What is Klout you ask? Good question:
Klout is a San Francisco based company that provides social media analytics that measures a user’s influence across their social network. The analysis is done on data taken from sites such as Twitter and Facebook and measures the size of a person’s network, the content created, and how other people interact with that content.
The scores range from 1 to 100 with higher scores representing a wider and stronger sphere of influence. Klout uses variables on Facebook and Twitter to measure True Reach, Amplification Probability, and Network Score.
True Reach is the size of one’s engaged audience and is based on those of their followers and friends who actively listen and react to messages. Amplification Score is the likelihood that one’s messages will generate actions (retweets, @messages, likes and comments) and is on a scale of 1 to 100. Network score indicates how influential one’s engaged audience is and is also on a scale from 1 to 100. The Klout score is highly correlated to clicks, comments and retweets.
The final Klout Score is a representation of how successful a person is at engaging their audience and how big of an impact their messages have on people. The accuracy of Klout Score has been questioned several times by different researchers however Klout Score is being used by most social media marketers as a barometer of influence.
Klout’s increasing popularity over the past several months and its own influence over high profile people in social media has garnered a typical response from me.
I make fun of it.
And because, according to my high-falootin’ Klout score of 60 and my Klout title of Broadcaster (Broadcaster: You broadcast great content that spreads like wildfire. You are an essential information source in your industry. You have a large and diverse audience that values your content.), immediately following my mafia refrigerator tweets, many of my “broadcastees” headed over to Klout to boost influence in both categories:
My inclination to make fun of Klout as a measure of online influence certainly isn’t an original one. Alise Write wrote a great post about her Justin Bieber influence and Naomi De La Torre wrote another about her influence in the categories of Unibrows, Vomit, Tuna, Poop and Placenta. I’m sure many have put their two cents in on the subject.
I think our collective need to make fun of Klout’s measure of influence stems from a common realization:
Because how can anyone tell me with a straight face that they are influential about Christianity, Social Media, Writing, Publishing, whatever when the same brain trust which measured that influence also tells me I’m influential about Cats, Angel Investing, Mafia and Refrigerator?
All I’m saying is this: While I suppose Klout has its place in the narcissistic world of social media, how they measure your influence should have very little to do with how you measure your influence. Heck, maybe even the powers that be at Klout have recognized how inaccurate their influence measurements can be, because my high falootin’ score of 60 on Wednesday morning had taken a substantial nose dive when I checked it on Thursday:
Either that or I have angered the influence gods…