How Important is Influence Within Social Media?

Influence is a hotly debated subject within Social Media circles. Many people believe that your influence, within social networks, is your most valuable commodity. Others believe that influence is often overrated and rarely measured with all relevant factors taken into consideration. Yet long before social media existed, influence was often considered critical in the sales process. Whether you believe in it or not you should consider Dr. Robert Cialdini’s book “Influence: Science and Practice”

Cialdini’s Six Principles of Influence


  1. Reciprocation: If you take care of your customers, your customers will take care of you
  2. Scarcity: It’s easier to tell something that people perceive as popular and in short supply
  3. Authority: The customer will believe in you if you’re knowledgeable
  4. Commitment: If your customer publicly commits to an order or request, he’s likely to go through with the sale
  5. Liking: Ever bought something from someone you disliked? Every turned down someone you liked?
  6. Consensus: It’s easier to close a sale if everyone around is also buying your product
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Entrepreneurs and Corporations Measure the Impact of Social Media

Today 105 major corporations, more adopting everyday, have corporate blogs that engage their audience, tell their story, deliver their value, and offer a place for insight. Entrepreneurs are at the forefront of this evolution. In addition, many of these corporations are adopting social media tools like Twitter and Facebook as tools to help create audience and “evangelists” for their products and services. The following are steps provided by Peter Kim on how to measure a social media campaign.

Peter Kim is one of the most important architects of social media and a well respected new thought practitioners. Peter is considered an expert in the art and science of “the intersection of social technology and marketing strategy.” He has been quoted by the most prestigious press organizations from the Wall Street Journal to CBS Evening News.

In Peter’s article “A framework for measuring social media” he outlines four concepts that provide the framework for social media measurement or ROI:

1. Attention: “The amount of traffic to your content for a given period of time.  Similar to the standard web metrics of site visits and page/video views.”

IA: Your readership can vary in many ways and although measuring number of readers and page views is quite telling, average time per visit is a major factor. Simply put how long a person stays on your site reading your content can be indicative to your content’s value in the eyes of your readers.

2. Participation: “The extent to which users engage with your content in a channel.  Think blog comments, Facebook wall posts, YouTube ratings, or widget interactions.”

IA: Key is a users willingness to engage with other users on your site. The comment section for each blog post has the potential to become their own mini “forums.” Within these forums your readers debate your content, collaborate, and communicate freely. One of the best examples of this is on ChrisBrogan.com another social media expert.

3. Authority: “Ala Technorati, the inbound links to your content – like trackbacks and inbound links to a blog post or sites linking to a YouTube video.”

IA: Although Technorati is the most well known inbound link measurement site, it is often not as accurate as Google. Peter is right on the money here with the fact that your trackbacks and inbound links are absolutely critical in measuring your content’s effectiveness in attracting readers.

4. Influence: “The size of the user base subscribed to your content.  For blogs, feed or email subscribers; followers on Twitter or Friendfeed; or fans of your Facebook page.”

IA: Attracting subscribers means you are producing excellent content. Yet in some cases, the subscription numbers can be “infected” by misleading subscription growth trends based on inaccurate numbers.

Job Seekers and Entrepreneurs: Drive Your Competition Crazy

Reality Check

“If any of my competitors were drowning, I’d stick a hose in their mouth.” Ray Kroc

Harsh words no doubt but if you have ever read about McDonald’s founder Ray Kroc they fit his personality. Unlike Mr. Kroc’s take no prisoners attitude, Guy Kawasaki suggests that the best way drive your competition crazy is by “constantly innovating and serving your customers.”

If you are a entrepreneur or a job seeker go buy Guy Kawsaki’s latest book “Reality Check.” Begin on Chapter 66 with “The Art of Driving Your Competition Crazy” for the best practical advice on how to stand out, be memorable, and create your differentiating factor. Also check out the blog for more information. Although there are 8 important steps worth serious consideration, one stands out as the theme of Kawasaki’s advice: Focus on the Customer.

Focus on the Customer:  Entrepreneur

The irony here is that rather than trying to do something to your competitor(s), “the best way to drive your competition crazy is not to do anything to it.” The strategy to success is to focus on your customer by concentrating on great customer service, out-innovating the competition, and out-pricing them.

Focus on the Hiring Manager: Job Seeker

In the same respects there is an irony in this situation too. Instead of the job seeker attempting to out sell, out brag, or out maneuver his/her resume to be the best resume, the job seeker needs to concentrate on the hiring manager’s happiness.

This happiness can be achieved by creating value through a blog, a great Linkedin profile, and a social media broadcasting system. The goal for job seekers should be to remove the resume review process, time lost, costly hours wasted by a hiring manager who does not want to go through this process. By making a valuable case and delivering a message of value through target marketing, job seekers could completely remove this burden from the hiring manager.

Job Seekers Become Memorable Through Influence

Beacon News member of the Chicago Sun-Times newsgroup published this deansguide article 1-06-09

Chicago Sun-Times published this deansguide article 1-06-09

The most compelling need for job seekers today, in one of the most highly competitive job markets in history, is to be memorable. If you do not stand out and differentiate yourself from your competition, your search progress will be delayed–indefinitely.

What is influence and how does it pertain to your job search? If you are looking for ways to stand apart from the over crowded human capital pool, consider your abilities to influence others. In today’s job market, winning that coveted interview leading to a job requires the job seeker to become a target marketer.

But even with the best research, including desired companies and hiring managers, job seekers must be able to influence people in order to capture the interview leading to that desired position.

What is Influence?

In his interview for Guy Kawasaki’s fantastic must read “Reality Check”, Dr. Robert Cialdini PhD, Professor of Psychology at Arizona State University, and one of the world’s leading experts on persuasion, compliance, and negotiation defines influence:

“Influence means creating change in some way. Change can be in an attitude, it can be in a perception, or a behavior. But in all instances, we can’t lay claim to influence until we can demonstrate we have changed someone.”

Influence a “Science” for All

According to Dr. Cialdini the good news about influence is that it is no longer just for certain “gifted” individuals. Instead Cialdini insists:

“For centuries, the ability to be influential and persuasive has been thought of as an art, but there’s also a science to it. And if it’s scientific, it can be taught. It can be learned. So we all have the potential to become more influential.”

Influence Your Job Search

With the trend for job search turning to proactive target marketing and social media tools within an employment campaign, the natural progression for a job seeker is influence. How to influence hiring managers and persuade companies to give you a interview is the ultimate goal.

The true reality check is the fact that a Web 1.0 resume, with no measurement capabilities, is not the answer in today’s job market. The old method of response mode marketing via a resume must be replaced by a Web 2.0 employment campaign strategy.


Six Principles of Influence: Create Change That Benefits Your Customer

Influence is one of the most important factors in any business from the one-off entrepreneur to the largest global corporations. To understand the power of influence and persuasion, you must first understand the definition of influence.

The best definition is offered by one of the world’s leading experts on influence, persuasion, and negotiation Dr. Robert Cialdini as told in his interview for Guy Kawasaki’s great book “Reality Check.” Dr. Chialdini, a psychology professor at Arizona State University and Phd defines influence:

“Influence means creating change in some way. Change can be in an attitude, it can be in a perception, or a behavior. But in all instances, we can’t lay claim to influence until we can demonstrate that we’ve changed someone.”

Six Universal Principles of Influence

1. Reciprocation: People give back and treat you the same way you treat them

2. Scarcity: People are motivated to “seize the opportunities” of a limited offer that you provide to them if they realize the supply of this offer is rare or in dwindling availability

3. Authority: The greater your knowledge and credibility on a subject is the easier it is to persuade people

4. Commitment: People will feel the need and obligation to “comply with your request” if it is consistent with what they have publicly agreed (committed) to in your presence

5. Liking: The degree to which people know and like you is the main factor in their preference to say “yes” to you

6. Consensus: People love company in most decisions. If you give them evidence that others, just like them, have said yes to you, they then “will be likely” to say yes to you more often than not

“Can I Buy You Lunch”: CSIX Founder Hamid Saadat’s Successful Vision

Hamid Saadat was newly out of work and getting restless with his new routine at home. He had just been victim of a layoff during a brutal economic down turn in the Valley circa 2001.

Feeling like getting out, Hamid decided to wander over to a nearby neighborhood Chinese restaurant for some lunch and a change of pace. On his way to the restaurant, Hamid decided that if he could find someone to go to lunch with he might make a new networking connection.

Eying a man walking near the restaurant, Hamid asked “Can I buy you lunch?” With that innocuous question, he unwittingly launched a new career and provided Silicon Valley with one of it’s most powerful networking organizations in the process.

Hamid Saadat is Founder and Chairman of the Board of CSIX Connect. Under his leadership CSIX Connect has grown from 2 people at its inception in 2001, to more than 3000 members, who share job leads, job search resources and mutual support.

Substance Factor

A veteran Silicon Valley player, Hamid has more than 20 years experience with companies like Cisco, Marconi, Network Equipment Technology and Calinet Networks. His expertise lies in Operations primarily in the networking industry.

Hamid holds his Masters Degree in Physics from the University of Oregon.

That Certain Something

Charisma is often a over used and abused word when describing people. In the case of Hamid Saadat it truly fits the man. A gregarious and joyful crowd pleaser, Hamid has that certain something so many people gravitate toward. He is a genuine, helpful, supportive power who’s goal is to help everyone find and land their desired job.

If you want to network, network effectively, create new friendships, and connect with Silicon Valley’s best then you should strongly consider paying CSIX a visit–it’s the place to be.

Networking Strategy #8: Network Outside Of Your Comfort Zone

One of the most challenging yet rewarding networking strategies you can employ is to network outside of your traditional groups, niche, or tried and true organizations. One such challenge I took on recently was to attend the Silicon Valley Association of Startup Entrepreneur meetings aka SVASE.

In my first and only SVASE meeting I met two priciples for the Venture Capital firm ONSET, a Phd working on stem cell research for Stanford, a real life journalist, and enough start up idealist to fill the entire Valley. If this were a card game, you would have to have an MBA just to sit at the table–I was woefully undermanned but game.

What is SVASE?

SVASE is the largest and fastest growing nonprofit association in Northern California dedicated exclusively to helping early stage entrepreneurs across all technology sectors build successful companies.

Network Outside Your Comfort Zone
The next SVASE meeting Digital Media: Building a Business with Social Networking. The speaker’s panel includes Patrick Chanezon, API Evangelist Google Inc; Jyri Engestrom Co-Founder, Jaiku; Konstantin Guericke, CEO of Jaxter (phone call widget for blogs) and Co-Founder of Linkedin; and Ramu Yalamanchi, CEO of hi5.
The substance factor for this panel is high in tech knowledge, start-up expertise, successful niche business development, and Valley connectivity.
SVASE Application #1
You could position yourself as the Real Estate specialist to the region (Silicon Valley) or to a particular job sector like high tech. Many Realtors in Silicon Valley have attempted to position themselves as “Your Google” Realtor. What special interest group or noteworthy organization resides in your area? Consider branding yourself to a particular group, business, niche, or company
Final Thought
At my first SVASE meeting I met two entrepreneurs who asked me to take on their marketing duties (a job offer), I met a principle of a VC firm, I connected my new entrepreneurial friends with my new VC contact, and I was introduced to the American Assoc. of Training and Development–a new networking experience. Whatever you choose make it an adventure!