Mumsnet is hallowed ground for marketers. A bastion of online influence, and the stomping ground of millions of mums; the keepers of the purse strings and setters of trends. This week, Mumsnet announced the launch of a blogger network, meaning that influential mummies everywhere can begin sharing advertising revenue generated from their content. Mums also represent a substantial proportion of the userbase of the MoneySavingExpert forums. Whenever we work with a client to run a competition or special offer, we find that savvy forum users seek it out, and news of the competition appears on the MSE forums within hours, often driving significant traffic and competition entries.
Klout and PeerIndex both claim to be the standard for measuring social media reputation. Anyone who follows me on Twitter or who has listened to one of my coffee shop diatribes will know that I have many bones to pick with these indexes, and the secrecy their algorithms are shrouded in. Measuring influence is a tricky business, and any system is likely to have its detractors, so I can accept that any system is likely to be a continual work in progress. But one massive problem with Klout and PeerIndex is that they are so platform-specific. In order to find out your score, you have to connect through Facebook, log in with Twitter, sign up through LinkedIn, hand over your Quora details, or add your blog RSS feed. This assumes that social media influence is dependent on using one of these predefined platforms. Empire Avenue goes one step further by recognising Flickr and YouTube, but Mumsnet, and all other message boards and forums are not counted when calculating scores on any of these indexes. This means that according to Klout, PeerIndex et al, the influence of mums who are active on message boards and forums but not on other social media platforms, is effectively zero.
Would you trust an influence index that didn’t value your mother?