This question came in via a recent PeerIndex survey I was sent and the timing was interesting. I think the social / professional influence measurement tools are all still a work in progress. I think that getting Perks or Points or free stuff based on your score is sometimes nicely targeted, other times a bit of a blunt publicity tool for new products etc. And I think getting emails with a breathy ‘hurry, you may be influential enough to get this free thing’ to then click through to and see ‘ ah, no, you dropped in influence this week, you don’t get in to the shiny zone’ are at best irksome and hopefully the mechanics used will evolve soon.
But what I also think is that they’re here to stay and are more importantly than the ‘free stuff’, are beginning to make a tangible difference to people’s livelihood.
That was something Glenn Lesanto mentioned during an event I was at at social media week. I can’t remember how the question was phrased but someone asked ‘just how important are influence scores, really?’ His response was (paraphrased), ‘seeing as potential clients are checking my Peer Index (I think it was, rather than Klout or Kred) score before they hire me — very [expletive deleted] important’.
And that’s the reason for this post. Same just happened with me and I recalled Glenn’s comment from SMW. I was with a prospect client a week ago and they said they’d read a report that anyone ‘in the know’ in the digital industry should have a good Kred or PI score. They didn’t mention Klout but it may have been in the same (to be sourced) report. So what was mine? Well.. off the top of my head (I said) it’s in the high 50′s I think for PeerIndex. And pretty high on Klout .. and, err.. I don’t actually know on Kred. But what about my year’s in the industry? And the fact I’ve trained others in digital marketing .. want to know about that? Which they did but that initial question stuck with me. Okay, that’s the first time I’ve been asked, off the cuff, what my Influence scores are. But, a sign of things to come? Putting aside lots of questions – what exactly are you / we scoring, is each platform / system doing the same thing or are they built for different goals (using different algorithms) – The big question is how exactly do they correlate with my ability to provide an effective service for you / your brand / your bottom line?
I’m not being defensive by the way, if they’re demonstrably robust and can help make decisions (like any good algorithm) then I’m all for them. No doubt there will be margins of error a la credit scores but overall they may be useful in the majority of cases depending on the usage. The usage scenario for these fledgling tools is important though – get it wrong about choosing free stuff to send to people.. some grumbles from those missing out but the margin of error isn’t so important. Get it wrong in selecting ‘Influential candidates’ .. litigation time?
When I checked, my Influence scores have actually all dropped (although Kred has gone up, go me). But I haven’t tweeted as much as usual, or written a blog post for a while. I’ve been stacked out launching a consultancy and (hurrah) picking up some really interesting projects. Yes I do need to find time to do the tweets and posts (which I enjoy and have ‘always’ done) but I obviously need to attend to them a bit more on the basis that the collective client psyche seems to have picked up on Influence Scores as at least one measure of your employability.
- 10 Things You Didn’t Know About Klout (mashable.com)
- Do you know your Klout Score? Do you care? Why digital influence matters (janismeehan.com)
- Klout is Your Social Media Peer Pressure (or Pusher, if Applicable) (methodshop.com)
- Percollate: Making Sense of Social Influence Scores [Review] (searchenginewatch.com)
- Measuring Social Influence – Klout, PeerIndex, SocialIQ and Kred (digitalbrandmarketing.com)