ALOT, so much so that many times, it ends up in dm or on a phone call, because if I tweeted it, all you would see is THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU all day long on my twitter and Facebook feed. I try to respond to people who leave comments on my blogs, tweet me, facebook me, like my YouTube channel, etc. I can’t always get to everybody, but I do try.

Opinions

I have opinions on everything. In fact, I consider myself a very opinionated person. I don’t make them all public, but when you share what you are thinking, sometimes it influences people.

Humor

I’m known for having a good sense of humor, I laugh all day, everyday, and I like putting it into words and sharing it. I think that’s a big part of why people interact with me online. I don’t take things that seriously. Life is too short.

Wisdom

I’m old. I pass along what I’ve learned. I’ve met hundreds of people I originally met online… offline at conferences and social gatherings. I encourage, coach and mentor people. I do public speaking. I give back.

Helpful

I introduce people to each other. I participate and volunteer for things that are going on in my community and local and national philanthropic organizations. I also design jewelry to benefit philanthropic organizations. I truly enjoy helping other people and I appreciate all of the help I’ve received over the years.

News

I know what’s going on. I may not post or tweet about it on a daily basis, but I’m aware of what’s going on in the world

Advice

I often give advice to those who need it. All of my businesses exist to advise others, and bring people up. Some days my DM box on twitter resembles a psychiatrist’s couch. That’s okay. Things happen. People are human. It’s okay to advise the other humans.

Respect

Even if I don’t agree with what someone is saying or doing online, as a respectful person, there is a way to disagree without making somebody feel bad or be confrontational. I try to keep my criticisms polite and respectful.

In the end, I think influence may just be about sharing the best versions of who we all are…online with the world. If there was any way to make this influence work to get my kids out of the door on time for school in the morning, that would be even more impressive. Now, where’s my Godiva, please? Dark. Raspberry filling. Thank you.

This is my story, what’s yours? What things have you done that you think affect your Klout score? Is it important?

14 Comments Post a comment

  1. Mike LaMonica

    March 29, 2011 at 11:48 am

    Congrats on the new blog! Congrats on getting in Newsday without trying to poison anyone, being Howard Stern or running over in an SUV while inebriated.

    Seriously, this is great. Not a surprise and well-deserved. And thanks for the mention.
    You go!

    ~Mike

    1
    • Sueanne Shirzay

      March 29, 2011 at 12:10 pm

      Thanks, Mike.
      I always remember to hide the evidence, blow out my hair, and take the convertible. : )
      Sueanne

      2
  2. Renee Malove

    March 29, 2011 at 12:07 pm

    I love it :)

    I think you hit the nail on the head. People with high Klout scores are people who spend a tremendous amount of time interacting with other people. I actually went to look at my Klout score the other day, an act that was followed by a rather perplexed “Huh?” Because really, I’m not out there fighting for information or industry space. I just like to get out and get to know the people I read about in my Twitter timeline.

    People with Klout are people who are not only heard, but who make an active effort to proactively interact. You can be a celebrity in your own sphere of influence, and you know what? Those of us (myself included!) who love the fact that you have time to answer questions, engage and yes, even share a cup of #coffee think it’s better that way.

    3
  3. Tabatha

    March 29, 2011 at 1:29 pm

    AMEN!! I don’t think I could have said it better, honestly. This is a topic I’ve been thinking about for a few weeks now – in the area I work out of, things are a little “behind”, and Klout scores are being taken a little more seriously than I’d like them to be. The worst (or best? I haven’t completely decided yet…) part is that mine is considerably higher than those of the people around me, so while I’m asked a lot of questions, my question is this: Is it that I’m more knowledgeable, or more experienced? I HOPE that my experience lends me credibility, but I also don’t want it based on a number on a website. I’d rather my actions and results were taken into consideration.

    Thanks for this very thought-provoking post, Sueanne! :)

    5
    • Sueanne Shirzay

      March 29, 2011 at 5:22 pm

      Thanks for reading and commenting, Tabatha. I’m curious to see what happens with Klout and how it gets perceived.

      6
  4. Lewis Poretz

    March 29, 2011 at 1:31 pm

    Sueanne -
    Really enjoyed this post. Your assessments are spot on. Especially the thank you, thank you, thank you….

    7
  5. Web Design Kansas City

    March 29, 2011 at 2:29 pm

    The Klout score, it seems, is somewhat arbitrary; we use both Twitter and Facebook consistently, and our Klout score will dip a point or two occasionally. It seems that social media influence is something everyone is trying to measure, but few people really know what to do with it once they get it. When they begin to use it, they’re unsure how to measure the effectiveness of it.

    Joel, copywriter
    Powerhouse Marketing

    9
    • Sueanne Shirzay

      March 29, 2011 at 5:24 pm

      I think this is probably the beginning of a wave of measuring methods. I’m curious to see what comes next! Thanks for the comment.

      10
  6. Constance Korol

    March 29, 2011 at 7:58 pm

    Sueanne you bring up great points that support your high Klout score. I think they are key points to not just achieving a desired number, but more importantly, to engage in social interaction within the networks. Kudos Killer Klout!

    11
    • Sueanne Shirzay

      March 30, 2011 at 2:12 pm

      Thanks, Constance, for your Killer Komment! I had a fun time dissecting myself. : )

      12
  7. Paul Biedermann

    March 30, 2011 at 2:54 am

    Killer post, Sueanne! Strangely enough, you are one of the few whom I met first offline but have come to know better online. That’s because you’re genuine and it comes across, both IRL (in real life) and IFL (in fake life), and your quick humor always lights up the stream!

    As I think you know, the issue of Klout is a recurring theme in the Twitter community #UsGuys. It has its place, but it’s just one small part of measuring one’s true online influence. I tend to be skeptical of most metrics because statistics lie, but they do have their place.

    We mustn’t forget that clout (with a “c”) is even more important, which includes all the other stuff Klout doesn’t measure including our family and personal relationships as well as other endeavors. I know firsthand how easy it is to get wrapped up in all this social media stuff — Klout killers beware!

    13
    • Sueanne Shirzay

      March 30, 2011 at 2:17 pm

      Thanks, Biedermann (two n’s) . Laughing at the IFL. Having a blast getting to know you and #usguys. There is no fake life for me, as you know, and I guess that’s a point I could have made. LOL. Maybe the truth here is that the less attention we pay to the score and more we pay attention to just being the best person we can be…the higher that score may go up, in Clout and in Klout. Thanks for your comment, I appreciate it!

      14

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