Without a doubt Klout, excuse the rhyme, is currently the number one social influence and measuring tool for the world of social media (and let's face it everyone who uses it) to use. However, as a man of everyday social media management, I want to really explore if this popular tool can be taken as the be all and end all when judging a user’s Twitter account.
Previously mentioned within our 2012 predictions we discussed how the social media and SEO industry are beginning to count and look towards these Klout influences. For the majority of active social media users, you are probably aware that Klout enables you to add different social networking platforms, such as Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus, Foursqaure etc to your profile. However, this is where I have spotted a potential problem.
When undertaking an SEO or social project, it is in the clients, and your companies, interests to research and find who the major players are within your industry sector(s), especially on Twitter.
Personally, for me, this is where Klout exposes a major fault. If you have Facebook and Twitter account linked to your Klout profile then it is easily possible to increase or maintain a high Klout score. Yet the major problem with Facebook is that it’s a closed network. A random Klout user could have around 150 friends on Facebook and maintain a regular interaction and post frequently, which would deliver and sustain a reasonably high Klout score. On the other hand this same user could have a Twitter account linked to their klout profile and be a sporadic tweeter.
Yes I know what you are thinking, Klout is a social platform to measure different communities such as Facebook and Twitter, however the majority of people judge the overall Klout score rather than looking into the comparison tool.
Check out the screenshot below of Tim Grimes (me) vs. Stephanie Goodman. You can see that Facebook relates to 77% of her score and 23% of Twitter, whereas mine is almost spread evenly across the two social networks.
Therefore, what I am trying to say is that if you are looking for influences on Twitter, based on their Klout scores, then make sure you run a comparison with your profile, which produces a breakdown of their Klout score through a percentage into each social platform. You may be surprised to see that over 70% of their Klout is Facebook related.
I believe that this is a common misconception with the Klout tool, seeing as it takes all the other social networks into consideration and does not just focus on Twitter, people often don’t think to check into which social platform their influence is based. Klout now even offer you an official Chrome plugin that produces an automatic overview of a user’s total Klout score on Twitter.
I am not suggesting that Klout is the be all and end all of social measuring tools and I am sure there is or will be a better tool out that we will all be using soon. My advice is simply to not take the overall Klout figure as to a person’s social influence and compare it with your own.
Let me know your thoughts on this and whether you agree, or do you simply ignore sites trying to measure social influence?