Measuring Success Via Klout

This week, I am putting the final touches on a social media campaign for my social media PR class, which has everyone talking about measurement, measurement, measurement. In social media, we are still trying to figure out what exactly are we measuring: Facebook likes, Twitter followers, YouTube comments or webpage views. However, it is not all about who has the most. Sometimes a small audience that is highly engaged is better than 10,000 people “liking” you on Facebook.

What is Klout?

One measurement tool that I adore is Klout. According to Crunchbase Profile, Klout collects content and engagement of its users across multiple social media platforms and identifies influencers. It gives users a score based on their influence and style. For example, today my Klout score is 49, and I am considered a specialist. Topics or areas that users are influential on are also identified. I am apparently influential about coffee, public relations, social media, glee, chocolate, blogging and moms. I do not quite understand the last one.

How Can I Use Klout?

Klout has a lot to offer in terms on measuring your success as a public relations practitioner. It tracks more than Facebook likes but active engagement. If you track your Klout score over time, it can show how you have improved the engagement of your audience. For example, I manage the Twitter account for my part time job, at The Coffee Ethic kiosk in the Assembly of God Headquarters. When I started managing the account two months ago, our Klout score was 19. Now, our score is 31. I know it is just a number, but it shows me what I am doing is working.

Another feature of Klout, which is a fairly recent addition, is what topics you are influential about. When planning a social media campaign, you can see if you become influential on the specific message you were trying to communicate to the public as well as any hashtags you may start on Twitter.

The Limitations of Klout

Klout is definitely not the end all be all of measurement. Niall Harbison made a good point in his blog post “Why Your Klout Score Really Doesn’t Matter“. Klout integrates multiple social media platforms, but it really only measures Twitter. Yes, it takes into account Facebook and blogs, but Twitter influence is what shines though. So if you are not active on Twitter, odds are your score will be skewed.

Also, Harbison pointed out getting more Klout is like a game. If you know about Klout and have an account, you probably will have a higher Klout score. Just like any measurement tool, it cannot be used alone and must be supported by strong objectives. It is one tool that can help measure the success of a social media campaign.

What do you think of Klout? Do you have any favorite measurement tools?

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3 thoughts on “Measuring Success Via Klout

  1. This was a very informative post. I’d never heard of Klout, but I’m interested in trying it out. Don’t know that my score would be the greatest… but I’ll probably have to work on that =) Twitter is essential for social media marketing, so I can understand why it would grade heavier on Tweets.
    You do have a point though on the score not being a big overall indicator of success in social media. I think it depends on the method in the end… You don’t necessarily have to be the most active use to be the best. Quality over quantity is applied here. Again, great post!

    -Chelsi
    chelsialtman.wordpress.com

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