How I Became The #2 Social Media Power Influencer in Houston, TX

TOP 100 SOCIAL MEDIA POWER INFLUENCERS IN HOUSTONBack in June I had the pleasure of learning I was named the #2 Social Media Power Influencer in Houston. And if you didn’t know, Houston is the 4th largest city in the US. So this my friend, is a pretty big deal. I’ve been a Social Media Strategist since 2005 and an Online Marketer since 1996 so I knew that I would rank high in my local area but I had no idea it was this high. The awesome guy who did the research to uncover this newfound information is Eric T. Tung.

So let’s uncover this a bit. How did I become the #2 Social Media Power Influencer in all of Houston?

I strongly feel my ranking is high due to several factors:

Longevity

I was an early adopter to the internet and social media. I’m always embracing the newest technologies. It’s a passion of mine. I love being on top of the cutting edge and curve. I was the first to get onto the internet before anyone I knew was on it. I was the first to give up the lan line back in the day and to do online shopping with a credit card. I was a rebel! Remember those days before encrypted sites? I was the first to have an iPhone, the first generation when they came out and cost $499. Yes, I paid $500 for my first iPhone! As a small business owner it was extremely invaluable and way better than those old clunky Blackberrys. I started my online organization GoGirlsMusic.com in January 1996. The internet was so uncharted at the time. So few people on it. I slowly grew my community over the years. In 2008 I live tweeted from the ASCAP Expo in Los Angeles. I kept it low key, under the radar, because Twitter was on the brink of becoming mainstream  but it wasn’t quite there yet. Not too many outside the techie world had heard of it. But there I was live tweeting quotes from Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora on stage talking about the music business. It was cool and I was hooked. By the end of the conference word was circulating that someone was “microblogging” from the event. Yes, that was me. Guilty as charged. So I’ve been doing this for a long time. Rankings like longevity. I started my website back in 1996. Yahoo Group in 1998. My first blog in 2000. Myspace in 2005. Facebook in 2007. Twitter in 2008. The earlier you start an online presence, the better.

Live Tweeting from the ASCAP Expo 2008

My Influential Community: GoGirlsMusic.com

A big reason for me to rank so high is because I run a very large online community (GoGirlsMusic.com) and most of our communication is through social media. We have a lot of followers on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest, Google+, ReverbNation, etc. I personally have a lot of followers on these platforms too. I host a weekly “members only” online chat and the widely popular live Twitter Chat using hashtag #ggchat. Last month we celebrated 2 years of spending every Thursday evening connected with each other in our community through a simple Twitter hashtag – #ggchat.

Most important: branding

Having a clearly defined brand is key. This brand must set you apart from the masses. (Click to tweet) Your brand makes you identifiable and should reflect you and your image. What is the message you’re trying to convey? Your brand should have a strong image associated with it such as a logo or photo. For my GoGirls community I have a really cool logo. For my Madalyn Sklar brand, it’s my photo. The key here is using your branded image consistently on your website and all your social media sites. Do not use different images throughout your online marketing. Always keep it consistent. I learned the power of social media back in the Myspace days. I spent a great deal of time promoting the GoGirls brand. It was to the point where people recognized me everywhere I went. I would travel across the country and people would stop me and say, “Hey you’re Madalyn from GoGirls. We’re Myspace friends!” It was because I used the same branded image. I didn’t change it up all the time.

I strongly feel I’m #2 in Houston because of longevity, community and branding. There is no magic pill or sprint that will get you to where I’m at. It was years of hard work and consistency. The good news is you can get here too. Start by focusing your attention on your brand and your message.

Read Eric’s article where he explains how the influence was ranked for the Top 100. It’s very cool. He lists everyone who made the cut. If you’d rather have a shortcut, I’ll break it down for you below. And it’s important to note he was inspired to research this after noticing Haydn Shaughnessy’s list of the top 50 Power Influencers in Social Media failed to list one person from Houston.

The Qualifications

For this ranking, Eric found every Twitter handle that mentioned Social Media in their bios and was located in or near Houston – about 250 total.

He added folks from LinkedIn near Houston with “Social Media” in their job titles. Finally he took to Twitter to ask people for their personal suggestions, increasing the total list to about 350.

He then took out any accounts belonging to businesses or agencies, or those belonging to people who weren’t focused on Social, reducing the list back down to 150. He fed these all into Peek Analytics and got the top 100.

The Metrics

When trying to find out who these influencers are, it’s important to gauge the activity and influence of their followers, both to measure the effectiveness of the content shared by the influencer, as well as to determine how active their followers are (bots and spam accounts are not likely to engage with content or have relationships developed across networks). With this in mind, he used the same methodology that Haydn used for the global list, PeekAnalytics‘ Total Social Pull.

Social Pull is a measure of the user’s audience similar to Klout, Kred or PeerIndex. A score like Michele Price’s 825 means that she has 825 times the influence of the average user. Being in the #2 spot, I have 674 times the influence. Wow! But it’s not only a measure of network size. It also takes into account other social networks your followers are using, as well as their network sizes. Basically, if you have a lot of people in your network, and the people in your network have a lot of people in their networks, you’re more likely to be influential. You’ll see the social pull ratings as the number listed after each influencer’s Twitter Handle.

You can find your Social Pull here.

So without further ado…

The Influencers

1. Michele Price is a Digital & Social Media Communication Strategist, and Brand-Digital Marketing Director at Tech Street Houston, and current Partnership Director at Social Media Club Houston. @ProsperityGal – 825

2. Madalyn Sklar is an independent Social Media Strategist and founder of GoGirlsMusic.com. @MadalynSklar – 674

3. George Benckenstein was almost a coworker of mine at Insperity, and he’s currently the Internet Marketing Manager for American National Insurance. @Benckenstein – 619

4. Jennifer Haubein is the Social Media Manager for Forthea Interactive, an internet marketing agency. @JHaubein – 572

5. Robert Banach is a Social Media Trainer for Leadership Insights Organization. @RobertJBanach – 551

Click here to read the entire post including all 100 influences. It’s quite impressive. Of course I recognized some of the names. I’m most definitely in good company. I hope everyone takes a moment t read the full listing of impressive Houston area social media influencers.

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