Michelle Manafy on Clout vs Klout: Fresh Ground #24

FG_Podcast_Ep_24.jpg In a recent blog post about social media clout (and of course, Klout), Michelle Manafy discussed the difference between IRL clout and real klout. As a person with true clout, who has been in the content industry for a long time, we wondered: does it really matter if you don’t rank as high in the social media world? Does social media influence translate to true influence? Chuck Tanowitz asked these and other questions of Michelle, editorial director for the enterprise group at Information Today, Inc., editor-in-chief for EContent magazine and the co-editor and contributor to the forthcoming book (March 2011) Dancing with Digital Natives: Staying in Step with the Generation That’s Transforming the Way Business is Done.

Some excerpts of the conversation:

“It’s essential [to build our presence up on social media channels]…. [I]f you are not visible in a social media context … you’re invisible, and rapidly becoming obsolete despite a wealth of knowledge.”

“If you can’t be found by search, do you exist? Even if you have the highest quality information, if no one can find it, so what?”

“[Y]ou do have to make yourself [and your content] visible, even if you have assets, knowledge, etc. that you do feel are of high value. If nobody knows about them, their value goes way down [to] near zero.”

“I think we are actually seeing the first generation emerge … in our workforce that believes that transparency is the best way to do business — that by sharing, we further build our reputation and our knowledge and our clout.”

“Most organizations are [still] led by those who were not raised digital — who were not raised in this richly collaborative, open environment. Younger customers expect a level of openness that [some of the older generation just] cannot imagine.”

“If your company were a person, would I friend it?”

“One of my personal mantras is developing business models around interactions, not transactions….”

“[Look at today’s web-native businesses,] in which the entire business model, from the ground up, is based on interaction with consumers or potential consumers; where your innovation, your product development, all of these things are done publicly so that your customer relationships and your marketing exists at every stage, in every corner of your business.”

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