Monday, September 17, 2012

Alyssa Milano Retweeted Me and I Didn't Even Get a Lousy T-Shirt

One of the many joys of social media is the way, every now and then, something completely unexpected occurs. This happened to me last week when Alyssa Milano retweeted one of my tweets to her 2.2 million followers (via a RT from @heykim). No, the actress didn't suddenly take an interest in my social media musings; she shared a photo I took of the One World Trade Center lit in red, white and blue to commemorate September 11.

So, what happens when a celebrity retweets you? I thought this unique situation would provide some interesting insights. Would my follower count jump? Would my Klout and Kred score leap? Would I get cast in Alyssa's next project?

In the end, very little happened, and that's probably as it should be. My Twitter "Connect" stream got very busy for several hours, but despite garnering 135 retweets and 5,597 clicks to the photo, my follower count changed only modestly--instead of my usual dozen or so new followers per day, my count increased by 99 followers in four days before returning to a normal rate.

Interestingly, a photo I posted two days later received even more Twitter attention (but fewer clicks), without any celebrity sharing. My picture of sunrise over the World Trade Center the morning of September 11 was retweeted 721 times, and Twitter tells me this tweet earned 35 times more reach than usual.

I wondered if these two tweets would increase my influence scores. I'm not sure they should--the fact many folks liked two of my photos hardly makes me more influential on any topic, but these two tweets also represented a considerable amount of virality. From August 1 to September 12, I posted 500 tweets, and my pair of tweets last week represented more than two-thirds of the retweets and favorites received over this six-week period. (Hours slaving over research, writing and proofing blog posts, and all it takes is a couple snaps of my cell phone camera to deliver retweets, faves and replies--I think I'm doing it the hard way!)

So, did I become more influential according to the two influence-measurement services? In the days following my 9/9 photo tweet, my Klout score rose somewhat less than three points and my Kred score added five points--Klout increased almost four percent while my Kred score rose little more than 0.5%. Two different sites; two different algorithms; two different outcomes--but still no closer to knowing if either captures influence in a meaningful way. I tend to think that Kred, with its more modest upturn, probably reflects a more accurate measure of how my social prestige was affected by the social sharing of a couple of photos.

I am glad so many people enjoyed my photos. As a new resident of the New York area, I have been struck by the grace and presence of the rising One World Trade Center, and I am pleased a few folks felt I captured some of the beauty, hope and resilience the new tower represents. In the end, that matters more to me than whether my influence score jumped. That said, if Alyssa wants to cast me in her next movie or television show, she is welcome to send me a DM on Twitter.



6 comments:

Unknown said...

Hello Augie,

Your story is a repeat of the experience James Fowler had a few years ago: http://www.cnn.com/2010/OPINION/11/16/fowler.christakis.tweeting/

Maybe it's just because of Alyssa Milano ;-)
Best

Augie Ray said...

Thanks for sharing the link. Very interesting to compare experiences! That research is very much like some that we did at Forrester--brands love to focus om the big influencers, but it's the small network of close relationships that really matter.

Mark Etingchap said...

I say, chap, a very agreeable piece of writing this. Well played.

I blog about social media influence measurement regularly, but even I would not dare to think either system you mention can truly capture a chap's influence. Such a think is too intangible to ever be defined precisely.

I'm quite vocal in my support of Kred, however, because it is simpler, transparent, and measures every tweet ever tweeted (instead of the last 90 days).

I shall subscribe to your blog and look forward to more excellent stuff in the future.

Best regards,

Augie Ray said...

Thanks for the comment, Mark.

Collin Kromke said...

Where are you getting those cool Twitter analytics, because I want them!

erik fischer said...

Any new york social media marketing exec would consider influence to be merely a point of reference, but would still consider hinging on solid networks (like you said) to determine a brand's (or person's) impact.