Tools of Influence: Strategic Use of Social Media

By Fichter, Darlene | Online, July-August 2012 | Go to article overview

Tools of Influence: Strategic Use of Social Media


Fichter, Darlene, Online


Darlene Fichter (University of Saskatchewan) with guest columnist Cheryl Avery

"Every life is a profession of faith, and exercises an inevitable and silent influence."--Henri Frederic Amiel

"It is a strange trade that of advocacy. Your intellect, your highest heavenly gift is hung up in the shop window like a loaded pistol for sale." --Thomas Carlyle

Having power and influence, making the things you advocate happen: This is the essence of clout. Does clout matter? Yes. On different issues, at different times, and for different reasons, everyone wants their voices to be heard and their points of view acted upon--or at least understood, acknowledged, and validated in some manner.

Ranking influence is hardly new: We are all participants to a greater or lesser degree. We turn to certain individuals when we need advice or assistance, acknowledging specific expertise among our colleagues. TIME magazine lists the 100 "most influential" people in the world every year. Other such lists, from the Forbes wealthiest people to box office receipts, Neilsen ratings, and New York Times best-sellers, ultimately help us understand influence, popular culture, and the role of persuasion in almost every aspect of our lives. It is no surprise, then, that such ranking tools are brought to bear on social media sites or that they would affect information professionals.

We see, for example, lists of the top 10 law librarian blogs or the top 100 political blogs. How you make one of these lists often is based on a range of factors including popularity, which is certainly one of the metrics of influence.

Other emerging tools try to determine who is influential by using social media channels. The latest one to create some buzz and attention is Klout, Inc. (www.klout.com). Klout uses algorithms to mine someone's Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Google+, LinkedIn, foursquare, and other network accounts to rank a person or a brand's influence. Klout sees influence as "the ability to drive people to action." Klout has not disclosed all the factors it considers when coming up with its score (http://klout.com/corp/kscore), but it does say it tries to measure these three factors:

* True Reach: How many people you influence

* Amplification: How much you influence them

* Network: The influence of your network

The first two factors are straightforward. What is your reach? How many followers do you have on Twitter (excluding bots) or friends on Facebook? Do your followers react to what you share--how "amplified" are your ideas or posts? The third factor, "network," considers how often top influencers--people with a high Klout score--react to your content.

Whether you agree or not with the methodology Klout or other online influence tools such as Kred (www.kred.com) and Peerlndex (www.peerindex.com) use to rank people isn't crucial. Altimeter Group's Brian Solis thinks they measure social capital and potential for influence (www.slide share.net/Altimeter/the-rise-of-digital-influence). How can information professionals use social media to influence those outside the professions to support and enhance our libraries and organizations?

ESCHEWING IRRELEVANCE

It is clear that the library and archival communities don't want to be ignored in the digital sphere. A recent OCLC research report stated, "We believe it is riskier to do nothing and become irrelevant to your user communities than to start using social media features" (Smith-Yoshimura, Karen, et al. "Social Metadata for Libraries, Archives, and Museums; Part 3: Recommendations and Readings"; www.oclc.org/ research/publications/library/2012/2012-01r.htm). It is surely the word "irrelevant" that catches our attention first. A Klout Score may seem a false construct easily ignored, but it ought to force librarians and archivists to consider why we are on social media sites at all, and whether our expectations for that online presence are actually being met. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Tools of Influence: Strategic Use of Social Media
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.