Credibility in social media and how to out the phonies

In this guest post Darren Woolley criticises self-titled social media experts without any demonstrable expertise and offers a few ways to catch them out.

In the past 12 months it seems that social media experts have been coming out of the woodwork and turning up at industry conferences espousing their ideas on social media strategies.

In fact, just last week in Sydney there was an industry forum on social media and of the ten speakers, two openly admitted to not really understanding social media as they did not use it, and six more had no Twitter account that I could find, or any obvious sign of social media authority to speak on the subject.

Earlier this year, I went to an industry function where the keynote speaker was a brand marketer who had recently set up as a consultant on building brands using social media. A quick check showed they had less than 200 followers and a Klout score of 16. (Klout is one measure of social authority. Others include Kred and PeerIndex)

Klout score

In the US I attended a social media conference where not only did the organisers provide a #hashtag, but every speaker had their Twitter Name on the program so you could check their Klout, Kred or PeerIndex score of social authority.

So when you are reading, listening or watching someone tell you all about social media, how can you tell if they are everything they say they are?

Well, here is a quick step by step way to find social authority provided by Mike Morgan at High Profile Enterprises @meetmikemorgan (Klout Score 57)

Step 1: Gmail and Rapportive

Set up a Gmail account and install Rapportive. Rapportive will give you a rundown of the person’s social media profiles – LinkedIn, Facebook Twitter which you can visit with a click even if the profile doesn’t use their actual name. It also gives the person’s position and organisation. All you need is their email address – try “their name@their company dotcom”

Metrics to look at:

Twitter – how many followers, tweets, interactions, frequency of use

LinkedIn – number of connections, frequency of content, interaction

Facebook – business pages as well as a personal page? Number of fans, level of interaction

kred Darren Woolley

Step 2: Vanity search

Type their name into Google (if they have a common name add a modifying word based on what they do) – e.g. “Darren Woolley social media

What to look for:

Do they dominate the front page for their own name with trade press, their own websites, social media profiles etc?

Do they have a blog and how often is it updated?

Step 3: Influence measurement

Look at their Twitter name on social influence services (not on Twitter? They are not on social media). You will have to connect your Twitter account to look for these:

Klout – anyone calling themselves a social media speaker should have a minimum of 50 (at the very least)

Kred – minimum 650

PeerIndex – minimum 50

Many speakers are challenged by the thought of a measure of their authority to speak on social media. But with so many people purporting to be social media experts, I think it is important to be able to understand with what authority they are presenting themselves as experts.

As an interesting footnote, Forbes recently published this article on the social media authority of CMOs in the Fortune 100. What they found may or may not surprise you – only 12 had a Klout score of more than 30 and 76% had no Twitter following.

So next time you’re expected to behold the wisdom of a self-annointed social media guru at a conference, don’t be afraid to put up your hand and ask them to justify their place on the platform.

Darren Woolley is the founder of marketing pitch consultants TrinityP3


  1. Bem
    13 Dec 12
    12:03 pm

  2. I’m sure some will disagree with me here, but someone can be an expert in a field, or understand it quite well, without having to actually be part of that field. A university law lecturer doesn’t need to be a lawyer to teach law. A psychologist can help someone with a traumatic event without having been through the event themself. A doctor can cure a patient without ever having felt that ailment. A chef can be vegetarian and still cook meat and know that it will taste good. A journalist can write an article on something they don’t care about. A music mixer doesn’t have to like the music they’re editing to be able to create a good song for a band. I can go on and on…
    Why is it social media is any different? I hate Twitter. It’s inane. And I refuse to be on it for the sake of being on it. But that doesn’t mean I don’t understand it or stops me from writing up an amazing Twitter plan for a company and tell them exactly how to use it.
    I think another issue is that there is such a proliferation of social media at the moment (with many companies jumping on every single one) that it forces consultants to be on everyone as well. Consultants will be wasting half their day updating their Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Tumblr, Flickr, Pintrest, blog and website before even getting any real work done.
    I understand where this article is coming from, but at the end of the day, people can be proficient without having to be using something.

  3. Matt H
    13 Dec 12
    12:21 pm

  4. + 1 to Bem’s comment. Spending the most time on as many social media channels as possible doesn’t qualify you to consult about social media strategy, just as it isn’t an indication about someone’s skill level for such consulting. If anything you should look for the person who gets the most satisfaction from the least time spent on social media in their personal lives.

    Unless the company’s objective is to spread their digital footprint as far and wide as possible and build up a Klout score regardless of their returns on effort, this is a fairly useless way of qualifying a social media consultant.

  5. Can't agree at all with this
    13 Dec 12
    12:29 pm

  6. A very simplistic and quite flawed analysis. I’m actually quite surprised, because Daz is usually on the money.

  7. Damo
    13 Dec 12
    12:32 pm

  8. If you hate Twitter and think it is inane, why would you even recommend a business use it in their social media strategy?

  9. Paul Eveleigh
    13 Dec 12
    12:37 pm

  10. Ho hum. Snake oil salesmen never left us. They call themselves ‘experts’ or ‘consultants’. A moniker they append to flavour-of-the-month marketing theory. Social media. SEO. Google analytics. Audience segmentation. Take your pick—it’s a long list.

    How do you spot a snake oil salesman? Listen to what they say. Jargon and buzzwords mark the beast. Avoid.

  11. Mike
    13 Dec 12
    12:44 pm

  12. Twitter can be kind of inane, but so can customers and clients. That’s why you would recommend a business use it in their social media strategy.

  13. Darren Woolley
    13 Dec 12
    12:48 pm

  14. You do not need to have given birth to be an obstetrician, but I am sure most expecting mothers would prefer a midwife or obstetrician who has delivered a lot of babies than one who has just read about it or knows the theory.

  15. Warlach
    13 Dec 12
    12:51 pm

  16. When assessing people who have the authority to speak about whether other people have the authority to speak about social media, there are a few ways to catch them out.

    If they suggest that easily gamed stats like Klout and Kred are worth more than a passing glance in this regard then that’s probably a good warning sign.

    If the rest of the advice consists of “to see if they’re really using social networks look at their accounts to see if they’re really using social networks” and “Google them” then you may have your answer.

  17. James
    13 Dec 12
    1:03 pm

  18. Spot on, Bern.

    The measure of what someone can achieve for their clients is what they have achieved for other clients.

    Saying someone is unqualified to speak on social media unless they have a significant social media presence themselves is like saying an agency is unqualified to produce TV campaigns unless it has run a successful campaign for itself; or like saying a prosthetic limb specialist isn’t an expert unless they have some minimum number of prosthetics themselves.

    It’s fallacious to measure someone’s expertise with a tool/concept purely by looking at how they have applied that tool/concept to themselves. There are plenty of reasons why someone might choose not to have a significant social media presence; doesn’t mean they don’t understand it.

  19. David
    13 Dec 12
    1:10 pm

  20. I’m not sure I agree with Ben’s comments here.

    A law lecturer, psychologist, doctor and chef all get to be experts at something through years of training and, if asked to justify their “place on the platform” can offer that justification with ease.

    Even so, a law lecturer who has also practiced law is likely to be able to offer insights and nuance that a “theoretical lawyer” cannot. Ditto for most of the other examples offered.

    If I’m going to entrust a social media campaign to someone then it’s going to be someone who can demonstrate understanding of the media in question.

    If you aren’t on Twitter, what qualifies you to be an authority on it? You’d better have something because otherwise it’s just not credible that you can be an expert on something you think is inane.

  21. Jess
    13 Dec 12
    1:20 pm

  22. Completely agree with you Bern

    To suggest that you can only understand a method of marketing by personally using that tool or platform to promote yourself is ridiculous. I am not a business. I advise other businesses on how to sell product to consumers. I do not need to be highly visible in social media landscape to do so

  23. Dude
    13 Dec 12
    1:26 pm

  24. Sorry, but as soon as you start judging people based on their Klout score you sound like the rest of the social media experts/wankers.

  25. Andrew
    13 Dec 12
    1:26 pm

  26. There’s a bit of difference between understanding it and how i can best be used for your clients vs pushing your own ‘look at me, look at me’ public profile.

  27. Fabfour
    13 Dec 12
    1:29 pm

  28. Most business people who drive serious social and digital campaigns use other identities – not their own. That’s where the engery goes – into building engagement into those sites. It’s the social media one-man-bands that rely on their personal identity to make money.

    I also don’t agree with using your personal Facebook identity for business interaction. It’s a personal profile for friends.

  29. Andrew
    13 Dec 12
    1:29 pm

  30. Typo – should read:

    There’s a bit of difference between understanding it and how it can best be used for your clients vs pushing your own ‘look at me, look at me’ public profile.

    You don’t have to be on TV to be able to produce good TV.

  31. Artsieaspie
    13 Dec 12
    1:29 pm

  32. Awesome – based on my Klout, Peerindex and Kred data, I’m almost a social media maven.

    And so is the fake persona I use for my religion blog.

    And my cat’s not far behind. :)

  33. Yeah, but nah...
    13 Dec 12
    1:36 pm

  34. Yeah, I’ve been community managing facebook pages and twitter accounts for the past 4 years. I think I’m a pretty good strategist and know enough about social media to at least have – what I think – is a reasoned opinion about it. As a result, I imagine I could talk at a conference and not wee myself.

    However, I barely have the time to manage my own blog or produce content that I think is half decent for my social platforms. As a result, my Klout score, personal followers, or sadly under-posted personal blog dont reflect the actual time I spend working in social channels.

    Even when i do get time, I actually avoid using my own social accounts now. It just reminds me of work. And frankly, I’m finding Facebook and Twitter a bit tedious.

    I think this is an interesting post by Darren, but really the main take out is that self-promotion is what is required to be considered an expert. Not expertise.

  35. Jocelyn
    13 Dec 12
    1:43 pm

  36. If you find twitter inane, you’re likely to be following the wrong people.

  37. Ummm...
    13 Dec 12
    1:51 pm

  38. Pretty sure what Darren is getting at is this:

    If you’re paying money to hear someone speak on a topic, you want to know they know their stuff. Every little bit of it. And if you’re not using it every day, in every way, how can you possibly know all that?

    There’s no substitute for experience right? Would you rather pay to see Winston Churchill talk about World War II or a World War II historian?

  39. Karen Godfrey
    13 Dec 12
    1:53 pm

  40. The best plumber I’ve ever used had a leaky tap at his holiday house. The best builder I’ve ever used, got nagged by his wife to finish their extension. And the best e-marketing company I’ve ever used had relatively low visits to their website by the sheer nature of them being B2B. I personally spend more time administering my clients’ Facebook pages then my own – isn’t that why we’re called ‘service professionals’ – and don’t have hours every day to be on all social media channels for the purpose of promoting my OWN business.

  41. Matt H
    13 Dec 12
    1:55 pm

  42. Darren, your latest example with the obstetrician seems to be pivoting from “how much they do it themselves” to “do they have the experience/creds,” which is a good way to qualify a expert and has almost nothing to do with their Klout score.

  43. Ead
    13 Dec 12
    2:24 pm

  44. Looks like one of those articles that’s written to get people fired up.
    Everyone knows klout’s a load of crap.

    Good posting strategy i say! 😉

  45. JC
    13 Dec 12
    2:30 pm

  46. Klout and the like are flawed not only cos they change their own goalpoasts about once a fortnight but because they lack human verification ie Big Ben tweets the word ‘Bong’ every hour, or more depending on the time. It has a decent Klout score and is influential in the drugs sector. Not bad for a clock..

  47. Carl
    13 Dec 12
    2:32 pm

  48. I’d much rather listen to an academic social scientist that studies networks but has no social media profile than someone with a high Klout score any day of the week

  49. Remer
    13 Dec 12
    2:33 pm

  50. Seems Bem was wrong to think people would disagree with him/her… I personally agree with you 100%
    I’ve been told by a few people now that if I don’t have at least 500 people linked to me on LinkedIn then no one will take me seriously. Really? I barely have 200 people on Facebook. How does that many people make me serious or not? No one knows that many people legitimately. Same goes with tweets and followers and status updates. When does it go from using the social media properly to using it for the sake of using it just to improve scores on some other website?
    And if someone asked me in the middle of a lecture to prove myself, I’d direct them to the campaigns I was running than the social media I was too busy to update!

  51. Justine Parsons
    13 Dec 12
    2:34 pm

  52. Agree with Darren on this one. With social media changing so rapidly, anyone providing social media service to clients should be testing new features, networks and tools themselves before carrying this through to client strategies.

    While a good mechanics car may be a heap of **** this is no reason to believe he won’t do a great job on your car. The same analogy does not apply to social media. If a prospective client wants to check out a so called expert, isn’t it better for them to see what the expert is doing for their own brand rather than have to read through carefully vetted testimonials?

    My midwife was a Mum!

  53. Anton Buchner
    13 Dec 12
    3:04 pm

  54. Seems to be a lot of people getting their backs up here. Wonder why? Are they walking the walk or just talking the talk? There is no silver bullet for social as it’s an evolving medium, however I agree with Darren that as an industry we owe it to ourselves to do more due diligence before jumping on a band wagon. I don’t think he’s saying these are the only measures, but they’re some of the measures that would give an inkling as to whether someone has a certain level of authority to charge for their knowledge. Don’t lose sight of the fundamentals of business. Feel free to follow my 12 days of tacky Xmas launched today #12DOTX

  55. Young people
    13 Dec 12
    3:09 pm

  56. We’re heaps good at content

  57. pardox
    13 Dec 12
    3:17 pm

  58. This is the same logic as using GenYs to drive your social media – just because they use more than anyone doesn’t make them experts.

    The great joy of twitter is you can make it your own. If you want to use it to listen and not interact then that’s fine.

    By the same logic all English academics should be great writers.

  59. Betty Boo
    13 Dec 12
    3:26 pm

  60. What a ridiculous piece of crap. If you looked up my Klout score you would see that it’s actually quite low. I’m actually quite careful about what I post and publish under my own profiles. I have worked in digital publishing for some time and have run social media for those brands and also for their clients. I have lived and breathed social media and know how to run successful social strategies and campaigns. Do I run around shouting that I’m a social media expert? No. The people who do claim to be experts are nothing more than wankers and having a high klout score means nothing – it probably means that you are spending too much time yapping under your own identity and not actually working in the field – aurgh!!!

  61. hugo
    13 Dec 12
    4:24 pm

  62. I have to disagree here also. While the attempt to quantitatively measure influence with the likes of Klout is understandable – it’s also ineffective. People can do good social media promotion of others without doing it for themselves. To put it another way, just because I’m not interested in/no good at talking myself up it doesn’t mean I’m not interested/no good at talking *you* up.

    You’d want to look at these measures but you wouldn’t want to look at them out of context.

    Personally I’d prefer my social media experts to be spending their time promoting my business on social media rather than spending their time promoting themselves on social media.

    Also I note, John Scalzi. A Sci-Fi author who got himself published off the strength of his blog, and massively boosts his sales/other author’s he knows sales with the use of social media – but has gone on record speaking negatively about Klout.

  63. Mike Morgan
    13 Dec 12
    4:38 pm

  64. It always surprises me how worked up people get about social influence measurement – particularly Klout.

    It’s worth taking a look at Mark Schaefer’s book “Return on Influence” for a non-hysterical view of influence measurement and social media.

    If you are presenting at a social media event as an expert and you do not have a solid social media track record and some presence in search then I wouldn’t fork out to hear your insights.

    If you care about your personal online brand then I just don’t buy the “I’m too busy creating awesome social business success for my clients to do my own stuff” line.

    BTW can I please have the name of that restaurant where the vegetarian chef cooks the meat? … so I can avoid it!

  65. Woolley Thinking
    13 Dec 12
    4:38 pm

  66. Sorry, but IMHO this is about DW not anyone or anything else – and therefore of little merit…

    And by the way it’s “BEM” not Ben or Bern… anything else and you’re just not in Le Hunt x

  67. hello_emily
    13 Dec 12
    4:48 pm

  68. If you want to know if a social media expert is any good at what they do, I’d recommend looking at their previous work and results before examining their Kred score.

    Kinda like you would for… anyone else.

  69. Nic Halley
    13 Dec 12
    5:20 pm

  70. Social Media has matured, it would be nice if some of the pundits could do the same

  71. Mo S.
    13 Dec 12
    5:28 pm

  72. To be honest, social media is very time-consuming if you want to become highly influential in the field without being physically influential/famous in the real world. I don’t think any busy CMOs, Executives, Strategists, etc actually have time to build up their social media profiles. But that’s what Assistants are for…right?

  73. Shabbadu
    13 Dec 12
    5:45 pm

  74. I don’t want to speak on behalf of Darren, but the point I got from it is “If you’re unsure whether a social media expert is full of shit or not, here’s just one way some guy suggests that might help you work it out.”
    Considering this post landed on the same day as Mumbrella were promoting their social media seminar thing, I found the post timely for those wanting to know more about the topic.
    At no point does he say “This is the only way to validate a social media expert”. Of course there are other ways. This is but one of them.
    I don’t find every post on Mumbrella relevant to what I do or the things that interest me.
    Does that mean I should slag the author for not bringing up another perfectly relevant point that backs up the same story?
    It’s an opinion piece, not a thesis. It’s not going to cover everything.
    By all means have a counter opinion, but construct an argument instead of calling things “bullshit”.
    Show some courtesy and professional respect FFS.

  75. Modest Blend Into Woodwork
    13 Dec 12
    10:54 pm

  76. I am on every digital social network platform thingy going, (although not in my real name, because I am not narcissistic and I like to keep a private profile on the www).

    Hey Darren, I can’t find your profile on Soundcloud? I hope you don’t have any clients in the music industry!

    I have set up many extremely successful social media campaigns for clients. I believe the reason these campaigns have been successful is because my team and I rock at understanding customer service, sales, account management, PR, manners, trust, true friendship etc. Put these skill sets together and really engage, communicate, empathise and collaborate with existing and potential customers, then you are on to a real winner. The skills and terms listed above we also recommend our clients to use in the real sometimes scary, face to face world.

    There is slightly technical stuff, such as #idontwanttobefamous and #myprivatelifeismyprivatelife, or #youwontfindmeonagooglesearchbecauseidontwanttobefound, plus a few other things (on page, off page) blah blah blah.

    Quite frankly though, just because somebody isn’t plastered all over the web with bells on, does not mean that they are not great at social media strategy.

    Digital social networks are simply that and they are easy to use effectively. The skills to engage an audience, make friends and sell products efficiently have been around for years. Looking at how many corporates, with high profiled “social media agency bod’s” manning their social media strat, makes me scratch my head tbh.

    Good day.

  77. Me
    14 Dec 12
    9:21 am

  78. As soon as advertisers get involved with a social media platform, it dies – every time.

    Only difference is the length of the death rattle.

  79. Bob
    14 Dec 12
    11:26 am

  80. I tend to assume anyone who calls themselves a “social media expert” is a phoney.

  81. NS
    14 Dec 12
    12:21 pm

  82. BEM +1

    and this is the pot calling the kettle black, isn’t it Darren?

    i can’t believe you’re advocating reliance on Klout!

    it’s absolute rubbish

  83. Modest Blend Into Woodwork
    15 Dec 12
    3:12 pm

  84. Surely the Klout score of your clients would be the factor to consider and not the Klout score of the agency bod / bods / self promoted online ego?

    Some people are so far up their own a holes, it aint funny.


  85. BenC
    15 Dec 12
    9:12 pm

  86. Hilarious! So no one disagrees with Woolley’s point that every man, woman and their dog is a social media guru just at the minute, but EVERYONE disagrees with his solution with sifting the chaff.

    For everyone and their team who ‘rocks’ (good lord) at social media for clients what’s wrong with a GENUINE case study/testimonial – so old school I know but authenticity is surely the new black.

    In the client service context, I’ve found it’s good to have a team with successful social media socialites mixed with some pragmatic observers. Quite a few social media pied pipers have amazing instinct for harnessing it but find it challenging putting together targeted strategies and tactics.

  87. GeneralColin
    16 Dec 12
    11:15 pm

  88. Total crap. I know lots of chefs who cook for a living at good restaurants. Do you know what they eat at home? Takeaway pizza or thai. Because they spend every working minute thinking about how how to create a great eating experience for other people, it’s relaxing for them to switch off when they don’t have to please a client. But when they invite you to their birthday, or Xmas Day or some other event where they feel like showing what they’re made of, wow!, that’s when you realise indeed they know their stuff. So I wouldn’t judge a social media expert by his Twitter page, I would look at his client’s pages.

  89. Graham Lang
    17 Dec 12
    12:38 pm

  90. When someone tries to indicate that they are an “expert” in social media no need to check anything, nothing, zip, zero.
    Simply run a hundred Ks an hour in the other direction, immediately.
    No-one is an expert in a space that is changing evolving and improving at a daily pace never seen before in communications..
    Further, to compare expertise to usage as in traditional media is a bit silly. Most forms of traditional media are one way conversations.
    Memo all Brand owners/custodians/strategists and all the above. First question to ask your potential social media consultant is. Do you have a heritage and/or understanding of branded content? and how are you going to grow an engaged community around my brand,product service,web site?…#learningeveryday

  91. bob is a rabbit
    18 Dec 12
    12:00 pm

  92. The easiest way to determine ‘guru-ness’ is to ask the client.

    They can tell you how best to write an ad, shoot a complex scene, create perfect UX, influence journalists, buy media and run a business all in the same day – by email no-less.

  93. James Norquay
    18 Dec 12
    2:37 pm

  94. If you are measuring how good some one is at social Media by looking at their Klout score, you have a problem,
    Here is a good post to show how easy it is to game and how wrong it can be:

    That been said results talk, case studies talk, recommendations from big business of doing a good job and getting results.

    Tell them to log into their analytic’s and show the year on year increase from Social Channels on a attribution dashboard.

  95. Client
    19 Dec 12
    9:12 am

  96. So, Barack Obama would be the best person to run my social media offerings? Or do you think he might have a lesser known team in the background working hard to give him the status that he has?

  97. Matt
    19 Dec 12
    10:03 am

  98. Klout. Heh.

  99. bob is a rabbit
    19 Dec 12
    1:46 pm

  100. @Client – you already know the answer. Let’s not waste peoples time. Although we’ll take your money anyway.

  101. NS
    19 Dec 12
    2:48 pm

  102. @Bob the rabbit you’re so right – i’ve also had a gutful of those wretched, pathetic, knowitall clients who think they understand advertising better than me.

    Just because it’s their product, their company’s millions and their career on the line, they think they deserve a seat at MY table.

    as everybody around here knows, unless you’ve got a twirly mo or a scraggly beard, are rolling up your tight black jeans and riding your fixie to work – you don’t know shit about anything and should head back to the suburbs

  103. Karalee
    19 Dec 12
    3:06 pm

  104. If you are paying money to listen and perhaps learn from a speaker at a conference, then surely it’s about the value that speaker brings in terms of content, insights, case studies or even anti-establishment thinking? Klout, Kred, PeerIndex, Google rankings et al are not the measure of value in this regard, and as Warlach and others point out, can be gamed etc.

    What has that person done prior? Have they been involved in work that has won awards or is ranked highly among their peers? Do they have an opinion, and what is their grounding/training?

    And if you’re seeking a credible Digi for work, ask their clients. Don’t ask for their Twitter followers – 50% of twitter accounts are inactive because many people passively consume rather than produce…

    Ask not what their Klout score is to you, but what their Klout score is to them… (recommend you read that in the voice of Clint Eastwood for shits and giggles)

  105. Brand Panda
    19 Dec 12
    6:06 pm

  106. What @Shabbdu said.

  107. Client
    19 Dec 12
    8:33 pm

  108. @bob is a rabbit

    I can’t find anyone to hire to run my social media. Nobody has a high enough Klout score. 63? Prrrfft?!

    Ah, Obama, please return my calls x

  109. bob is a rabbit
    20 Dec 12
    11:37 am

  110. My name is bob, and I am a rabbit.

    Therefore I can’t ride fixie, or wear tight jeans. Though I do prefer a suburban environment for its grass and dirt.

    I can however provide objective advice on how to spend your millions that considers external factors and not just your own career and indoctrinated understanding of your product. And you will both pay for that, and ignore it. Which is your prerogative. Just don’t blame the agency when your decisions fail – as you’re inclined to do. And remember, your success is the agency’s as well. We lose if you do.

  111. bob is a rabbit
    20 Dec 12
    11:39 am

  112. @ client.

    Since when did I defend Klout? I merely said you know best. And have already decided Obama is the choice. Let’s just say you asked for my opinion, then chose to ignore it, rather than actually go through the motions.

  113. Client
    20 Dec 12
    1:06 pm

  114. @bob is a rabbit

    I didn’t say you defended Klout? Did I?

    Obama, please, please get back to me!!!!

  115. Vince
    21 Dec 12
    10:46 am

  116. Hmm, alot of flaws in this plan, many social media guys have an innumerable number of email adresses, accounts and profiles.

    Some of these will be business accounts and profiles not linked to their personal email address, so judging their klout and peer index scores, using rapportive etc. based on one email address is a ridiculous gauge of influence.

    In my own case I have about five main emails that I use for different business’ and other personal accounts.

    My personal emails account sits at 62 on klout, and the others which are for business’ range from 20-79. But even klout is floored in that it doesn’t let you upload more than one of each media profile, It doesn’t measure the 12 facebook pages I run, the 13 twitter profiles, the 14 blogs etc. etc. which are split between different emails, just one from each, imagine the score if they were aggregated!

    The best way to tell if someone is legitimate, is to ask them what social media work they’ve done in the past, for what client, and then look at the results they got, or the strategy they wrote. It’s no different to asking a copywriter for a portfolio, or a traditional marketing guy for a reference.

  117. Téa
    30 Dec 12
    11:03 am

  118. I actually hold the opposite view, primarily because of the way Klout measures influence, and based on my own experience (I have lived social media ups & downs… one of those ‘downs’ involved deleting all my social media accounts and going quiet for 6 months.)

    Most of the people I know who are true authorities on ‘social media’ are those that have a) very little time to dedicate to their own personal social media and b) have a complex relationship with it.

    My Klout drops by 6 points whenever I take a break from Twitter, or choose (strategically) to retain my Facebook & G+ posts privately. It doesn’t make me less authoritative on the strategic/business goal alignment that comes with social media strategic planning because I choose to keep some things private personally.

    I have proven (by going from Klout of 72-65, to a steady 58-59 when private) how easy it is to ‘game’ the Klout system with volume & being provocative.

    PeerIndex, while a slightly better metric, again, becomes impacted simply by taking a break, or being too busy to maintain my own profile and/or blog. Yet, if you ask those I have worked with… I come highly recommended as a strategist. I am not focused on marketing though… more on the organisational & management side… but still…

    I think it is a little irresponsible to write off knowledgeable people who don’t prioritise their Klout score, who have the RIGHT message (alignment to goals, organisational change, project management and impact on business) and credibility beyond just Klout & PeerIndex… like the first commenter said… plenty of academics are experts without practising.

    I for one think I am qualified to speak on social media, purely because I don’t blidnly evangelise it and share inane details of my life publicly to enhance Klout. I have the same dilemmas most do about sharing, being exposed, having fallout… you aren’t a true social media “expert” until you’ve had it go wrong, in my opinion.