No matter how big or small our organizations are, we all want to be influential and create social change in this world. Sometimes we can’t help ourselves and feel compelled to measure some of our successes through vanity metrics such as FB Likes or Twitter followers. This can sometimes lead us down a dangerous path of constantly asking everyone under the sun to “like” our photos or political statements on our pages on Facebook or to follow us on Twitter with no real engagement behind it. I discussed this more in depth in my blog post last month that sparked a lot of debate in the nonprofit community “Is Social Media Making Organizations Lazy?”
Today someone shared this awesome photo with me on FB (oh the irony). Look at these three cute kids holding up a sign that says “Our mommy says that if we get 1 million likes, we won’t get crap! If we want something, we have to work for it. Not beg for it on Facebook.” This is spot on!
Right after I re-shared the photo on FB, a client of mine who we are working with on a web design project, said that they wanted advice on how their organization can be more influential across channels. Another client said, “Our Klout score is terrible. What can we do about it?”
Here was my advice to them and every organization that is looking to be more influential across multiple channels.
1. Influencer scores based on secret algorithms are bogus. They don’t provide real data on how “influential” an organization is. And even worse they set false expectations for organizations who are trying to get an accurate picture of how they are perceived online as well as how they can better engage their base and other target audiences.
2. Stop being obsessed with vanity metrics. Define what does influence really mean for your organization. This should be different from organization to organization as each one has different missions and priorities.