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#CmgrChat 1/19/11 – Klout & Online Influence

Influence was a huge buzz word in 2010 and there’s no reason why it won’t continue to be a huge topic of conversation in 2011.   Measuring influence is not an easy task whether it takes place online or off and there is one company out there attempting to do its best and give all of us a starting point – Klout.  As Community Managers we are judged by our digital presence, we also need to find and identify the influencers in their industries, and hiring managers are starting to take notice of Klout scores – but should they?

We were very fortunate to have Megan Berry, the Marketing Manager from Klout, join us to answer questions we community managers had and let us know what we can all look forward to in the world of influence.   We had 813 tweets and 99 participants this week and were glad to have each and every one of you in another great discussion.

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Q1 How do you define online influence? And do you think Klout is accurately measuring it?

40deuce: Online influence is the same as real life. It’s the ability to motivate someone to do/try/think about something

40deuce: On @klout, I think they have the right idea and the right intentions and they may be the best we have right now

Mitch_M: I define online inflluence based on how many people you actually reach that take action on what it is you do.

Mitch_M: part 2; No, I don’t think so at all.

meganberry: How do you define online influence? A: Here at Klout we believe influence is the ability to drive action

cochinealred: Influence is tricky… most “influential” peeps in my community don’t necessarily have soc. med experience or activity

JMattHicks: I feel like online influence is more about the power the can harness from your network as opposed to the sheer size/breadth of it.

ahvance: Online influence is the ability to drive a user to take action, whether this means a purchase or spreading the word to others

CallFireMktg: Online influence is tough, like real-life influence. Do pp believe u, do they talk @ u, do they like ur brand?

THO_R: Real influence isn’t just short-term (RTs in a day) but also long-term. Think of your 1st grade teacher

elysa: My short answer on influence – when you talk/tweet/post/share… people listen. that’s how you know you have some influence
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Q2) What do you think about the recent changes/additions to Klout? Suggestions?

Mitch_M: Would be nice if blogs could be a part of that influence

rotolo: Klout scores began to seem very, um, odd as soon as the daily updates were added. A lot of “huh? how could that be?”

rotolo: There’s a lot of guessing about why your score changes. What am I doing right/wrong?

mhandy1: Score stability is probably a must from a user prospective… its frustrating to take a vaca & look less influential

KellyLux: It seems that most people’s scores increased after the switch to daily. Many more in the 50’s & 60’s that used to be in the 30’s

tgrevatt: I also see a lot of influence happening in forums, review sites – lots of expertise hangs out there, far more so than Tw/FB.

tmonhollon: Makes it feel like a moving target. If the number changes & is hard to understand, it’s not useful for me or for users.

blaisegv: Klout needs to start taking into account other social spaces such as forums and blogs at least, if not google as well

JPedde: One of my suggestions would be to have more about the person on the Klout Profile. Maybe a home base of SM Activity

MrShri: I like Amplification, Reach & Klout Achievement Badges

meganberry: We are looking into score stability and/or making it more clear why changes occur

meganberry: Klout’s goal is to include many more sources of influence. Blogging is one area we are looking at.

meganberry: Right now it’s based on personal profiles only, but we’re looking to add pages soon

meganberry: We’re working on building out a FAQ
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Q3. What other measures of online influence have you used now or previously? Thoughts on those tools/comparison to Klout?

Mitch_M: I track traffic through sites like Alexa and look at my stats through Google Analytics for blogs & websites

tgrevatt: Some forums, review sites (Amazon) (& Quora) allow user rankings of quality of posters. Surely that is well tied to influence too.

Cision: Comprehensive list of influencer measurement tools – tried most of these out http://bit.ly/fLVVbm – all have good/bad points

mhandy1: The Edleman tool is interesting but the database on Klout is more robust.

pushingvision: Others used: Twitalyzer, Peer Index, Twitter Grader but I have to say I don’t really take any of them seriously
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Q4. How can @klout best be utilized? Should it be considered when looking at job applicants?

40deuce: NO! Unless that job is to only be an influencer of 1 specific subject (and if that job exists… I’d like it please)..unless I already do?

cochinealred: As a part of the overall process maybe, but I don’t think it should be taken super seriously.

AskTim: Depends on the job. For a cmgr, I would think it’s very important. For a PR job, it should be 1 factor out of many.

tomfnet: Use Klout like Credit Score or Driving Record. A narrow snapshot that may or may not be relevant to person’s future.

CallFireMktg: For employer purposes, I think clout with a C is more important than Klout with a K, and much harder to gauge.

Mitch_M: I don’t think it’s a factor at all until all types of social media can be measured

meganberry: Had a great time joining u guys today, thx for letting me join to talk klout! Feel free to ping me with other qs

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Thanks to all who participated! If you would like to see the entire transcript, please click here.Make sure to come back to #cmgrchat every Wednesday from 2-3pm EST for more chats!

If you have any ideas or suggestions for future topics, leave comments or get in touch with either Jenn or Kelly!

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About the author

Jenn Pedde

Jenn is a Co-Founder of The Community Manager and the Editor-In-Chief. She’s also an adjunct professor at the Syracuse University School of Information Studies. You can find her almost anywhere online, but specifically on #CmgrChat every Wednesday from 2-3pm ET.