Marketwired Blog

Let’s ask Klout: How do you measure and calculate online influence?

klout-logoJust over a month ago, Marketwire created a weekly Twitter chat called #smmeasure with the help of Sysomos as co-host.  The purpose of the chat is to discuss best practices and provide tips on social media measurement and analytics.  Hopefully, the chat will enable participants to network with other social media professionals and develop a relationship beyond chatting.

Every week, since the beginning of our weekly chats, the topic of online influence and popularity has surfaced. So, for the next #smmeasure chat on Thursday, September 9th, Klout will be the week’s guest host to delve deeper into this subject matter. Based in San Francisco, Klout created its own metric – the “Klout Score” – that measures online influence and has worked with Tweetup (now PostUp), Hootsuite and Flowtown, to name a few. We’re excited to have them and hope you are able to participate.

Measuring influence is subjective, but many have tried to make it as objective as possible.  Some of the basic factors that may or may not impact one’s online influence include:

  • Number of followers/fans
  • Type of followers
  • How active and engaged you are
  • How often people take action based on what you say
  • Number of retweets and mentions

Many will argue that popularity has very little to do with influence while others will have the opposite opinion.  There are arguments for both sides.  On the one hand, you might not care if a celebrity with four million followers recommends a particular product, but you might seriously consider a recommendation from a close friend that doesn’t even know what Twitter is. On the flip side, if a celebrity you admire mentions a new product, you might Google it. That, ladies and gentlemen, is influence – when someone inspires you to take action.

The debate about how one measures influence can go on for days. But one thing is for sure: Companies like Klout are getting closer and closer to perfecting the calculations that measure online influence. If anything, Klout’s process of measuring online influence is worth applauding because of the simplicity and user-friendliness of its scoring system.

For this upcoming chat, challenge the guys at Klout with your toughest questions. Even if you’re unable to participate, you can follow the conversation in the following day’s recap or via #smmeasure on Twitter.  To submit your questions, tweet them @marketwire, comment below, post them on our Facebook page or email them directly to nshin[at]marketwire[dot].com.

Questions that come to mind:

  • How do you define online influence?
  • How do you calculate online influence?
  • What’s the correlation between influence and popularity?
  • What is the end-goal of being an influencer?  Is it ultimately getting the end-user to take some sort of action?
  • In addition to measuring online influence, what about measuring those that have been influenced, i.e., those that have changed their behavior due to the influencer?

Let’s make this chat the biggest, baddest and best  #smmeasure chat yet. If I don’t see you this Thursday, I hope to receive the questions you have for the guys at Klout.

Until next time,

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