Social “scoring” tools like Klout make me crazy. Philosophically, I detest the idea of ranking people in any way – whether it’s through standardized testing or analysis of social media activity and “influence.” It is impossible to accurately measure a person’s true nature, personality, potential, or impact by pushing a random set of data points through a digital sieve. Even if it were marginally possible, the accuracy of the results would vary tremendously depending upon an individual person’s perspective. For instance, though Klout may tell me that Justin Bieber (Klout score of 100) is more influential than Bill Gates (Klout score of 75), in my world that is not true. The verity of these measurements depends upon the lens through which they are viewed.
People often ask me, “How can I get more followers on Facebook and Twitter?” They expect me to reveal a secret process involving plug-ins, widgets, and automated whose-its. There are, of course, all kinds of technological “tricks” that you can employ to grow your numbers, but there’s one low-tech, universally compatible tool that beats them all: Karma.
No, I’m not talking about some new start-up. I’m talking about Karma – “bringing upon oneself inevitable results, good or bad.” (Dictionary.com iPhone app) In other words – getting what you give.
My advice to people who want to build their social following is to focus less on the quantity of people in their network and more on the quality and relevance of those people. It is a misconception that social media success depends on volume. It is not a lottery. Nor is it a “game” of percentages. Those approaches are based on traditional marketing tactics like print ads, TV commercials, and direct mail. With those types of media, the goal is “eyeballs” – get your message in front of as many people as possible and some percentage will respond. For traditional tactics, a response rate of 1 – 2% is considered a win.
1 – 2%?!? You can do better than that.
Social turns the traditional model on its head. In social, the goal is not about getting people to just see your message, it’s about getting people to connect with it … and with you. These connections step you up to a whole new game – one that isn’t about numbers, but about karma. Give your audience the content and connection they want (and deserve), and you will start to reap ROK – return on karma.
If you want people to be generous with their social love, be generous with yours. If you want them to support you, support them. If you want them to take the time to interact with you, take the time to interact with them. If you want them to care about you, care about them. It’s not rocket science and it doesn’t take huge effort. What may seem like a small gesture, can have a huge ripple effect – for good or bad.
The edge karma has over Klout is the depth and strength of the connection between you and your audience. When you focus on generating good karma you inspire loyalty. That loyalty – lovely to behold for its own sake – ultimately translates into bottom line benefits like a larger audience, increased engagement, and higher conversion rates. Best of all, all that juicy goodness comes from a very authentic and heartfelt place, not a manipulative one.
Sounds good, right?
There are many ways to cultivate good karma, but I’ll save those for a future post. For now, I hope you’ll marinate a little in the idea of “social karma.” Have some fun with it. Think about:
What you can give that will help you reap that karmic return? How have you seen social karma play out – for better or worse? What’s your favorite kind of social karma?
Until next time – here’s to your good karma!
Image Credit: Just Warr