What Is Social Capital and How Do You Measure Yours?

Social Capital has many definitions. Don’t get it mixed up with what makes up your Online Reputation (the search results people see when they Google your name), although that IS part of your Social Capital. For the purpose of marketing your business, social capital is made up of the VALUE of your SOCIAL NETWORKS and your level of INFLUENCE with them.

Your Social Networks are made up of your Facebook friends and fans; your Twitter followers; YouTube channel subscribers; Blog subscribers; LinkedIn connections – all the people you are connected to in the Social Web (what the Internet has evolved into). The best way to build your Social Capital is to interact, support and encourage your Social Networks. You have to GIVE 80-90% of the time as you Tweet, Re-Tweet, comment on blogs, share and Like in Facebook, etc. rather than GET. Social Networking doesn’t work for selfish people or people who want to advertise and market the old way (shouting “buy my stuff”).  If your main marketing goal is to raise brand awareness, thus raising revenue, then you need to build your social network(s) AND improve your online reputation (basically: getting found all over the Internet in different social networks and through your website, blog, YouTube channel, Flickr and other places). Now that you have a basic understanding of what Social Capital is and how important it is in building your business, visit PeerIndex.com and start your free account so you can track how well you’re doing:  PeerIndex is a useful tool to measure your Social Capital.

Another useful tool to measure your Social Capital is called KLOUT. Recently, there’s been a backlash against KLOUT because it changed its algorithmns without communicating to its users ahead of time. Plus, there was some debate in the Social Web as to whether or not KLOUT truly measures one’s influence or if it only rewards you for visiting its website (those badges can get addictive). But I still recommend you try it out but, first, read their privacy policy and if you’re comfortable, sign up for your free account. Then check on your KLOUT score at least once a week to see how well you’re interacting with your social networks.


Klout score for Lori Gama (social capital)

I noticed my score increased from 47 two weeks ago to 54 today. I think it’s because I added my Google+ account for KLOUT to measure and had a higher interaction in Twitter than I normally do.

If you do join, be careful not to spam people too much with KLOUT’s suggestions of whom you should invite and Tweet to.

What do YOU think of KLOUT? And have you heard of PeerIndex before reading about it today here? Share your thoughts in the comments section. I’d love to hear from you.