The quest to measure influence

David Leavitt

There’s no perfect way to determine someone’s social influence.

Sure, many tools promise to crank out a score that measures each person’s ability to influence others online. Using a service called Klout, for instance, I discovered that my influence score peaked at 44.91 on June 29 and has since fallen to 43.0.

Klout began as a service to measure influence on Twitter, but its algorithm has since expanded to examine activity on Facebook and LinkedIn. This week, Klout branched out further into the social media landscape by factoring a person’s YouTube activity and Foursquare engagement levels into each influence score.

It’s an inexact science at best, and Klout scores should be seen as only one indicator and not the end-all-be-all of who is important.

Still, some businesses are signaling they believe the scores to be a reasonable indicator of influence. For instance, European music service Spotify launched in the United States last month by offering access primarily to people with high Klout scores, calling them “U.S. Spotify Ambassadors.”

At Powell Tate, we are versed in the best in breed analytics tools, but our greatest value-add lays within our experience distilling the ocean of data to help drive your strategy.

Besides, the important thing isn’t the “influence score” but rather how you engage those influencers to maximize your outreach and deliver on your strategy.


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