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Are you being seduced by Klout scores?

Klout is a very interesting site that scores people according to their influence, and it’s fun to check your score to see whether you’re trending up today. But don’t fall into the trap of focusing on people with high Klout scores when you attempt your influence marketing. You might be missing the more important lesson from Klout.

Nobody’s Klout score means as much as you think it does. I get that my score might be a 63 while Justin Bieber’s is a 92, but if you want to influence people on digital marketing, you might want to talk to me, not the Beebster. My suspicion is that if you want to influence people on the topic of lawn mowers, that neither one of us will be much help.

You’re far better off analyzing which subjects people are influential on than what their Klout score is. Klout scores try to describe people’s influence in general, but the problem is that no one is actually influential in general. That last time you thought someone knew everything, you were seven, and your dad didn’t turn out as smart as you thought. (Just ask my kids if you need to test this.)

You’ll be better off looking for folks on Klout that are influential in your space–and maybe trying to find a few that you can contact through LinkedIn through mutual connections. Better to get some time with a small fish with a warm intro than a big Klout score with a cold call.

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Mike Moran

Mike Moran is an expert in digital marketing, search technology, social media, text analytics, web personalization, and web metrics, who, as a Certified Speaking Professional, regularly makes speaking appearances. Mike’s previous appearances include keynote speaking appearances worldwide. Mike serves as a senior strategist for Converseon, an AI powered consumer intelligence technology and consulting firm. He is also a senior strategist for SoloSegment, a marketing automation software solutions and services firm. Mike also serves as a member of the Board of Directors of SEMPO. Mike spent 30 years at IBM, rising to Distinguished Engineer, an executive-level technical position. Mike held various roles in his IBM career, including eight years at IBM’s customer-facing website, ibm.com, most recently as the Manager of ibm.com Web Experience, where he led 65 information architects, web designers, webmasters, programmers, and technical architects around the world. Mike's newest book is Outside-In Marketing with world-renowned author James Mathewson. He is co-author of the best-selling Search Engine Marketing, Inc. (with fellow search marketing expert Bill Hunt), now in its Third Edition. Mike is also the author of the acclaimed internet marketing book, Do It Wrong Quickly: How the Web Changes the Old Marketing Rules, named one of best business books of 2007 by the Miami Herald. Mike founded and writes for Biznology® and writes regularly for other blogs. In addition to Mike’s broad technical background, he holds an Advanced Certificate in Market Management Practice from the Royal UK Charter Institute of Marketing and is a Visiting Lecturer at the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business. He also teaches at Rutgers Business School. He is a Senior Fellow at the Society for New Communications Research. Mike worked at ibm.com from 1998 through 2006, pioneering IBM’s successful search marketing program. IBM’s website of over two million pages was a classic “big company” website that has traditionally been difficult to optimize for search marketing. Mike, working with Bill Hunt, developed a strategy for search engine marketing that works for any business, large or small. Moran and Hunt spearheaded IBM’s content improvement that has resulted in dramatic gains in traffic from Google and other internet portals.

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