So, when I took the social media class we spent one class period talking about our social influence. Honestly, I had no idea what that even meant. My first thought was that it was something along the lines of how many friends and followers you have. Well, I was a little off. I mean, it does have something to do with how many friends and followers you have, but that’s not the end of the story right there. It has to do with the things you post, what you share and who engages in the material you put online and what drives them to follow you or retweet you or like and comment on your statuses.
There’s more than that though. Through that lecture I learned about all the different factors that go into figuring how many people you reach on social media outlets. The social influence you have isn’t just limited to your Facebook and Twitter — it’s your blog, your Tumblr, your YouTube, your LinkedIn, everything. And for me, I’m sitting there thinking…okay, but I don’t actually influence a whole lot of people. I mean, I’m no big business or celebrity. How does what I post, make a difference and why would I care to know?
I would check my Klout score every once in awhile maybe for personal branding reasons, but that’s about it. It didn’t really phase me one way or another if my score had dropped (or dramatically peaked conveniently after I got engaged). But, the other day I ran across this article on TechCrunch about this thing called Sumpto. The article basically explains that Sumpto was an entrepreneurial idea that came from a college graduate that realized the value that social identities play in the lives of college students and wanted to create a product that would resemble the goals of Klout, but geared directly toward the college demographic.
The creator’s thinking behind this was so that brands could have a way to reward college students who have a strong social influence with prizes and discounts on products they choose to talk about on their social networks. And so far, it seems to be working — more than 10,000 students have signed up since the launch date.
“Ben Kosinksi says that the platform in no way requires students to say anything about brands if and when they receive rewards. Instead, the idea is to allow conversation to happen around products organically — something that he says college students are likely to do anyway, as they’re being rewarded for something they normally do: Interact with friends and fellow students online.”
“…it remains to be seen whether there’s enough ROI implicit in this model to win over the big brands. The initial pieces are in place, but now comes the hard part: Scale.”