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Some klout musings

Today I’d like to present some musings about the klout score. Now, mine is not particularly high – actually it is pretty low – as you can see below; but the curve is interesting, if set into a context.

So far I only followed my klout score pretty idly, till I started to do some minor experiments on 16.02.2011. You see some immediate effect on the day after. This is mainly due to me posting a blog entry and communicating this via Twitter and LinkedIn. There also should be a communication via CIBER’s Twitter account. This usually leads to a few clicks and one or two followers on Twitter. 
However, the real point I’d like to draw your attention to is the 22.02.2011. This is the day the 6.3 earthquake struck in Christchurch downtown and caused severe devastation. 
As you may know, I normally blog about CRM and social CRM on the CIBER site, so that event is clearly outside my usual activity. Now the catch is: I do live in Christchurch and quite some of my network friends do know this. So I did some simple things by updating my status in the few networks that I actively use:
  • LinkedIn with direct update to Twitter
  • Facebook
  • XING
As you can imagine this still caused some reactions of my friends – quite some of which are real life friends.
Of course there are still one or two CRM related posts of mine in there, plus an opinion on a political matter in Germany, but the majority of all conversations deals with the Christchurch quake, and the good thing is that it shows a lot of empathy, for which I am really grateful. I do not want to diminish the empathy shown by my friends but I am particularly grateful for reactions from Miriam Schwab (klout score 44) from Israel, Chris Heaslip (klout score 21) from NZ, Francine Hardaway (klout score 61) and Paul Greenberg (klout score 61) from the US, four persons who have never met me physically but who instantly asked whether my family and I are OK, which led to brief conversations. The conversation with Francine was on a mailing list, so is not relevant for the further discussion. I added the klout score here as I think the number is relevant for what happened to my klout score.

A few of the sites I used are monitored by klout to calculate their score, the mailing list isn’t. Note: LinkedIn was not added to my account, this followed only on 24.02.2011, leading to a further boost to 29, as this is my most frequently used network.
As you can see there is a sharp rise from 19 – 24. What does this tell me? Well, a couple of things:
          The number of conversations matter, i.e. not the own tweets but getting reactions. Proof will be a far slower increase of my klout score or a slow decline, as I am not as diligently blogging or twittering than colleagues (but may be I, one day, make it out of the explorer section ...).

  •           The topic seems to be pretty irrelevant
  • there is no visible measurement of sentiment. This ties in with with the soaring klout score of Kenneth Cole who now can be used as a bad example of Twitter usage after tweet relating his brand to the Egypt revolution that came across pretty cynical
  •          It seems logical that interactions with higher scoring partners increase the own klout more than interactions with lower scoring partners
The klout website is unluckily not particularly helpful when trying to analyse this, so all faults in this article are genuinely mine. 
Without being cynic we can learn some lessons from this which might help companies in their social media marketing efforts, and again, I am not cynic here, just starting off an example that intrigued me because of the effect in the system that I observed and because it effected me; and then since klout is starting to become a business tool with companies starting to use it to plan their reactions on activities on the network that relate to them. Consumers also use klout to assess brands, inferring from a high score (high influence) that the brand is of high value or trustworthy. This ties into the word of the “company like me” that Paul Greenberg dubbed in 2008.

My lessons learnt are:
  1. Interaction pays off. The klout score as a measure of influence makes some participants in conversations more attractive than others.
  2. A quality network is important. I define quality here as the average klout of the participants. 
  3. Using the right networks is important. When using klout these important networks are at this time Twitter, Facebook, and Linkedin.
But be aware: At this time it doesn’t really seem to be important what one says as long as it generates conversations. It also does not seem to be relevant how well received the statement is. This may tempt us to lose focus as quantity seems to be more important than quality and to start to overly polarize but this is an approach that is dangerous as
  • Further research by the readers easily shows that the klout score does not relate to the own competency 
  • The analysis tools and algorithms will surely improve fast and give a more detailed picture on where the klout comes from. An early indication for this is the quadrant that klout spans already now
Did you have similar observations?

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