I’ve paid some attention to Klout for a several months. I’ve received a number of perks, some exceptional and some just something free. I watched my score move around and the algorithms change. I’ve heard a lot of chatter about the value of Klout scores. Klout is self-described as a way to measure influence through social channels using the primary metrics of True Reach, Amplification, and Network impact.
So, I set out to do a little test with two new Twitter accounts I have created.
Account #1 – The Feed
There are a number of news sources that I subscribe to that are interrelated. This account is an aggregator of those feeds that spits them back out into one easy to follow account. There has been an active list and follow strategy with this account. There has been very little interaction with followers. Here are the statistics for this account:
(Note: I will mark the ones in Green that it is better in, Red when doing worse in, and leave it normal when it is a tie.)
Median Follower’s follow count: 2,330
Median Follower’s Total Tweets: 1,850
Days on Twitter:33
Twitter Rank: 274,523
Retweet Rank: 168,177
Retweets per Tweet: .08
PeerIndex Score: 49
Klout Score: 28
Account #2 – The Reply Bot
This account is set up to be triggered to a Key Phrase on Twitter. The account then sends a humorous (to most) response out to the unknowing original Key Phrase poster. The return message is identical each time with the exception of an @username placed at the start of the Tweet. So, the content of each tweet is 5% original each time, but gets sent to different users. There is no follow or listing strategy in place for this account. Here are the Statistics for this account:
Median Follower’s follow count: 144
Median Follower’s Total Tweets: 794
Days on Twitter:25
Twitter Rank: 527,003
Retweet Rank: 496,378
Retweets per Tweet: .16
PeerIndex Score: 11
Klout Score: 29
Notes about these accounts
Both of these accounts are highly automated. They are not meant to create interactions with others. The Feed Account is meant as a news/info source, where the Reply Bot can be seen more as an interjection of random humor. Almost all of the retweets for both accounts are just simple retweets. Some replies to The Reply Bot include some signs of appreciation.
It’s easy to see that the Feed Account dominates in most categories except the Retweets pet Tweet. This feeds into Klout’s vision of Amplification. The issue is that clearly, the True Reach and Network Impact Scores favor the Feed Account. So, why does the Amplification make a big difference?
This certainly isn’t a perfect test by any means, but it is frustrating to think that a fairly spammy account is being more influential on Twitter, than a targeted content account that gets more total interactions and followers. I know that this isn’t a clear indicator of what someone’s level of influence is, but what worries me is that I hear talk and chatter about how people are comparing each other based upon this clearly flawed system. I’ve seen people with years of industry experience eclipsed by someone who is fresh out of college. How is it that we really value someone’s ability based up on these numbers? How can Bill Gates not be one of the top 10 influencers for Microsoft?
I know there are other scoring systems out there, but they seem to be just as flawed. They throw weight to activity levels over a targeted knowledge base. So there is no clear solution to the issue of who has the most influence on a subject through these systems. Even voting systems on who you believe has influence on a topic is way out of whack.
With this posting, I am going to give up on worrying about the Klout scores. Too much effort is used in seeing the trends go up and down and figuring out what to do to move the needle. The one really nice thing I can say though is that I still like some of the Perks that go out there. I have seen several perks. I received some great swag and some that were valued at the real cost of the item (sometimes you get what you pay for.) So, I will check back to see what perks there are, give some people credit for doing a great job in an area, but not care much beyond that. The scores really don’t matter. It is what you can do with the connections you create.
You have any comments on this? I would love to hear about it.