Breaking: They Are Just Not That Into You!

Quick update to my previous article on establishing ‘Klout’ and influence in your social media strategy via leveraging two-way dialogue and interaction. The content of this post is a significant part of your personal branding, in particular, your differentiators. When I work on defining, creating and executing a personal brand strategy, these differentiators play a critical role. In early December I’ll be publishing an article on differentiation and why it’s important. Until then, it’s time to focus on your ‘Klout’ ……

From Oct 3, 2016:

Well, your “Klout” might be tied to just how SOCIAL you are across your personal branding efforts, specifically your social media outlets. Frequently it’s the interaction, the social exchange, that gets overlooked by even the most brand conscious media pro’s. It just happened again this past week. I gave a shout out with screen cap on Twitter via a tweet that really played well for a broadcast media anchor to leverage their (and the two others tagged) social media influence. It has unfortunately become rather predictable as to what is going to happen next.

One of two things happen. First, is the Zero. Zip. Nada. A missed opportunity. smh. Kinda like a clean-up hitter watching a 68 mph fastball go over the center of the plate for a called third strike. The second and even worse behavior is the “copy, paste, repost” as their own content. Yep, news anchor in Green Bay did exactly that just last night. Help me understand how a Big Ten J-school grad doesn’t realize that lifting and reposting without reference and credit is not a good practice? It’s not the first time (happened at FoxBusiness and Bloomberg earlier this year) and won’t be the last.

The biggest challenge I see I see today with traditional broadcast media and corporate social media managers is they don’t actively manage the “social” aspect of their media presence. Think about the definition of social from Merriam Webster:


adjective so·cial \ˈsō-shəl\

Simple Definition of social

Popularity: Top 10% of words

  • : relating to or involving activities in which people spend time talking to each other or doing enjoyable things with each other
  • : liking to be with and talk to people : happy to be with people
  • : of or relating to people or society in general

So many traditional broadcast media pro’s, regardless of age (I’ve seen millennials equally as guilty, just with less frequency), manage their outlets as a one-way super highway of their celebrity. That used to work in the days that the local Des Moines news anchor was stopped for an autograph while in the check out line at the Piggly Wiggly. That false sense of celebrity is a ginormous trap in 2016. Media has grown increasingly social and by the definition above, it’s become interactive and two-way. To make it even more challenging, every network – Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Snapchat, etc. needs to be managed for content and connections/followers/likes/friends.

It becomes difficult for those that actively manage their social media outlets and actually have a social media strategy to follow someone that just doesn’t get it. I frequently will ping a connection, especially if I’m their coach/mentor and encourage them to work on some best practices around the use of Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn or especially Twitter. Nine times out of ten I get the same response….”I’m great about managing my social media outlets. I’m very active and I post and/or tweet a number of times a day and I’ve got x number of thousands of followers” This usually prompts a question from me that eight times out of ten results in our first deer in the headlights moment. “Ok, I understand you are managing your social media outlets. Tell me what’s going on with your Klout score?” Boom. “Uh, what’s a Klout score?”

If you are a broadcast media professional (anchor/reporter) or a social/digital media manager and this is your first exposure to the term “Klout”, we need to talk. In short, Klout ( is a vehicle to measure your social media influence across all media networks. Scores are graded on a 10-100 scale and it is brutal. A score in the sixties has historically represented the top 5% of all social media influencers. Interesting is the hurt look on the face of the 20 year media pro with 10,000 Twitter followers when they find their Klout score is 40 or 42. I’d encourage all who are serious about managing their outlets to do a bit of research here so they understand the topic and how to best manage their network by creating authentic content or connecting and originating conversation with high influencers.

I believe if you find you have a 38 or 40 Klout score and you continue to pump out more one-way conversation without building audience or discussion, it’s time for a serious wake-up call. At some level, I’m disappointed with the role that most company/network/station social media managers play in this process. These are the professionals that have the tools yet somehow best practices aren’t getting pushed down to those with the most visibility and exposure. This includes CEO’s, CMO’s, CFO’s in the corporate space and anchors, reporters, producers, hosts and personalities in the broadcast media world. So why do I believe there is such a great sense of urgency? How about this:

  • Mizzou J-School is about to graduate 685 seniors in May.
  • Medill has 350 grad students that can hardly wait to take your seat.
  • Columbia has ~ 1,000 applicants (and the Masters program is 70% female, sorry ladies, your competition will be fierce).

In a nutshell, there is more than 1,000 entering into your industry in the next 5 months that completely get it. They will build highly interactive social media networks literally overnight via YouTube, Instagram and Snapchat. They will affiliate with your audience (25% of which are millennial) on ways that you don’t today. How will you know who they are? They are the ones in the supermarket check out lane behind you, not asking for your autograph, but on their mobile phone “liking” and “retweeting” conversation with YOUR audience.

About Mike McNamara:

Mike has held C-Suite, Executive and Senior Sales, Marketing, Business Development, and General Management roles with Equifax, Cox Enterprises, WW Grainger, and Federal-Mogul Corporation. Mike has led sales, service and operations organizations of over 1,500 associates and accountable for P&L responsibility in excess of $250M.

Dedicated to giving back, Mike formed The MBAR Group in 2009 with the sole intent of providing pro bono career and business consulting services. Today he coaches a number of high profile media personalities as well as holding advisory board positions guiding a number of multimedia and small business startups.

Mike has a BS degree from Michigan State University, and MBA from the Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University. He is a past chapter President of the American Marketing Association. Mike and family split time between their adopted state of Missouri and family home in NW Michigan where their philanthropic causes include The Kingdom House – St Louis, BACN in Benzonia, MI., and Samaritan’s Purse, Boone NC.

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