Is Influence The Currency Of The Social Web? Or is it Content?

Michael Brito, Senior Vice President of Social Business Strategy at Edelman, is a Guest Contributor to the HootSuite blog, and author of “Smart Business, Social Business: A Playbook for Social Media in Your Organization.”  The post below originally appeared on

Companies Must Enable Their Customers to Contribute to the Brand Story

I saw this excellent video of Joe Fernandez, co-founder and CEO of Klout. In the video, Joe explains that influence data changes consumer-brand relationships and sees a marketplace where customers’ words control a brand’s story. He also said that influence is the currency of the social web.

Joe is a super smart guy and a great speaker, but I look at it in a slightly different way.

While I do agree that influence does impact the relationship between brands and customers, I believe the real currency of the social web is actually content. If content has the power to change world government, it surely has the power to change customer behavior. And when that content can provide a certain level of value, it’s no longer about customers controlling the brand story. It will be about customers contributing to the brand story. But they need more than just feeling empowered. They must be enabled.

HootSuite note: Our tool is integrated with Klout, making it easy for you to see a user’s Klout score with a single click. You can also filter lists and search streams by Klout too.