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How to measure online influence: A special #smmeasure chat with Klout



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This week, we invited our first special guest to the #smmeasure chat and, needless to say, this was our most highly anticipated chat since #smmeasure was launched in July.   A big thanks goes out to Klout’s Megan Berry, marketing manager, and Joe Fernandez, CEO.  I also want to thank everyone who participated, submitted questions and helped spread the word.  And, as always, another shoutout to Sysomos’ Community Manager Sheldon Levine @sysomos for co-hosting the chat.

#smmeasure chat #7 recap with special guest, Klout

Klout, the company that created the “Klout Score,” a metric that measures online influence, began this week’s #smmeasure chat session by asking three discussion questions and then went full force into audience questions.  Below is just a small taste of the great conversation we had.  Take a look at the full transcript for oodles of helpful tips.

Q1: How do you determine who to follow and/or follow back?

  • @meganberry:  “I generally follow back people who I’ve actually engaged with either in person or on Twitter. I think there’s no right way though”
  • @KaryD:  “I read every bio of new followers. Look for similar interests & at feed to see if the person engages or just pushes posts.”
  • @MichaelNus:  “it’s a battle between genuine interest in one’s tweets and a kinda ‘twitter etiquette”
  • @ellerich:  “I also follow back people I can really learn something valuable from, whether professionally or for personal interests”
  • @SunnyinSyracuse:  “I also follow if many of my network that I most engage with are following them. I trust my network”
  • GetPushing:  “The 3 C’s. Content, creativity & conversation.”

Q2:  How would you define influence? Online influence?

  • @JoeFernandez:  “I’ve always thought of influence as the ability to drive actions (true online and off)”
  • @seanward:  “influence = hard to pin. You can measure clicks and follows, but not the slow growth of an idea in people’s minds…”
  • @KaryD:  “Online influencers have the ability to evoke action (change, sentiment, spread of info) fm followers. Usually built by trust.
  • @iamChuckHarris:  ” I think influence is about the people you go to for help or a question. Those trusted individuals.”
  • @MichaelNus:  “you can measure ONLINE influence in blog comments, retweets, inbound links from relevant sites (not link exchanges)”
  • @JPedde:  “Influence = the buzz word of the year. It’s persuasion, reach, finesse, personality, salesmanship all rolled into one word.”
  • @KnowledgeBishop:  “When others care what you think, listen to what you say, and respond to what you recommend.”

Q3:  How should a business or individual measure their impact on Twitter?

  • @meganberry:  “Of course I’ve gotta say Klout 😉 but you have to use multiple metrics. Depends on your business or personal goals”
  • @sabrina_scott:  “Target audience – are they interacting, discussing and retweeting with you? And are you also learning from them?”
  • @inspiredtrain:  “Obviously Klout, but monitoring mentions, trends, with Hootsuite, Hashtags, and tracking them to see patterns of ‘popularity'”
  • @brightmatrix:  “Like other analytics, impact needs to consider many metrics measured & analyzed over time & in context”
  • @_Rochelle:  “measure impact = number of followers, number of retweets, referrals back to website, newsletter sign-ups”
  • @gprzyklenk:  “business impact: what am i doing to move the needle, be it revenue, orders, leads, etc”

Audience Questions

Is a RT a sign of influence? (via @inspiredtrain)

  • @meganberry:  “We think so. A RT indicates you like the content and want to share further”
  • @JoeFernandez:  “I think rt is a signal of influence. It’s kind of like nodding your head in agreement”

How does @klout address the difficulty of measuring influence that’s not as direct as RTs and clicks? (via @seanward)

  • @meganberry:  “@Klout we believe influence = ability to drive action but we are limited to measurable actions”

How do you really measure @Klout?  Is it noise or real influence on certain topics on Twitter? (via @PRBristolblog)

  • @JoeFernandez:  “We look for real influence like link clicks or who replies and RTs you when you talk about any specific topic”

…But, Klout doesn’t measure [influence as the ability to drive actions] (via @karensnider)

  • @JoeFernandez:  “everything we do is based on trying to measure if someone was driven to action.

Can you confirm a new style and an old style RT is assigned the same weight by @klout (via @paulgailey)

  • @meganberry:  “yes”

Does checking into 4sq and posting on Twitter & Facebook impact one’s influence? (via @jgombita)

  • @meganberry:  “Posting to foursquare doesn’t have any automatic impact on Klout/influence. It depends on how our audience reacts”
  • @meganberry:  “and if it does create conversations we measure that. If not, then it doesn’t impact score”

Does blog influence measure into @klout score at all? (via @MichaelNus)

  • @meganberry:  “Blog influence only affects @klout to the extent of posting it & getting RTs, @mentions because of it.”

What do @klout’s Facebook scores take into consideration? (via @JPedde)

  • @meganberry:   “We’re still testing and solidifying but will also revolve around actions like comments/likes/tags etc.”
  • @JoeFernandez:  “For FB we are looking for how engaged your network is with you and the “ripple” effect of when a person “likes” something”
  • @JoeFernandez:  “Also for FB looking at how influential the people are that engage with you”

Did you happen to consult any #measure folks for weighing influence in @klout score? (via @gprzyklenk)

  • @JoeFernandez:   “I have talked to many #measure folks. our scores are public & we get tons of feedback and constantly improving them”
  • @meganberry:  “we have two scientists full-time working on the Klout score / algorithm”

Why is @klout in (personal) Facebook, but NOT business-oriented @linkedin? (via @jgombita)

  • @JoeFernandez:  “The original version of Klout was actually built on FB. Now that FB is more open it’s time to go back”
  • @meganberry:  “At Klout we believe everyone posting content has influence, and Facebook is where a lot of that content is.”
  • @meganberry:  “Facebook is a huge network where a tremendous amount of content gets produced. LinkedIn is also on our gameplan”
  • @meganberry:  “LinkedIn tends to be static. Not a lot of actions being produced on LinkedIn beyond connections”

Is your goal to #smmeasure across Facebook and Twitter as a combined metric or within each first? How far off are you? (via @paulgailey)

  • @JoeFernandez:  “The score will be combined but we will give insight into where you are strongest”

Fun Tweet of the Chat

  • @gprzyklenk:  “Lisa’s paper tweet: influence is like peanut butter, it’s better when it’s spread around” (Editor: inside joke, Lisa Davis, director of marketing at Marketwire doesn’t use twitter, but she still manages to tweet her influence. :-) )

Continuing the music theme from last week’s #smmeasure chat, I think we have found Klout’s theme.  I love this group.

  • @clickflickca:  “Klout, klout let it all out :-) #TearsForFears #smmeasure”

Blog post highlight

  • @MackCollier:  “All I know about online influence #smmeasure – http://bit.ly/9sB7Ss”

Check back here every week for #smmeasure chat recaps and transcripts.  Join the Marketwire Facebook page to get #smmeasure weekly discussion topics.  If you have any questions or specific topics that you would like us to discuss in the future, please tweet @smmeasure or @marketwire.  Keep track of all the #smmeasure chat recaps.

Join the #smmeasure LinkedIn Group to connect with others interested in social media and measurement.  See you next week at 9:00 am PST, 11:00 am CST, 12:00 pm EST.

Until next time,
Nick


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