As a student of social media, buzzwords like ‘influence,’ ‘audience’ and ‘relationships’ are always thrown around in class. What do these words actually mean in a social media context? Klout, a tool that’s used to determine online influence, can help in our understanding.
These are assigned to each Klout user based on what they are influential about on social networking sites. Influential topics are a great way to gauge your audience and see what types of content they are interested in.
Klout users are placed on a graph based on social media style. Ranging from broad to focused, sharing to listening and more, these styles encompass different social media behaviours and can be eerily accurate. A user can move to different parts of the graph as their behaviour changes.
One of the first reactions from first time Klout users is, “whoa those are my influential topics?” When a user’s tweet receives multiple responses, the subject of the tweet can generate an influential topic. A random tweet about cats could make you a cat connoisseur according to Klout.
One of the main factors in calculating True Reach is the amount of responses a user receives. A user may receive many responses from the same people within an echo chamber. Does that mean this user is more influential than someone who receives fewer mentions but from a wider range of people?
My list is far from exhaustive, but at the end of the day Klout is measuring influence and influence is subjective. No algorithm can determine how influential someone actually is. Even through speeches and face-to-face interaction there is no way to truly put a number on influence. There’s still a long way to go, but as a tool that measures something completely subjective Klout is good at what it does. Plus, Klout provides excellent means to keep track of a brand and its competitors.
Do you think Klout is a useful tool or do its analyses lack substance?