What started out as one thing kind of turned into a little research project for myself, and now I’m ready to talk about it. It’s the chase for influence, and I used Klout to measure it because I wanted to get a better handle on just how it might work and not work. Here’s the tale.

On June 24th I put out a post called 21 Of The Top Black Social Media Influencers. I wrote that for a specific reason which I talked about on the post, so I’m not going to bring it up here.

I did some things with that post that I don’t usually do. With our friend Ileane’s help I first looked through Klout scores as my criteria for who to select. Once the post was out I made sure to try to find some, not all, of the people I’d mentioned in the post. Actually only a couple because I wanted to see if those people would find it for themselves. I went to Facebook and selected certain people and asked for their help in promoting the post. I didn’t do it on Twitter because I thought if some people didn’t see their name in the list they might not be as happy with it.

That post got a lot of response. Most of the people mentioned in the post stopped by to thank me. It got retweeted all over the place for many days. It got mentioned in a couple of radio programs; Ileane was influential in getting that done. And it even got mentioned in passing on a few other blogs.

And something strange happened. By using social media, my influence, through Klout, suddenly jumped. It actually went up 3 points in 4 or 5 days; pretty amazing since Klout only used to move once a week. So I thought I’d see what I could do to keep it going high.

I now have a smartphone and I have an app I use called Tweetcaster to keep me connected with Twitter; works great for me. Anyway, I knew that Twitter was the biggest factor in Klout rankings so I undertook a new role. I started talking to a lot of people on Twitter via their messages, and I started retweeting many links as well, almost always adding some kind of comment. I often went and left a message on the post as well, but Klout doesn’t count blogs right now.

I did that for a couple of weeks, and I found that not only did many people talk back to me at least once or twice but my Klout score jumped up a bit more. In the next two weeks it jumped 2 more points; I was on the verge of 70. When you hear that the average is around 19 (I wonder how they get that since most people in my stream seem to be coming in closer to 30) that’s pretty good.

But you know what? That can be fun but it can also be tiring. It’s definitely time consuming, and when you’re not making any money doing it and it’s pulling you away from work, you start to ease off some. That’s what I did; I still go in here and there but nothing like that two week period. And what’s happened? My Klout score has decreased two spots, and will probably fall some more.

The experiment proves one thing; Klout really loves it when you play the game. And playing the game can be tough; after all, most of us have other things to do. Since I refuse to do a lot of automation I know that to keep my score up I’d have to continue at a pace that’s unreasonable. Actually, I’ve noticed that automation hasn’t really helped Karen’s blog all that much as far as her Klout score,and she’s all over the place. This tells me that Klout can discern automation from real engagement.

Another experiment that’s yielded some answers that I probably already knew, but just had to test. Unless you’re making money with it all, this type of influence definitely isn’t the way to go; whew! I wonder if my influence would grow if I wore funny hats…

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