One of the more familiar and popular terms you may hear being discussed quite frequently in the realms of PR and social media is influence. Many professionals have discussed its role with managing their personal reputation and presence in their respective specializations within PR and social media.
There are been numerous reports and and presentations on how this is monitored and measured by firms and specialized agencies like Klout, PeerIndex, and TweetLevel. According to a recent article appearing on AdAge, brands have also gotten on board with the influence metric as well by teaming up with Klout to give out freebies to influencers in various industries and topics. While there are many positive sentiments displayed with some of these services, others in the business have other things to say about these various influence measuring sites. In addition, understanding the influencers in a particular industry or area can help in preparation for handling a crisis as well as being implemented in the reputation management plan as well.
With all of this being said, is influence on social media the new currency presently for professionals and businesses? This is a statement that an article from Forbes presented for young professionals entering the field. What is interesting is the fact that while some of these principles are new in the sense that they are incorporating new media into the mix – but these are some of the same traditional networking principles we have seen for many years. However, the difference is the fact that professionals today have 1) power over the content they publish and create on these social media sites and platforms 2) many opportunities to network and meet professionals virtually to break down the barriers in time and location and 3) power of establishing your expertise in the area of specialization.
Personally, I do believe that we are living in an age where the keys to success falls under the realm of reputation and influence. Social media has given people the opportunity to take control over their actions, behaviors, conversations, and networking with these new forms of technology. Establishing a website and blog is considered to be traditional social media presently – but it is still the hub of where you want people to go for information about yourself. This is a way you can share with others what you are doing and your insights about the area of interest / specialization, as well as network with fellow professionals. I have had my own personal website now for 16 years and my blog for five years, and both of these sites have opened the doors to numerous professional opportunities for me.
Influence is like reputation in so many ways – it takes time, dedication, and commitment – it does not happen over night. Like reputation, influence is also lost when people do not see yourself to be credible or trustworthy in a crisis situation.
Hope you all are having a great day.