Today’s nugget keyword is less keyword and more service. As part of my deep-dive into Twitter for the New Year, Klout.com has to be a part of the journey. In brief, Klout is a measure of social media influence (see full Wikipedia explanation here). Although originally created from the fire hose of Twitter data, Klout has expanded to Facebook, Google+, Linkedin, Foursquare, as well as, other social media platforms.
Your Klout score ranges from 1 to 100 and is a function of what your followers do with your content. For instance, if you have 10,000 followers on Twitter but hardly anyone re-tweets, likes, forwards, etc your message, your Klout score will be lower than someone with 2,000 followers and almost all of those followers re-tweets, likes, forwards, etc a message. Beyond that, if your Klout score is a 55 and someone with a Klout score of 85 re-tweets your message, your score will also increase (e.g., your message influenced someone who is more influential than yourself).
Now please understand, this is 10,000 foot view of Klout and the algorithm is significantly more complicated that what I just described. For an excellent in-depth description of Klout, watch This Week in Social Media for an interview with the Co-Founder and CEO Joe Fernandez (click here for video).
Beyond your overall Klout score, Klout breaks down your social influence into what they calls True Reach, Amplification Probability, and Network Score. Wikipedia defines
True Reach as a measure based on the size of a person’s “engaged audience” of followers and friends who actively listen and react to their online messages. Amplification Score is defined as how it relates to the likelihood that one’s messages will generate actions (reetweets, likes, comments, etc). Finally, Network Score is defined as the computed influence value of a person’s engaged audience (or whatever that means).
What makes the Klout score interesting to me is how Marketers are using (or abusing it depending on how to view this service) the Klout score. It doesn’t take much of a Google search to find stories of marketers offering high Klout score customers premiums or better service when they check into a hotel, casino, high-end club, or restaurant. Also, when it comes to social media monitoring, customers with high Klout scores who complain or rant in social media, get attended to ASAP as opposed to someone with a low Klout score.
The accuracy of Klout Score is often debated and many business writers and bloggers have openly criticized Klout for its guiding principles. For better or for worst, a prevalent social media ethos is about being “free and open” and with this type of culture, I doubt it (or others) will go away anytime soon.