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We all have influence on others. Perhaps not on the scale of Ming the Merciless, but influence, nonetheless.
Nowhere is that influence more on display than in social media, where we are encouraged to share information, experiences and unsolicited opinions on everything from restaurants and music to the news of the day. And those opinions often result in real actions taken by the people who hear our words.
They go to the movies. Buy a pair of jeans. Maybe even book a vacation or enroll their child in a school. In short, they spend money. (Here’s an earlier post where I talked about making your social media messages actionable.)
And so all my marketing friends sit up and go “We should be able to track this! Put it on a graph and analyze it! Make it work better!”
Enter Klout, which claims to measure your social media influence by analyzing with whom you interact with on facebook, twitter and other social media sites and gives you a grade, your “Klout score.”
And being the skeptic, I asked some of my twitter followers (and people whose opinions are far more insightful than mine) to share their perceptions of Klout:
Dave Peck: “@klout is one of the best tools put there to measure influence. Has room for improvement though. For example, I didn’t tweet while on vacation and my score dropped. So I take 48 hrs off and my influence and reach drop? I don’t think so. Oh and @klout rocks they helped me out yesterday really fast ;)” [Dave didn’t elaborate on this last point.]
Amanda Marsh: “Even at 74, the only perk I was able to pick up was the Spotify account.” [Agreed! But I am waiting for those nifty achievement badges, AM!]
Gina LaGuardia: “I do like the freebies. Seriously, though, I’ve had editors of sites to which I f/l content ask me for writers’ scores… [Gina is a terrific writer who works in the higher education” and senior living spaces]
Nathan King: “For some people, their Klout score will be dead-on accurate, for others, not so much. I check it out of curiosity, but don’t change what I do online to try to raise the score. I’d much rather have people judge me on how I conduct myself online and the content I publish, not a score determined by Klout’s algorithm.” [Terrific insight, NK!]
Louise DiCarlo: You’re influential as long as someone doesn’t die – I lost 3 pts dealing w/real life (dad died). [So sorry for your loss, Lu.]
From my perspective, Klout strikes me more like a game than a resource, especially the feature that allows you to dole out +Klout points daily to people to whom you’re connected. And the range of social media networks that can be paired (ie, where Klout draws your score from) are currently limited to facebook, twitter and linkedin. They just recently added foursquare and YouTube, but other sites like Tumblr, Instagram, Gowalla and the new kid on the block, Google+, are no where to be found (yet).
I’d love to see Klout incorporate some kind of point system that earns me things of value, whether in the social media or real world. The next step in social media is getting people to spend real dollars, after all.
What’s YOUR experience with Klout? Check it out for yourself and let me know what you think.