There is definitely no shortage of social data, metrics, measurement strategies, analytics, influence scores, listening platforms, reputation management approaches and experts ready to take your credit card to help you figure it all out.
I have received several tweets and messages recently asking me for tips to help people raise their Klout score.
If you are focused on trying to raise your Klout or other influence score I have only one answer for you… you are measuring the wrong metric!
What is your Klout score going to do for:
- Your business?
- Your bottom line?
- Your website?
- Your content that connects you with your audience?
- Your audience?
- Your clients?
- Your partners?
- Your blog ranking?
- Your SEO?
Yes, I know and believe that there is value in social capital. I have decent influence scores. Of course there are some bullies who give me a hard time for them. People often think that if you have a high Klout or other influence score that you must be gaming the system or focusing on the influence scores.
In regard to me, my business and my influence scores I will tell you right now I didn't game anything. I never have and do not focus on any influence score to guide my business or marketing priorities or my online social activities. My influence scores are decent only because I focus on my audience and providing them the most rocking content I can possibly can. I engage with them on a regular basis and I do so because I enjoy it, it helps my audience and it brings me business. I do not do such because I want to get a ton of retweets so I can raise my influence scores.
Am I happy that my scores are decent? Of course. Do the influence scores help me attract good clients, partners and even investors? Yes. Do the scores also attract fake friends who are trying to game their own influence score? Of course. There is good and bad that comes with influence. It's how you manage it that matters.
Should Influence Scores be the Focus?
The jury is out for many on if influence scores matter. My belief is that it is not the influence score that matters. It is the metrics and the activities that got you there that matter. If your Klout, PeerIndex or other influence score is healthy and you got there by gaming the system then your influence score means nothing. However, if you got there by developing good content that connects with and provides value to your audience, engaging with your audience in a genuine way etc. then your influence scores may have meaning.
My point is that if your high influence scores were achieved the right way then you would still have influence regardless of if Klout or PeerIndex says you do.
Social Zoom Factor
So what does matter? What should you be measuring? How do you establish influence without focusing on the influence numbers?
Ask yourself this one question… “Are you relevant to your audience?”
I you answer anything other than yes to this question then you need to read the rest of this post.
Your social zoom factor is what I believe determines your success online. Yes, it affects your influence score but it is much deeper and more important than an influence score.
Why You, Why Now?
Your social zoom factor is the WHY you, why now!? WHY should your audience care about a word you have to say?
- What makes you different than your competitors?
- Why should they click like, +1, circle you or follow you on Twitter?
- Why should they visit your blog?
- Why should they subscribe to your email newsletter?
- Why should they opt-in to your email list to download a whitepaper?
- Why should they care about a word you have to say?
- Why should they answer your poll?
- Why should they comment on your Facebook post?
- Why should they answer your Q&A on LinkedIn?
- Why should they listen to you?
- Why should they do more than visit the front page of your website or blog and then bounce out?
- Why should they want to visit your tweet stream each and every morning?
- Why should they believe anything you say is true?
- Why should they trust you and your business?
- Why should they care that your Klout score is a 75?
If you don't provide your audience with an answer to the why questions listed above then your Klout score means nothing, absolutely nothing and you probably have gamed the system.
If you are still puzzled by why the WHY matters or are inspired to hear an additional perspective, check out the recent article Brian Solis wrote, “The Number One Least Asked Question in Social Media…WHY.” As usual, a great read from Brian who is one of my favorite authors and thought leaders!
What should you measure?
For starters, I would focus on the metrics that will answer the why questions above. Start with Google Analytics, Facebook Insights, LinkedIn anlaytics etc. Review how people are currently engaging with you and your brand.
- How quickly are they bouncing out (leaving) your blog or website?
- How long are they staying on a web page?
- How many pages are they visiting before they leave your website or blog?
- What content are they reading?
- Are the unique visitors to your website going up or down?
- Do you have return visitors to your website?
- What type of lists are you getting added to on Twitter? Who is adding you to the lists?
- How frequently are you being retweeted on Twitter? Who is retweeting you?
- Why are you being retweeted? Is it only because you have a high Klout score or because they like your content?
- What is the percentage of people who visit your Facebook page but have not clicked like?
- How many impressions are you recieving on your Facebook posts?
- Are people commenting on your Facebook posts? Do they like them?
- Are you receiving any engagement at all in social media?
- Are you coming up in search results on LinkedIn?
- How is your website or blog performing on the search engines? How does it compare to your competitors?
- Are your metrics trending up or staying flat?
Focus on the metrics that will help you help your audience
My point is that before you spend a second worrying about your Klout score you better ensure that you are relevant to your audience. Focus on the metrics that tell you the answer to if you are answering the WHY questions that give you the extra turbo of social zoom.
If you have no social zoom factor then you might as well go game the influence system and drink another cup of influence kool-aid. As for me, I'll be head deep into the analytics that matter knowing that my influence score is not the metric I measure my success on at the end of the day.
Your social zoom factor matters. What's yours?
What is your opinion? Do you focus on influence scores? What metrics do you focus on? Do you know what your social zoom factor is? Did this post help you think about how you might be able to better measure it and the relevance you have with your audience? How can you help others who don't know where to start?
Pam. It’s settled. I love you.
…In a strictly platonic sort of way, of course.
Anyway, I have been preaching this from the moment Klout was integrated into Twitter. I hate that people spend so much time on “giving each other Klout” instead of actually socializing. I’d rather measure the success and influence of someone by how active they are with the people on their social networks and their blog.
Kudos, to you!
I believe KLOUT has its value, i think maybe your time should be spent preaching the benefits of engaging rather than criticizing another business tool.
Pls see my other conment regarding the response to this comment
Pam, It is clear to me, after having enjoyed your work and involvement across the social sites and your blog, that you are not gaming the system to get a high Klout score.
I would like to know how your perspective in Klout has changed over time? It seems that many start out with more emphasis when new and then when a score gets up there, it becomes less important.
Also, I have found that giving someone a “K” has become a way to say thank you to someone who has added value to me recently. I know that when I receive a “k” it makes my day. It also is another way to measure if my message is on target and if it is focused on areas I hope it is.
I am sorry but I need to replay to you. No one is criticizing business tools. Klout is simply not a business tools, they officially announce today that they are focusing on increasing revenue of the company. Very rarely you will find any statistic company selling Perks as main focus. Klout is a simple advertising platform.
I understand that you are strong believer in Klout. Here is something for you and would love to hear you explanation on it. I run a test on few users who every day tweet the same tweet. Tweet contain only @’s no words and on the end is added #F4F or #followteamback. Out of 12, 10 users had Klout score btw 79 -81. Now explain to me how this influence works ?
[…] August 18, 2011 Forget the Klout Score! What’s Your Social Zoom Factor? | The Marketing Nut Posted by Ana Lucia Consulting under virtual assistant Leave a Comment https://www.pammarketingnut.com/2011/08/forget-the-klout-score-whats-your-soci… […]
I have to be honest Pam I was turned off by the heading. I don’t advocate criticizing a competitor when building or promoting your own brand. I read in spite of the heading because you ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS provide valuable information. Instead of focussing on the negative aspects of Klout, I will focus on the positive measurable aspect of the zoom factor. Thanks Pam.
My only point if this post is that klout scores should not be the focus. I stand strong on that opinion. I also don’t compete with Klout so not understanding your comment in that regard?
I was just giving constructive feedback dear. I have read your post so I know you information is priceless. With regards to the title, specifically if I read a title that knocked another business I usually wouldn’t have read the content. Again i was giving honest honest feedback.
Klout is interesting to me because people can game it as you suggest here. Its hard to determine who’s Klout is genuine and who’s is just faked by automation and other things. However, I like to check-out my Klout score every once in awhile for a couple reasons. 1) am I doing something right? And I dont mean did I tweet enough or reply to enough people, but am I influential in the topics I want to be influential in. And 2) who am I influencing and who is influencing me. This is really cool data.
Now I am also a job seeker and have heard that my Klout score may matter because I am seeking a position that heavily involves social media – so should I try harder to get my score up? Yes and no. For me, my score is what it is. I am not going to change my approach to what I write about and how I write it. And I absolutely take great stock in getting responses on my blog to posts that I write. This is the best ‘klout’ anyone can get. Did my traffic go up? Are people reading more of my stuff when they visit me? Sharing stuff? That’s what’s important and that I can back up my Klout score with actual know-how. Lots of fluff in the world that a good score can cover up, my goal is to be genuine.
I don’t proclaim to be an expert on this subject by any means, however, I think Klout has value, even if it is purely for the novelty of checking out the change in score. Let’s face it, the challenge to increase one’s influence has its appeal. Never-the-less, from a marketing perspective, I support the need for integrating the Klout score into a range of other metrics to assess social performance and ROI. I personally focus my metrics toward enagement, content and search /SEO and take more of an integrated, big picture approach toward assessing my electronic / online footprint.
Thank you for including some useful metrics in your post.
Thanks Julie. I think you hit the nail on the head in regard to integrating the Klout metrics with a range of metrics. This was the point of the post. NOT to make social engagement and behavior decisions on a Klout score. As it is today it is useful but by no means an end all be all for social influence. Not sure there will ever be such a tool or measurement. As with any measurement or data analysis, it’s all how you play and work the data. A million stories can be told from one spreadsheet depending on what the objectives and motivations are by the person summarizing and presenting.
Thank you so much for sharing these insights! I like and recommend Klout for trends and monitoring how your social media activity is received by your audience. Combined with your Zoom factor (home Mazda doesn’t mind) elements it can be a powerful tool.
Now, let’s build a zoom factor scoring tool ;-) (just kidding)
Tweet you later!
Glad you liked it. I agree Klout is useful for specific metrics.
Yes, we did the trademark registration on zoomfactor. We’re good to go.
We do have some custom reputation management monitoring and measurement tools we are testing. Stay tuned ;)
Glad you liked it. I agree Klout is useful for specific metrics.
Yes, we did the trademark registration on zoomfactor. We’re good to go.
We do have some custom reputation management monitoring and measurement tools we are testing. Stay tuned ;)
Always good to read your post, blogs and e-mails, my klout score is not that great. However I and still trying to engage my followers, not trying to game the system. thanks for being real, now back to the drawing board for me.
Sent from my Samsung smartphone on AT&T
Caesar – don’t focus on your klout or other influence score if you are early in the game. Focus on your audience and how they respond to your content. Use the Klout score only as a guage for progress but then not even a decision maker. Focus on the metrics that identify and tell the story of audience engagement, content they like etc.
Keep up the good work and come say hi to me on Twitter!
Appreciate you stopping by and leaving a comment :)
Have a great weekend!
[…] Forget the Klout Score! What’s Your Social Zoom Factor? […]
I agree – numbers are important but aren’t the only thing. I was told by the ruler of a tribe one time that I didn’t meet the minimum follower requirements. I nearly fell out of my chair laughing. I can go buy followers any day…The social zoom is about how your followers respond/react/share/engage. I have had people with 100k followers RT a post and get nothing and I know people with 500 followers that can drive a sustained/meaningful conversation.
Thanks for the post Pam..Interesting!
I think I know who told you that Dan. He told me the same thing about not enough followers. :-)
Pam, great post! I thought you did a great job of acknowledging that it matters and then focusing on what matters more.
Thanks Aaron. I agree 100%.
You are one who makes me zoom. You make me think. Glad our tweet and life paths crossed.
Have a beautiful weekend.
Amen Daniel! I have seen the same thing w/high numbers and not.
We are still due for a sync. Have some good stuff going on and I think there may be some fun synergy. I am headed to NYC end of month and then India shortly after. Let’s talk before then if possible?!
Appreciate you, your content and all you do. Glad our life and tweet paths crossed. You make me a better person xoxo
Whoa! this post is SMOKING hot! As tired as the cliche is, IMHO social media is really all about relationships, you are either a real person who looks to interact with & support others in an honest fashion or you’re a poser. Pam, you are refreshing real, I consider finding you and your content akin to hitting the lottery, thank you for laying the riches of this post at our feet!
Awwww… thanks Jean. Glad you liked it!
Always refreshing to read posts that tell it like it really is…Social media is supposed to be social. Much appreciation for sharing that with the world. TY! Pam, live-love-tweet
Thank you William. That is one thing you will ALWAYS get form me, the truth. I am what I am says sam I am ;)
Appreciate you stopping by! Have a great weekend.
Pam i simply love your post! You are so right, yes numbers matters but my question is how Klout of PeerIndex calculate them. I said several times and i will again, Klout is not a platform which measure influence. It’s advertising platform which uses “influence” as part of selling and recruiting potential advertisers.
As you said what counts is engagement, content, info shared and Trust. Well Klout doesn’t measure trust at all.
You Rock Pam.
Honoured to be your follower.
I agree with you 100% Jure regarding trust, engagement & content. Influence will never be able to fully be measured as someone would have to follow us around constantly ;) Thanks for the kind words! I am also blessed to know you. Glad our tweet paths crossed!
What an amazing article, Pam!
I tell ya, I had this opened in a tab for over a week now.. I just don’t know where to start with my response. This is one of those articles you can keep coming back to for some much-needed introspection and strategizing, I’d say!
What’s interesting is your mention of social capital. I was planning to do a post on social currency well before I found this gem of a blog post. So now I definitely feel the urgency to share that message because I see I am not alone in my thoughts here.
My respect for you has increased tenfold, which is saying a lot since I already have great admiration for you. I love when you host tweet chats because I see that you’re not just trying to get more mentions and game some social scores; instead, you focus on warm connections and sharing real value with people.
I love that you said we should focus on the metrics that help our audience. That’s exactly what I’ve been saying for years now. When I offer SEO and social media services to my clients, I always make it a point to position the research components as listening tools, above all else. This helps you meet real needs, rather than creating mere perceived value.
I’d love your thoughts on my article. It aligns well with what you’re saying here. I hope you’ll pardon the self-promotion but I think it will add value to the conversation here.
Keep on spreading the good word, Pam! Relationships and real engagement.. I love it!
Social media is just that, social. It really doesnt matter what your scores are at any of the places, it matters who you are and who you socialize with professionally and personally, not just online but offline as well.
What one must remember is how you conduct your business, your websites, your socialness (hmm is that word, well today it is LOL) on and off the web.
I have met some of the most wonderful people through twitter and your one of them Pam. Keep up the outstanding work. Love it! :)
Now this is the way numbers should be seen!
Excellent post @PamMktgNut! In the exponentially expanding universe of social media, it is great to have resources willing to share their understanding with those of us who are trying to expand ours. I am determine to increase my understanding of analytics. Thanks for adding to that understanding.
@carllacey You’re very welcome Carl. Appreciate your comment and glad you liked it!
I have clients with just a few hundred followers and very good Klout because they are measured for engagement. I am surprised to hear you suggest that Klout can be gamed. I wonder how. I agree that people should not be judged by number of followers, that is easy to game.
In response to a twitter thread today with krystyl gardens4life turtlecovesuite klout
@LindaShermankrystylgardens4lifeturtlecovesuiteklout Hi Linda. Yes, any measurement tool online can be gamed and yes, Klout is definitely one of them. They measure such things as mentions, engagement, topical content etc. Moving the dial in any one or multiple factors of measurement can have impact if you know some of the basics. Their algorithm is not published obviously so gaming 100% wouldn’t be popular. I see it very similar to a credit score yet not the same. There are known things you can do to increase your credit score. However, the credit measurement companies never tell you exactly how to do it. It happens “behind the black curtain.”
Thanks for your comment. Glad you stopped by!
People ask me why I prefer disqus to livefyre. When I click post to Twitter on my DISQUS comment, I get the beginning of my comment @mentions if they are in that portion of my tweet and a link to the blog I mentioned (although without posting the blog post name).
In this instance my comment is posted:
LindaSherman: I just left a comment in “Forget the Klout Score! What’s Your Social Zoom Factor?” http://fyre.it/vUc
And it is suggested that I Share on Twitter
@krystyl Hey krystyl, I just mentioned you in “Forget the Klout Score! What’s Your Social Zoom Factor?”Share on [email protected] Hey gardens4life, I just mentioned you in “Forget the Klout Score! What’s Your Social Zoom Factor?”Share on [email protected] Hey turtlecovesuite, I just mentioned you in “Forget the Klout Score! What’s Your Social Zoom Factor?”Share on [email protected] Hey klout, I just mentioned you in “Forget the Klout Score! What’s Your Social Zoom Factor?”
Also I am automatically logged into DISQUS. Everytime I comment on a different website with Livefyre I have to sign in.
@[email protected] Hey Linda, we appreciate the feedback as we always take it to heart. If after you post your comment (without checking the Twitter box), you can hover over the timestamp of that comment and then click the “Share” button. That will then allow you to edit each of the 140 characters you Tweet out.
And the sign-in issue sounds like it may have to do with your cookie settings. If you’d like, you can drop us an e-mail to [email protected] with your browser details and we’d be happy to help you sort that out!
@[email protected] Not sure what happened in regard to the logon. Looks like @Livefyre replied below. I am still testing LiveFyre on this blog. I only installed a couple weeks ago. I have received mostly good feedback. Interested to know more of your thoughts and if LiveFyre’s recommendations below help minimize the issue for you.
Good post Pam. We (PROskore) bring more context to measuring social capital. PROskore = LinkedIn + Klout.
Rather than generating a random score based on Twitter activity (which is primarily what Klout does)… we’re factoring in a number of more relevant aspects of their activity and professional life to come up with meaningful measurement. We then take things a step further by allowing people to use their scores to connect and generate leads within our online business network.
Sorry for the shameless plug of PROskore… but I think it’s relevant to much of what you have written about here (i.e. scores having relevance within context).
Bill interesting. I just checked out your site and it seems to be also include a focus on engaging and providing content within your network. I simply added my email and name and I had 3 points.
Influence is not measured on one single network and it skews the measurement when too much focus is put on engaging on the platform of the measuring vendor/company. I personally am too busy to try to keep up my score by engaging in a community within a community just to keep my score up. I think the measurement systems and orgs that will see success will start out as independent 3rd party with a focus on measurement first, monetize later. Similar to the credit rating companies. They started with only providing basic credit information for banks and insurance companies to make decisions. Over time their revenue models expanded etc. I could see opportunity for ProSkore to leverage influence systems to help people better network. However, it seems to be a rough mix of biz models to develop them together phase 1. I’d focus on obtaining market leadership in measurement first, then add the network. Otherwise, the measurement means what?? Thanks for sharing though. Will keep an eye on it. Appreciate your comment.
This is an awesome article, thank you!
I love your ideas, Pam. What’s the real value of a Klout score? I look at it as a fun scorekeeper. Nothing more. Getting the proper perspective is easy when you look at some of the topics that Klout rates people for. Lobsters, Queens, and other relatively benign topics are high on some peoples’ influence lists.
Really, unless you are a lobsterman, what good can a high rating for lobster possibly do? It’s metrics and math; hard and cold. On the other hand, we are people; warm and soft. All of this may change, but for the time being, I think of Klout as more fluff than substance.
Personally, I think it’s extremely important to be at least aware of one’s own Klout score. I would even go so far as to say focusing on one’s Klout score is vital, but only in the short term.
Despite the huge influence social media has, and the huge dependency current business survival has on social media, there are still 10’s of thousands of business owners completely unaware of how to start using social media. Even finding a reliable source of information is difficult, perhaps more difficult than anything else. I see Klout as a great way to begin research on any broad subject, perhaps even better than a search engine.
I created my first twitter account a couple years ago. I followed a couple celebrities I had interest in. After about a week hearing them talk about what they ate for lunch and who they were visiting that day, I determined twitter was stupid and a waste of time.
Flash forward, I started realizing that it might be a great marketing tool, so I gave it another try. This time around (this Aug), I see now twitter is filled with people intent on finding zillions of followers. Still stupid, still a waste of time, or so I thought.
Then someone shared with me their Klout score. “What’s Klout, and why do you have any”, I thought. So I started looking into it, and the light bulb turned on.
Two weeks later, I rose my score of 10 to 46 (now 42 after the algorithm change). I have not gamed my score, nor do I wish to. I am learning however, what activities influence my score. I’ve made the assumption that Joe Fernandez and his team have spent a lot of time deciding what is worthwhile influence and what isn’t, and has created algorithms based upon those assumptions. I’ve also made the assumption that he and his team don’t know everything and are not correct about every assumption they have made. It’s a work in progress and it seems to have the best of intentions.
Had I not known about Klout, and had my friend not been focusing on his own Klout (23 at the time, now 47), we’d both be floundering around wondering why people love that stupid thing called twitter, and all the rest of the social application pool, for that matter, other than catering to our yearning for a sense of self importance.
Klout is definitely a vital tool. But like anything, is best when used judicially, and not seen as a cure all for all things.
After all Pam, if not for Klout, I would have never known that you are so highly regarded by your peers, and by strangers, in regards to social media :) (And I would probably have never bothered to share my thoughts on your blog, let alone find it) ;)
[…] as I wrote in this post “Forget the Klout Score, What’s Your Social Zoom Factor” I challenge people to ask themselves WHY! Why and what is it doing for you, your business, […]
I’ve read several posts lately about social media metrics and Klout specifically. Personally I think its at best an interesting little tidbit of data for self measurement across different social media platforms. For those of us who post, like, reply, and retweet only those things that personally appeal to us and it really doesn’t matter if 1 person replies or 1000, then any “score” isn’t going to make a difference.
If we start censoring who we talk to, interact with, introduce ourselves too, etc.. based on a number, then we are no more than machines without humanity. Just because someone may have a low social media “score” by some random determination, doesn’t make them any less interesting. Just like someone with a high “score” isn’t necessarily going to be someone I’d choose to interact with either. These scores are just a number without any real base of reference.
I don’t know. My Klout score is amusing, it gives me a momentary giggle, but it doesn’t influence what I do online one bit. And its kind of scary to think that some people are so… elitist? robotic? yeah, puppet-like, that they’d rather base who they know off of a number rather than any real substance from an individual.
Great points – its not the numbers – it is what the numbers measure that is important.
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