If you’re an avid Social Media user, chances are you’ve seen people talking about Klout and Kred scores and may have even been prompted to find out your own numbers. For those who have never looked too deeply into the world of social scoring, what are these numbers and are they really important?
Klout – “The Standard For Influence.”
Klout is a tool for measuring social standing on the internet. When you sign up you’re asked to connect either your Facebook account or your Twitter account, and from that Klout’s system pulls in some basic information about how much weight you hold in your online communities. You also have the option of connecting your Google+, LinkedIn, Foursquare, YouTube, Instagram, Tumblr, Blogger, WordPress, Last.fm, Flickr, and Bing accounts – all of which will help to increase your score.
How exactly does Klout measure your influence on each community? It adds up your Followers, Friends, Lists, Tweets, Re-Tweets, conversations, and various topics to determine the scope of your Internet reach. From there, Klout assigns you a score from 0 to 100. The average Klout score, according their FAQ, is 40, but simply by connecting a few of your accounts your score should hit anywhere from 30 to 40. The more accounts you add, the higher your score will go because Klout’s system has more information to pull from.
Klout will maintain a steady examination of your various accounts, which will make your score fluctuate. For example, one day you may Tweet an influential message that gets several re-tweets, and your score will go up because your reach has expanded. Then, if you don’t Tweet for a few days, your score may float back down to it’s original number. When you log into Klout, it will tell you your number and show your 90-day high and low scores, as well as a comprehensive graph showing your numbers are fluctuating. Klout also breaks down the ways each of your added accounts are impacting your score, and shows you which of your posted messages are the most ‘influential moments’ you’ve had each 90 days. As you can see in the image above, my Klout score is holding steady at 60 but it jumped to 61.78 when I was engaged by several Twitterers and also on an Instagram photo.
On your profile, Klout lists your influencers and shows you their scores. These are the people in your community circles who hold the most influence in their own circles. Klout will also show you which topics you have the most impact on, which it pulls from keywords in your tweets and posts. So what does all of this mean for you, as a regular Social Media user or as a business?
Unless all of your Tweets, Facebook updates, Tumblr posts, and Youtube videos are all about the same topic, your Klout score isn’t going to be a very fair judge of your specific social influences, but it can gauge how active you are in general. Big-name brands will find Klout very useful, as it offers direct insight into brand influencers and then allows those influencers perks that will keep them talking about the brands. If you’re not a brand but a singular professional in the realm of Social Media, your Klout score can still make a world of difference on job interviews.
Some companies require a Klout rating of at least 50 to be considered for their Social Media job listings, and if you’re a professional in the business you should strive to maintain a score above 50. This isn’t because what you’re Tweeting and posting about truly matters to the people who might hire you; it’s because companies want to know that you understand how Social Media works. Having an above-average Klout score tells them that you can set up different types of profiles and use these profiles enough to maintain a steady rating.
Kred – “We all have Influence somewhere.”
Kred is also a tool used for measuring social influence on the internet and it holds the same basic principles as Klout, but under a different set of metrics. As stated on their rules page, Kred is based on both the Influence and the Outreach of your Twitter and Facebook pages. As they explain,
“We measure Influence by assessing how frequently you are Retweeted, Replied, Mentioned and Followed on Twitter. If you connect your Facebook account to your Kred profile, you get Influence points when people interact with your content on your wall and the walls of others who have registered their Facebook account with Kred. Facebook interactions counted towards your Kred include Posts, Mentions, Likes, Shares and Event Invitations.”
Kred defines Outreach differently by stating that your Outreach score is based on the generosity in your engagement and influence. So to Kred it isn’t simply enough to be Retweeted – they want to measure the worth of that Retweet and add it to your score in such a way that reflects the value of your conversations.
Your Kred scores are presented in the form of a badge with two numbers; your larger Influence score on top in green, and the smaller Outreach score on bottom in blue. These numbers will rise based on the level of your genuine activity. You can give others Kred and receive Kred too, both of which will help your scores. Since Kred believes that your Outreach is infinite on the internet, that score can only go up and not down. The median Influence score on Kred ranges from 201 to 450 which puts my score of 771 in the top 21% of social influencers, though my Outreach score is relatively low. I can raise my Outreach by being more active on posts made by friends, sharing updates, and contributing to more discussions – I’ve already learned something about my social influence and how I can have a more meaningful presence!
The most important part of Kred’s system is the transparency they have over exactly how these numbers are calculated. While similar tools will not disclose why your scores go up, Kred makes it easy for users to see the impact their Tweets, Retweets, and Facebook posts are having by directly showing you your ‘Personal Activity Statements’ and their allotted points. This is essential for Social Media professionals and large companies who want to see which of their messages are having the biggest impact in their online communities and how they can broaden their influential reach.
Kred will also show you the top influencers in your communities and the topics in which they have high Outreach scores. This information allows users to join in on popular conversation and to see which areas of discussion need more attention. If you influence those areas, your scores will go up due to genuine participation. Another great aspect of Kred is that it offers scores for specific communities that fall within your topic range. You can click on the different influential topics and see which hold more weight for you. For example, my personal score in the Bloggers community right now is 348/5, while my score in the Reporters community is currently at 593/3. The more I post and Tweet about these topics, the higher they’ll climb on my list under Global Kred.
While Kred’s general layout of information can seem a bit crowded at first glance, once you really dig into it you can easily pick up on trends in your post topics and see where you’re most influential. Casual Kred users and businesses alike may have fun toying with their post topics and watching their scores and communities fluctuate, but more serious Social Media Marketers will find Kred a very handy tool for determining social worth and devising a plan for growth.
Unless you represent a big-name brand, Klout is best served for casual Social Media users who want to check in and get a broad view of their online presence. Klout’s relaxed metrics and loosely-defined influence perimeters are matched only by a pleasing aesthetic and uncluttered design that any indifferent Social Media user will easily accept. Though, unfortunately for Klout and it’s handsome brand perks, looks aren’t everything.
If you’re a business – or even a little bit serious about your Social Media presence – then Kred is the site for you. Since Kred offers more well-defined results with meaning that fluctuates true to the fluid nature of social influence, it is a much better gauge for where you or your business stand and how you can grow. Though I had some technical difficulties with Kred’s site at first, an e-mail to their team resulted in a warp-speed fix and a Retweet which landed me two new followers, and some friendly Twitter chatter from fellow Social Media enthusiasts. Can’t beat that customer service and social connectivity, right?