Today, social media has become omnipresent in a majority of our lives and has grown into a standard, if not the standard, method for conversing, sharing, and discovering. A new trend emerging in the social world is the desire to measure a user’s influence and authority over their network of connections. Now, with two sites, Klout and PeerIndex, users have the ability to receive a grade on their social media use. Both sites have begun battling to become the standardized way to assess your social interactions.
Despite the two sites still performing beta tests, social media users are flocking to the services to determine their scores. Although the two services are essentially trying to calculate the same thing, each uses their own top-secret methodologies and sub-scores to determine one’s overall influence. Whether the accounts are used for interpersonal interactions, personal branding, or small business promotion, the two services work in the same way to determine an influence score.
First off, PeerIndex connects to a user’s Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn profile and attempts to measure online authority through the chosen connected accounts. The PeerIndex score measures overall online author and is broken down into five sub-scores: Authority measures reliability and trust; Topic Resonance measures influence on certain topics the user influences; Audience measures how people respond to all posts; Activity measures how much content is posted about a topic; and Realness determines if the account is an actual person, a feed, or a spam account. A more detailed description of the scores can be found here.
Klout, like PeerIndex, works to calculate a person or brand’s overall influence. In addition to Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, Klout can also incorporate a user’s Foursquare account into their final score. By the end of the year, Klout aims to be able to assess influence across over twenty social networks, including Tumblr and Google+. Using 35 variables, the site determines a user’s Klout Score, which measures the power in driving friends and followers to action(respond, click, Like, retweet, et cetera).
One’s Klout Score is composed of three other sub-scores: Network Influence measures the ability to capture attention, Amplification Probability shows how likely the user’s post will receive action, and True Reach is the average size of the user’s engaged audience.Klout also shows what topics a user is influential about and categorizes a user,similar to the VALS survey, into a social media role. Read more about Klout scores here.
In both services, a higher score characterizes the user asmore influential across their social media accounts. The sites claim there is a little a user can do to cheat or game the system. A high score on both services can show a dedication for creating a personal or brand image.
Small businesses, brands, influencers, and opinion leaders are learning that these scores, and the sub-scores, can help them determine where and how they can amend their social efforts. For example, a low Network Influence score on Kloutbasically means the content the user is posting is low quality or uninteresting. To increase the score, therefore, the user would have to share more relevant and insightful information with their audience.
Additionally, there are some other easy strategies that can be used to increase a user’s scores. The simplest way is to put your passion, often your career or business industry experience, on the web. This will help ensure the release of quality content your audience will care about and find insightful. It will keepthem comingback for more. Another benefit of quality content is that it can generate discussion, thus creating responses, comments, and retweets that help increase influence ratings.
A quick and easy strategy for Twitter is to participate in trending topics. This increases the probability of receiving retweets and responses. It’s also a good idea to respond to and share with other influential users. In return, they might respond to you or share your tweet with their followers. One simple retweet can grow your audience size.
The most important strategy, however, is to be consistent in your release of content. You’ll have to provide enough to remain top of mind, while also not spamming and annoying your followers. Consistency is key because your Klout and PeerIndex scores are dependent on your recent activity and, thus, change every day.
In the future, we can expect updates to Klout and PeerIndex and the incorporation of new variables and social networks into their influence-finding equations.
About the author: August Drilling works for CliqStudios.com, a site for kitchen cabinets wholesale, and is an aspiring advertising and marketing guru.