Does your Klout score accurately measure your influence?

June 14, 2011

There are two types of people in this world: those who embrace social media as useful, community building tools and those who simply don’t understand them and therefore don’t care to integrate them into their everyday lives.

If you’re active in the space, you may have heard the word “Klout” being thrown around by different people. But what is it? According to the company’s website, it’s the “measurement of your overall online influence.” The scores range from 1 to 100, with higher scores indicating higher levels of influence. If you connect your Facebook and Twitter profiles to the site, Klout then uses 35 variables to measure things like True Reach, Amplification Probability and Network Score.

So let’s say I have a Klout score of 50. So what?

There are two schools of thought on this. Some people think that a Klout score is simply a status symbol, backed by very little evidence of a user’s true influence. Others think it can be used as a legitimate way to gauge how much impact a particular user has on its networks. A company looking to hire a social media strategist might consider that person’s Klout score in the hiring process, for example.

Going back to the variables that Klout uses to score users, True Reach is the size of your engaged audience. Are your tweets interesting and informative enough to build an audience? Are people adding you to lists and are those lists being followed? How often are your follows reciprocated?

Amplification Probability is the likelihood that your content will be acted upon. How often do your messages generate retweets or spark a conversation? How diverse is the group that @ messages you? Are you tweeting too little or too much for your audience?

Network Influence is the influence level of your engaged audience. How influential are the people who @ message you? How influential are the people who follow you? How influential are the people who list you?

Klout recently announced scoring for LinkedIn, a professional network of more than 100 million members. So how will it affect a person’s Klout score?

“Your Klout score will be more accurate. For instance, you may not use Twitter or Facebook that much, but have a rich and engaged network of professional contacts on LinkedIn. There is no risk that your Klout will go down. In most cases users will see a score increase, even for infrequent LinkedIn users. Once you’ve connected LinkedIn your score will be updated in 72 hours or less.”

We’re curious about your thoughts: Is Klout an effective way to determine influence on social networks like Twitter and Facebook? Or is it just a status symbol, meant to make some users feel superior? Let us know in the comments section.

This post is brought to you by the good folks at Dale Carnegie Training of Mid & Northern Michigan. We would love to connect with you on Facebook.

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