Overlooking the most powerful people in social media

power Is there a single social media benchmark number out there that someone can say really matters?

Feedburner will tell you how many people subscribe to your blog, but not how many actually read it.

Tweetburner can show you how many people click on your links, but not what they think about them.

Twitter Grader and Twinfluence pump out numbers that really do not seem to tell you much.

Linkedin shows you how many connections you have, but not whether or not they’re interested in talking to you.

Technorati Authority shows how many people link to your blog, but not the quality of the links.

There are so many tools to quantify your presence or effect on the web, but without context or interpretation, the numbers mean nothing. Having 5,000 Twitter followers and 200 that actually converse with you is not nearly as impressive as having 500 Twitter followers and almost all 500 that converse with you.

Do you tweet, post, add on Linkedin, etc to get your numbers up or to get your interaction up? I think we might be overlooking some of the most powerful people in social media just because they don’t rank highest on the charts.

Am I close to being right? Or, am I wrong and all of the big social media influencers are getting their due recognition?

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  • http://www.samlevin.com Sam Levin

    'having 500 Twitter followers and almost all 500 that converse with you.' i agree with this.. quality engagements will always win over quantity of mass drivel. thanx Erc. cheers, sam

  • http://ericpratum.com Eric Pratum

    Thanks, Sam. I love that social media is spreading. I love that it's becoming easier to measure, but I wonder what the quality of the measurements are. Hopefully, this year will show an improvement in how we measure and recognize social media influence, success, etc.

    Thanks for commenting, Sam.

  • http://www.hestness.com Michael Hestness

    I'm not really interested in the numbers, If people are looking for me on the web it's because I have connected with them in some way or perhaps they heard about me through another client. The web has changed so much in how I see it's usefulness. I am amazed at how I have connected with so many people I have not seen in years on Facebook. Twitter is an amazing tool, when I first started using it I really didn't see much value in it but ever since captain Solly splashed down in the Hudson River and I found out about it first on Twitter I have been sold lock stock and barrel. It's funny when I try to explain to relatives or friends the value of Twitter, I think I'm getting better but I think users have to experience that “Ah ha” moment themselves.

  • http://www.ericpratum.com Eric Pratum

    Definitely. It's hard to not get caught up in numbers when you see people like Scoble bragging about 65K followers or some such nonsense, but really, it's just like you said…. it's about connecting. As far as explaining the use and whatnot to people, that kinda sounds like “Tweeting and Blogging are a Waste of Time!”

  • http://www.twitter.com/davidcrandall David Crandall

    I've wondered this too. There are a number of high profile people that I have followed on Twitter, only to un-follow later because they had nothing of value to offer other than a high rate of “twits” a day. What they did have to offer was fairly weak, but you'd have guessed they were god by the amount of followers they had.

    Yet, on the other hand, 4% of 5000 hundred seems more likely than 100% of 500 for having a conversation. Also, there are a lot of people that I follow that I never converse with, but check out every link they submit (yes, I'm one of those people).

    I think the only real benchmark number is probably preceded by this symbol: $

    …though I understand that is not really helpful at all.

  • http://www.ericpratum.com Eric Pratum

    I totally agree with your first point. I won't name names, but there are a few twitterati that I believe just abuse the fact they have so many followers. Some get lazy and only ever tweet about themselves, never conversing. As well, you're definitely right about how unrealistic it would be to expect that 100% of the people in your network would actively converse with you… We can all hope though, right? ;-)

    And, yes, sadly, too few of us can figure out how to make money from being active, nice, interesting, etc on Twitter, Linkedin, or whatever else. Wouldn't it be a great world though if you could? :-D

    Thanks for the comment, David.

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  • http://www.furnitureseen.com Anita Engs

    I agree that the quantitative measures are just that. But you have to start somewhere, the first click provides the opportunity to develop a quality connection. People have alot of choices out there and hooking them is not so easy. However, I do believe you need to cast a wide net and if your content or comments are relevant, they will stick. If you provide consistently updated, relevant content, you will find your niche. Monetizing it is slow, but it can be done.

  • http://www.ericpratum.com Eric Pratum

    Thanks for the comment, Anita. Your mention of hooking people reminded me of Twitter Friends , which if I recall correctly has a “stickiness” calculation for Twitter.

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  • http://www.politicalcoffeehouse.com J. Michael Warner

    Interesting questions Eric. Anyone have any answers? Linkedin seems to work pretty good for me, I get interaction from enough connections to make it very worthwhile. Twitter on the other hand, I am not so sure about. There are so many “experts” out there, yet very few people seem to have any answers.

  • Scott

    I am very pleased to find old friends and establish new contacts.

    I believe it is very easy to see who is more interested in numbers than actually taking advantage of the possibilities available. It is very much like MySpace, where a person might have 60K–And you know that person has zero time to make 60K serious connections.

  • http://www.ericpratum.com Eric Pratum

    Good point about Twitter experts. Myself, I definitely have made great use of Twitter, but it has mostly been on a personal level. As far as business uses go, I see it as only one small tool. Linkedin is great for connections as it allows for a much more in-depth conversation, and it gives users a better ability to search out their interests.

    Thanks for the comment.

  • http://www.ericpratum.com Eric Pratum

    This makes me wonder if someone like Scoble is actually able to build connections on Twitter.

  • http://www.ericpratum.com Eric Pratum

    Good point about Twitter experts. Myself, I definitely have made great use of Twitter, but it has mostly been on a personal level. As far as business uses go, I see it as only one small tool. Linkedin is great for connections as it allows for a much more in-depth conversation, and it gives users a better ability to search out their interests.

    Thanks for the comment.

  • http://www.ericpratum.com Eric Pratum

    This makes me wonder if someone like Scoble is actually able to build connections on Twitter.

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