If you’re a social media junkie you might have heard of a company called Klout. If not, Klout measures an individual’s footprint within different online circles. For example, it will track how many people ‘Like’ their posts on Facebook, or how many followers they have on Twitter, or how many recommendations they have from LinkedIn…you get the idea. From all of this, Klout gives them a rating from 1 to 100; the higher it is, the more ‘influential’ they’re supposed to be in social media. Besides bragging rights and a few incentive programs, it didn’t leave as much of an impact as it could have. That’s understandable, because all of this is a rather significant challenge to execute.
A couple of weeks ago, though, Klout announced widespread changes to their model that might have more of an impact among business owners or anyone interested in these dynamics. These include:
- Increased ‘Score Signals.’ Klout now measures upwards of over 400 ‘signals’ (up from under 100), to better measure a person’s impact throughout different social media programs. For example, on Facebook they track mentions of a name, Likes, comments, subscribers, wall posts, and others. Other programs, including Google+, LinkedIn, foursquare, and even Wikipedia (among others) have expanded categories to better measure a person’s social imprint.
- Social Media ‘Moments.’ A new feature, ‘Moments’ showcases some of the more influential moments in someone’s social media activities, times when that person’s ideas generated the most interest.
- Increased Data Tracking. Besides increasing ‘signals’ to over 400, Klout announced they’ve increased the number of data points they analyze “daily” from 1 billion to 12 billion. I have no idea what that is, but it sounds impressive enough. Anything sounds more impressive with “billion with a ‘B’” attached to it.
- Measuring Real-World Influence. Klout has integrated Wikipedia into their tracking, stating that “[w]e see a Wikipedia entry as a significant indicator of one’s ability to drive action in the real world.” I’m not sure how Wikipedia influences the real world, unless you consider that anybody with a computer and the Internet can change it, so to me at least having a Wiki page doesn’t necessarily equate greatness.
The site design for Klout is clean and appealing, and apparently is one of the other major changes they’ve introduced. Since I’ve not heard of them before writing this article I can’t say how much of an improvement it is, but it’s easy enough to navigate and check out.
Klout states that their ‘ongoing vision’ is to help people discover their influence and be recognized for it. I can visualize how this could be not just another cool little toy for people to play with and then suddenly get bored and forget all about; it could be useful to identify certain individuals that leave greater impacts across the social media spectrum. People that might prove useful to extended or creative marketing campaigns.