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Influence vs Expertise

Español | Translation Sponsored by TCA

The Tilt-Up Concrete Association (TCA) recently published an updated list of tilt-up industry influencers. As with the first release in the spring of 2020, the announcement was shared on social media, posted on company websites, and celebrated among colleagues. Interestingly, but perhaps not surprisingly, the coverage caused some to question why they were left off the list.

Many influencer rankings are published for the purposes of influencer marketing, a strategy involving brands commissioning well known persons of influence relevant to their target market to provide testimonial advertising as the buyers themselves or, alternatively, as a third-party value-added influencer such as a journalist, academic, or industry analyst. There has been no shortage of tools developed to identify influencers with the vast majority focusing on social media influence, sourcing the gobs of public data posted by persons online.

Klout was a digital service launched in 2008 that used social media statistics to rate its users’ online social influence. The service measured the size of a user’s social media network and correlated the content created to measure how other users interact with that content, resulting in a “Klout Score,” which was a numerical value between 1 and 100. Critics of the service argued the scores were not representative of the influence a person really has and that the system devalued authentic communication and instead promoted social ranking and stratification.

TCA’s listing differs greatly from these types of services as it is not considering any social media factors. Instead, the TCA framework considers each individual’s participation on committees, their certification and licensure status, their industry leadership roles, and the amounts of education consumed, awards received, articles published, etc.

Whereas Klout made observations about people’s social media activity to identify persons with whom the general public is already engaged, TCA’s system is more prescriptive, identifying leaders with whom those seeking tilt-up knowledge should engage. TCA’s influencer ranking is not subjective because it is a measurement of engagement with TCA programming. We have an algorithm in place that awards points for certain interactions with the Association. TCA’s list identifies those in our industry who have invested in becoming knowledgeable, qualified, and recognized for their expertise. Most importantly, it recognizes the role of engagement with the tilt-up community with regard to influence. Therefore, for example, the lack of international representation (3 Canadians, 1 Dominican) is not a comment from the TCA on international expertise in tilt-up, but a representation of the influence, or lack thereof, of that expertise.

Influence requires exposure. It requires recognition and connection. To heighten the awareness of one’s expertise, thereby generating influence, it is advised to engage in TCA’s programming wherever possible. The TCA is a vehicle for connection and influence. It is designed to afford those with expertise a platform for collaboration and sharing with those working to gain expertise, all for the good of the industry.

I have no doubt that many individuals not listed as influencers hold enormous amounts of expertise. Sharing that knowledge and putting it to work for the industry as a whole is where the influence part comes in. There is surely more the Association could do to better accommodate international participation or regional collaboration, for example. It has been especially tough during this pandemic. Nonetheless, there are vehicles available for people to exercise their influence, they just need to engage them.

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TILT-UP TODAY, a publication of the Tilt-Up Concrete Association, is THE source for Tilt-Up industry news, market intelligence, business strategies, technical solutions, product information, and other resources for professionals in the Tilt-Up industry. A subscription to TILT-UP TODAY is included in a TCA membership. Subscriptions for potential TCA members are also available. If you would like to receive a complimentary subscription to the publication, please contact the TCA.