By now you have convinced your boss to jump with both feet into the social media world. Your organization has a Facebook page and a Twitter account, and you are starting to gain friends and followers. But what do you say when your boss asks you if there is actually real value in being on these sites? We can always talk numbers of followers and friends, try to count retweets and comments and, of course, say we just need to be there to look “with it,” but what if there were a way to actually measure your influence? Of course there is: Klout.com.
Klout is an online service that measures your overall influence online using information from your Twitter and Facebook accounts. It factors in all the usual things such as the likes and retweets, but also takes a look at who is doing the liking and retweeting, the size of your network, what sort of influential people you have in your network, the percentage of postings that get commented on, and much more. After their internal calculations, you get a score from 1 to 100, and then can see what areas of influence you are the best in, where you can improve and also track your progress (hopefully up) over time.
The three main areas that Klout gives you information on are True Reach, Amplification Probability and Network Influence. True Reach refers to the size of your engaged audience, not just the number of friends you have, meaning people that actually take some action on what you share. Amplification Probability calculates the likelihood your content will be acted upon. Finally, Network Influence looks at the influence level of your engaged audience. It is clearly all about engagement and not just numbers!
I decided to calculate my Klout, and I am actually a bit less of a loser than I thought. I scored a respectable 21, putting me in the 40th percentile of influencers. Klout describes me as a “Syndicator,” someone who keeps tabs on what’s important, shares it with my followers and tends to focus on specific topics – very accurate! It notes that I have strong True Reach, am almost guaranteed to be highly amplified, but that I do not engage with many influencers. I think that means I need more influential friends (follow me influential people @wesolowb)! I am certainly going to focus on trying to increase my Klout score though, because, as we all know, in today’s connected world you need to manage your own brand and network to advance.
As for my company, well they scored a touch lower than me with a 17, putting us in the 30th percentile – still respectable. ictQATAR was listed as a connector, sharing lots of information, but not engaging enough with others -certainly good information as we try to reach more people.
Besides this information, Klout is useful for organizations (and individuals) to track what is being said about them, who is saying it and who the most influential people talking about them are. This could be very useful if you want to initiate action – target the influencers that are already engaged with you and have them tap into their network. This could lead to a much more focused approach to social media activity. Also, if your organization is hiring, would it be great to hire someone that is very influential in the social network realm?
Klout is free, so I definitely recommend you check it out to see your personal and professional Klout – and be better armed for those meetings with management where they want to know the influence you have in the social media realm. What better way then to show them you have some Klout? – especially if you can compare yourself to competitors!