Tuesday, April 26, 2011

5 Ways to Benefit from Your Haters

How to Rise Above Your Rivalries - 5 ways to benefit from your haters.

Whether it was for academic or non-academic clubs throughout middle school to high school to the end of my college career, there is one thing I can say that is pretty consistent - there are always silent or overt haters, within, outside, around.

We all know it's important to manage personal relations, and often times it is much easier to just say I don't care so I'll let them be. With clubs/brands/companies however, it is important to acknowledge your rivalries, and use them to your advantage. 

I am of course no expert in mediation, but here's what I got from all of it.

It is inevitable to have disputes and rivalries, but how do you make the best of them?

"A man with no enemies is a man with no character." - Paul Newman

1. First of all, be PROUD that you have rivalries. 
- This means that you are probably good enough for someone to be jealous of (, or just really good at being a total jerk...). You stood up for your point of view, but now you find others who disagree. You've set a standard for others, and now everyone wants to step all over it and rise above you. Now what?

"If you can learn to love yourself and all the flaws, you can love other people so much better"- Kristin Chenoweth

2. Everyone has flaws. Time to find out what yours are.
Everyone has flaws, and ignoring them isn't the best way to improve. You and I know that your enemies will pick you apart, from small nitsy gritsy mistakes to major loopholes in your organization or your personality. So why not ask them? They probably see it more clearly then you do.

"No man ever got very high by pulling other people down."
- Alfred Lord Tennyson

3. Don't hate back 
- Who said all disputes and rivalries have to incorporate hate? They can simply be healthy competitions that keep each other in check, to fight for improvement, to exchange ideas. The worse thing you could do is bad mouth your rivalries, it's not only unprofessional, but bad on your image. You can rise above by showing why you're BETTER, not why they're WORSE.

Don't be a hater, because that'll only get more haters around you.

"In order to know your enemy, you must become your enemy." 
- Chris Bradford

4. Find out more about them 
- What makes them our rivalry? What would they want out of this enemy-ship? Think in their shoes. What do they want from us? What makes them a worthy rivalry and not just a hater? And most importantly -What can we learn from them?

5. Finally, make friends with them. 
Pretty self explanatory, and over discussed in centuries. You get my point =].

Saturday, April 23, 2011

How Legit is Klout score?

For those of you who aren't familiar with Klout scores:

It's an emerging tool to measure users' social media influence on Twitter and Facebook through algorithms which scores you between 1 to 100. Not only does it give you your total number of Retweets, @Mentions, and Followers (they take away the spam ones apparently,) they indicate your influence topics and areas and show you others who are also influential in the topic.

Personally, I check it once or twice a month just as a reference. Although it works with "real mathematics," I think the measure of influence is questionable.

Social media as emerging journalism:

Influence may be seen through how people respond to your call to actions, (in most cases it's your retweets and conversations), but how about the influence by agenda setting? Users can provide insightful news that people don't generally need to discuss about or retweet.

I understand that this does however come into clash with the term "social media," since social media is about interaction. But as most of you may have read in various blog posts, there have been ongoing debates on social media as a new type of journalism, mini-blogging, and etc. If we take into account this type of social media interaction,
how then, can you really measure influence? 

My question boils down to this:

Are Klout scores completely bogus, or do they mean something?

Wait, what exactly do they measure?

Klout uses more than 25 variables to create a score for True Reach, Amplification, and Network and comes up with a final score of Klout influence.

It provides a general content analysis which shows you your influential topics.

It indicates that my influential topics are:
social media
public relations

Personally, the only topics that correlate above are public relations, and social media. I don't tweet at all about #internchat, Colorado, or California (I'm in BOSTON!...).

Mini poll on twitter:

I recently asked quite a few influential tweeters (i.e. Klout score of 65 and above, usually with more than 1,000 followers) about what they think of Klout scores. There are answers in every part of the continuum - that they are reliable, an okay reference, and completely bogus. Now what?

Does this mean it's legit?

"Klout announced early Monday that it has closed
an $8.5-million funding round from Silicon Valley powerhouse Kleiner Perkins Caulfield Byers, and is adding Kleiner partner Bing Gordon to its board of directors."

"Companies using Klout’s API include Radian 6, About.Me, ExactTarget, The Huffington Post, Seesmic, Gnip, Gist and StockTwits. Currently Klout is doing more then 500 million API calls per month and is adding more than 5 API partners per day. For some perspective, Twitter sees more than 6 billion API calls per day." (from techcrunch.)

Some interesting fall backs on Klout from industry analyst Jeremiah Owyang (Web Strategy):

  1. Consumers will game the system –reducing validity of metric. Expect many people to start gaming the Klout systems, in fact I see some ‘influential types’ tweeting over 200 times a day to try to hopefully raise their Klout scores, which just ends up annoying their followers.
  2. Klout is not representative of a customers real influence. Currently, as I understand it, Klout only siphons in content from Twitter and Facebook if the user allows for FB connect.
  3. Without sentiment of the influencer –the gauge is incomplete. Klout lacks sentiment analysis, so true opinions of what’s being said about the person may be ill-informed, see Kenneth Cole example above.
  4. Relying on this single metric alone is dangerous. as Frank Eliason of Citi (formerly Comcast Cares) indicates the “sleeping comcast technician” was uploaded by someone who had practically zero prior online influence.
There are obviously pros and cons to the Klout score as with any analytics, my guess is until Klout uses it's funding to work on a more accurate portrayal of influence (it just revamped it's site to beta by the way!) keep using it as a reference or ego boost, but don't take it too far as to rely on it as your sole source of measuring social media achievement.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Will Social Media Replace Traditional Resumes?

No doubt social media is one of the rising tools HR managers turn to for multiple perspectives of their prospective employees/interns. I'm sure you've been told by your professors a thousand times over. Keep your Facebook profiles clean and hidden, because it is very likely your potential employers will see your drunk poses, smoking habits, and anything else you don't want your mother to see.

Apart from Facebook, who has been the big player for the past 5 years, LinkedIn and Twitter are quickly joining the picture. 

Many companies, especially those with a strong focus on social media marketing, ask potential employees for their social media profile urls. Some don't ask, but look it up anyways to get a better grasps the candidates as a person.

With social media on the rise as a supplemental factor for job seekers, will it eventually replaces the traditional resume completely?


Not only is LinkedIn one of the most popular professional networking site, it's becoming a different hiring tool for employers. Why?

Instead of choosing and cramming a few job experiences and description on a letter-sized document, LinkedIn allows you to put up all your job experience in a glance. It indicates your current positions, past positions in short like a Facebook Status on the top of your profile.

Your profile shows links to your personal website, twitter accounts and more, so instead of waiting for an interview to show a full portfolio of your work, it's all laid out there for employers.

Not only that, it allows you to ask for, and display recommendations from employers, keep in touch with professionals you meet, and stay up to date.

Some key stats

  • 50% of Fortune 100 companies hire through LinkedIn
  • 1 professional joins LinkedIn every second
  • 1 million professionals joining LinkedIn every 12 days
  • 1 billion people searched on LinkedIn last year

What do HR managers think?
OfficeTeam recently conducted telephone interviews with more than 500 HR managers at companies with 20 or more employees and they were asked if profiles on networking sites, such as LinkedIn and Facebook, will replace traditional resumes in the future. 
  • Nearly 30 percent of the survey respondents believe that online profiles will inevitably replace conventional resumes. 
  • The other 70 percent rule out Facebook and LinkedIn profiles replacing resumes in the near future, they agree that social media is gaining acceptance in the hiring sector.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

It's just Twitter, what's the big deal?

It's just Twitter. What's the big deal?

Oh dear non-PR students/professionals. If it is JUST Twitter, why are Public Relations Agencies as well as renowned consumer brands bending over backwards to hunt for Social Media Talents?

Twitter, as I mentioned before, is relatively a new thing for me too, but here are some common phrases I've been hearing from others:

1. Not that many people use Twitter anyways what's the point?
You have to be kidding!
  • 175 million registered users as of September 2010 (That's the whole population of Pakistan!)
  • The average daily sign-up rate has been 460,000 new accounts in March 2011
  • The average number of tweets = 140 MILLION a day. (Just imagine trying to spread a rumor by word of mouth... like the numerous death hoax spread around Twitter).
2. You tweet once or twice a day, I can do that, why hire a professional Social Media manager?

There are certainly different ways of using Twitter, and I presume none of them is "easy".

It's about interaction, finding the right people to interact with, making connection, providing feedback and a whole bunch of stuff.

You can definitely schedule a whole day to managing social media, it's a lot more work than you think it is.

With the right analytic tools, a brand can/needs to monitor what other people are saying about its products, how to respond, and interact. Some analytics tools now even analyze the spread of tone used to describe your brand (negative, unsatisfied, excited etc.)

Providing insightful news means posting more than just your usual Facebook promotions. Read industry news, current events, trends and more, then filter them, and find a good angle to tweet about.

Not only that, it's about how to use the stingy 140 characters with wit and creativity to capture your audience's attention.

Although it's blurry, Twitter CAN be scientific - using optimal tweet times, tweet scheduling, #hashtags, lists, and etc., to help you get your message out.

3. Twitter is just like the status portion of Facebook, why not just use Facebook since everyone is on it?

Apart from scrolling down to read my previous post, the following article should answer your question:

Why Many Businesses Are Adopting Twitter…instead of Facebook http://j.mp/bad9Wp 

4. I don't like to tweet/ have nothing to tweet about.

You don't necessarily have to be tweeting to benefit from Twitter. Just as there are thought leaders in the community and news broadcasters, doesn't mean you have to be one. You can benefit by following the right accounts depending on your interests to keep up to date on trends and news. Trust me, Twitter is pretty fast and up to speed with this.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Poor Twitter Misunderstood: What you can really do with it.

Why do you use Twitter so much? Twitter is stupid.
I used to be one of the people who didn't understand twitter (just 2 months ago. =P,) but now it has become my main source of news, insights, and much more.

Here are some of the common misconceptions of the use of Twitter and what Twitter really is.

The number of followers is the most essential aspect

Granted that the more followers you have the more exposure you get + the more people you reach out to, but it all comes down to how you interact with them or engage them.

Twitter is NOT just about broadcasting. People who follow you are there to connect with you. If you are there to just repeat the posts on your Facebook page, flyers, or company website, then you do not understand what Twitter is about.

Provide insights, interesting and relevant information, quality feedback. Engage yourself in meaningful conversations. Your followers will come.

Twitter is like taking the status component of Facebook and putting it on a feed. T/F?

Kind of true, but at the same time not really.

There are of course people who like to tweet "I am on the bus to school," or "Yay, I got my new Macbook Pro!" This seems to work out more for celebrities than for companies or individuals. Boring/mundane tweets don't work here. The question you should always ask is "So what?"

If you want to share with the world you're at an Italian restaurant, what's the spice to it?

Twitter is also kind of like mini-blogging. This works for short attention spanned people (like me), as it puts all the headlines and links in one big feed so I can just skim through and find the ones that interest me.

Businesses don't need to use Twitter

Twitter can be a good way to alleviate the barrier between the company and its public. We always talk about transparency right? Here's where you can get up close and personal. It's a faster way to interact with your public, to find out what they think, to get quality feedback or criticisms and respond quickly.

It's also a great way to manage a brand's image by seeing what kind of bad-mouthing people are doing or if you're awesome, all the free evangelists you have around!