You As Celebrity: Influencing the Influencers

July 7, 2011

How important are you?

Not in your own mind.  But in other people’s.

Do they seek your opinion?  Do they value it?  Do they act on your suggestions?

Do you play the social media game? Are you good at it?

Facebook Connections Around the Globe

In yet another attempt to assign a monetizable attribute to everyone and everything they do, all of us are being ranked, categorized and consigned to the front or the back of the line by companies measuring your ability to  influence online.

It goes without saying that measuring influence is not an easy thing to do, and can be a very subjective and touchy subject.

Regardless, several companies are assigning actual number rankings to you, based on your activity in the social mediasphere – Facebook and Twitter. LinkedIn plays a part in a more limited way.  And in the social media world – are there any other major players (unless Google+ makes a run at them)?

And there is special treatment for influencers – there are prizes, awards and incentives for those who have the highest scores. Free plane trips. Coupons for national retailers.

The companies even tell you how to raise your rankings. Transparency is good.

Best as I can figure, here is how:

  1. Register all your networks with these companies so they keep tabs on all your activities
  2. Post stuff people actually want to viewse
  3. Engage in online conversations – respond to comments

Identifying those who have the most influence, and selling that information to marketers is a valuable service. So is actually influencing those influencers – by providing samples, free merchandise or intangibles.

Ranking your celebrity. Your prominence in the media.

In the old days, celebrity (and therefore influence) involved people who did work, and had things written, published and republished about them. Movie or TV Stars and their publicists. Writers and their critics.

Usually (other than media tours organized by publicists requiring the presence of stars) other people worked hard to propagate the meme of the celebrity. The more “ink” the better.

Measures of popularity included Box Office, TV Ratings, Best Seller Lists.

Professional status was confirmed by groups of peers. The Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (the Emmys) or The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (the Oscars). One could always argue about their choices. But clearly they weren’t always the most popular.

Now there is a trend toward crowd-sourcing (kind of like texting your vote in on American Idol) – and having quantity win out over quality, though the social science gurus are ever sharpening their algorithms to factor some of the attributes that are harder to quantify.

Like is the post worth looking at. Or will anyone do anything with the information they get from you.

Sports figures, movie stars, musicians, politicians, soccer moms, pit bulls with lipstick, guys like me, we all use social networks these days. The President of the United States just held a national TweetUp, for goodness sake.

Personally, this viewser isn’t playing all-in, yet. I haven’t figured out a way to spend enough time in the system to raise my ranking high enough for a free cup of coffee. I also am possessive about my data being quantified and resold on other people’s networks.

Moreover, even though I would like to have as many people hang on my every word, as say, Justin Bieber,  it feels as though spending more time away from screens – in the company of real people, or out in nature – will help me grow personally as much as anything.

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