Today’s presentation• What is Klout for?• What does Klout measure? What is left out?• Let’s get critical: should you use it? – Bad arguments and good ones against Klout• How do you improve your Klout score?• What other uses does Klout have?• What about other metrics?
Warning:• I will ask you to do science: – Follow people – RT people – Mention people
What is Klout?• According to Klout: a measure of influence. Your “ability to drive action” online.• Measures actions across five networks: – Twitter – Facebook – Google+ – Foursquare – LinkedIn – And more to come!
More on Klout• It’s exponential: 30K is an order of magnitude higher than 20K.• 20K is also the average score; the 95th percentile have 50K or higher.• Networks are weighted equally: it’s the number of people you reach that matters, not where you reach them.
What does it measure?• It’s an index with lots of different data points.• Let’s consider Twitter: – RTs, mentions, followers, favorites, lists, the content of your tweets…• But how do these determine the score?
Google’s idea: PageRank!• Every page on the web is given a score based on the quality and quantity of links to it.• If the page that links to you has a high PR, that link matters more, and will rank you higher in SERPs.
Klout: PeopleRank• Your score depends on 3 things: – How many people you influence – How much you influence them (frequency and type of interaction) – How influential they are• Goal: influence more people with higher Klout more frequently.
What doesn’t Klout measure?• Sentiment: blind to positivity, negativity, criticism, and probably also semantics.• Clicks.• External links.• Most other social networks. Facebook Pages still have no effect.• Offline influence.
Why not just ignore Klout?• The arguments against Klout are horrible.• Its’ flaws will be improved upon.• Because people care about your Klout score.• It’s got uses that make it more than just a popularity contest. – Styles – Topics• Mostly: it’s good enough at influence.
The cardinal rule:Don’t use a medium for something it isn’t good at.
Terrible arguments against Klout• “Not transparent.” Not true, and only internet marketing types complain about this.• “Subject to gaming.” Anything is, but Klout’s pretty good anyway.• “Klout has flawed scoring.”• Fallacy: That because Klout isn’t perfect now, that it won’t improve. Again, compare to Google.
More terrible arguments• “Klout is a big popularity contest.” No, it just gives an objective measure to popularity contests.• Variability in score on vacation. “Influence doesn’t take a vacation.”
But one major flaw: trolls.• Ocean Marketing was the biggest PR fail ever. But this is his Klout account:
Troll Problem = Sentiment Problem• “I wouldn’t say Klout is the ‘standard of influence’ as their tagline boldly proclaims, but they can measure one thing, and increasingly well: how content moves through an online network and how people react to it.” -Mark W. Schaefer• Huge engineering problem with actually understanding sentiment and incorporating that into rankings – Google faces same problem (NYT: “For DecorMyEyes, Bad Publicity Is a Good Thing”).
And your Klout score might not matter…• If you’re a company, take a long hard look at your social media strategy.• Klout is probably not at all related to business success, unless you’re in the content business.• Improving your Klout is also not necessarily a shortcut to personal social media success. – There is no Klout Perk to get friends.
Improving your score• So, if Klout matters for you: – Make good content and market it to people with high Klout scores. • Find people who have high Klout scores, who are also interested in the topics you want to be influential about. – Don’t game the system, because eventually the loophole will get closed (e.g. Google).
Things not to do:• “LOOK! FAKE MOON LANDING FOOTAGE!”• “10 reasons why your X is Y.” – Linkbait is OK in moderation. If not: Mashable.• Tweet constantly. E.g. coupon people.• Be a troll
The one thing to do:• Ceteris paribus, interact with people who have a higher Klout score than you.• First: how much of an influence will that have?• Second: how can you find these people?
True Reach• “True Reach is the number of people you influence. It is a real number of people we find by looking at the impact you have on your connections. We analyze over two and a half billion connections and pieces of content every day in order to accurately gauge who is in your true reach."
True Reach Experiment: whattheklout• Klout scores: 47.17K, 1400TR, 15A, 28N – Topic: Klout (high) – Style: Specialist• Experiment: RT this post, and follow the user: – http://bit.ly/kloutscore1
Amplification• “Amplification is how much you influence these people. We analyze how many people in your potential audience act upon your content. We take this a step further and understand what an influence signal means in the context of that person. For instance, if I rarely like or comment on anyone’s posts, but choose to do so to yours, that is more meaningful than if I like 60 posts a day. Amplification indicates the effect you have on your audience."
Network Impact• Network Impact is the influence of your audience. This is on a 1 to 100 scale and indicates the influence level of people who engage with your content. It’s not just about how many people you reach, it’s about getting your message to the right people. Having more connections won’t help your Network Impact, but having influential connections will.