OK so I just finished Mark Schaefer’s book, “Return on Influence”. This was my first read from Mark and I think he did a great job. The premise of the book is centered around influence and the new tools that are seeking to measure online influence. Mark focuses on Klout (a social influence measurement site) and there is a great section on Joe Fernandez and the back story of how Klout came into being. I always enjoy a good case study so those chapters were some of my favorites. I love the love/hate relationship he has with social scoring. I feel the same way about marketing. I think this comes from understanding it so well that you are annoyed that it isn’t being done better or that bad companies are applying good marketing to get results they don’t deserve. So here are some of the key points I found in the book and my thoughts.
The first chapter goes into influence through conversation and some contrasts between traditional and digital communication. I love the opening story about the job interview. Chapter two shows the power that online influence can have in the real world. I like the real opinions he gives throughout the book. Personal power is really magnified with social media and people can both influence and connect with people on a larger more efficient scale. Mark quotes some of my favorite authors like Malcomb Gladwell who is a master of telling stories and creating new context for case studies.
Chapter 4 is one of my favorites on social proof and reciprocity. I actually looked at my blog with a fresh set of eyes after reading the social proof section and my new banner is a result of that so thanks Mark! The part on reciprocity caught me off guard. As many of you know, I am a big fan of engagement and giving to those who give of their time and energy to you. The view of Jay Baer in the “fluffy bunnies” section was a different view that I hadn’t thought of. It was nice to see the opposing views of reciprocity based authority. I see the points on both sides, but this helped me see how my actions may be construed by others who are established on social media.
His chapter on content shows the principles that he uses that aid in the success of his personal blog. Great advice. The personal influence chapter is chock full of useful information about influence and driving action. Chapters seven and eight go into Klout in more detail and the story behind it. Excellent! Chapter nine on the benefits of social influence show how the perks and rewards work. So far I have had two rewards myself from Kred, but nothing interesting from Klout…. Come on Joe, where my booty? Um, I mean stuff ;]
The last chapters show you how to increase your Klout score, and talk about where all this social scoring stuff may be going. I love that he offers a social media primer that goes over various social media platforms and how they work. This book structure is much like a website, full of useful tips, and sections that people will actually use. He has a few other great sections that you will have to buy the book to find out. By the way, if you buy a copy of this book after reading this post please tweet me or comment and let me know. Then I can let Mark know the ROI of his book from me reading it :] This is what this book is all about.
Final thoughts – I really enjoyed this book. It was actually filled with useful information and thought inspiring stories unlike many books. I would rate this book a solid A and 9 out of 10. Anyone who wants to understand the power of influence and social media should get this book. It is well supported and full of information that will teach you how to be more influential and understand why others are influential online. Loved it Mark! I hope my first book on social media and influence is as well constructed as yours :]
Here is my Amazon affiliate link if you want to pick up Mark’s book: Return On Influence: The Revolutionary Power of Klout, Social Scoring, and Influence Marketing
Here is a great interview with a couple guys I enjoy engaging with: