Considering Klout & Why It Matters

By Kimberlin To | @kimberlintoe

Ever read in your Advertising textbooks that social media was difficult, or even impossible to measure by effectiveness? Well, I have. Professors emphasize over and over again how new media is an entirely different animal separate from traditional media vehicles and their measurement systems.

In truth, anyone in the digital communications industry right now is scratching their head relentlessly and trying to figure out how to determine effective social media result metrics.

This problem might appear colossal but fear not fellow social media enthusiasts; in 2009 Joe Fernandez and Binh Tran launched Klout.com to determine how influential one can be in social media by looking at 35 different variables on Facebook and Twitter to measure True Reach, Amplification Probability, and Network Score.  If it sounds like we’re speaking a combination of Greek/Geek Tech Speak I’ve provided some simple definitions below:

True Reach: Measures the size of your audience, but not by just numbers. It also measures how many active people are actually listening to what you post. Amplification Probability: Measures how likely your followers would reply or retweet your posts. The Network Score: How Klout scores inviduals within your social networks.

All of the above factors merge as one assessment and create a ‘Klout’ score.  The scores range from 1 to 100, the higher your score, the wider and stronger sphere of influence you emit within social networks.

But more importantly, Klout isn’t just about looking at how often you post a tweet on Twitter or how many people follow you. It’s about how you interact with others and how they respond to your content. It tracts who you follow and if they follow you back. Or how many degrees of separation are between you and other influential people, or how often a person mentions you in their tweets.

You’re probably wondering why you should care about Klout after reading all of this. But really, Klout’s analytic reporting system does offer a good idea on what you’re doing and if you’re doing it right within social media. It gives you a report of your social influence on the web and allows you to take action to reorganize your account if needed to.

Inside Tip – If someone says you’ve got Klout like Justin Bieber, it’s not an insult, he’s got a perfect Klout score of 100; Now that’s some serious, stout Klout.