Scoring Social Media Influence – What’s the Story?

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Guest Post by: John Fell

Peoplebrowsr’s Kred, a social influence and analytics service, today announced the launch of KredStory which is “a new way of seeing social influence that is different than anything we – or any social analytics company – have ever done before”. The good news is that this is an attempt to move away from a score automatically assigned to you.

Beware of influence scoring systems

The scores that each system produces differ drastically. Looking at my scores from Kred, Klout and PeerIndex highlights that these systems are rather mystical. Looking at it simplistically, I would argue that the data available to each of these platforms is the same and therefore my scores should be comparable, clearly that is not the case.

So what are my scores for each?

  • Kred – 639 (out of 1,000)
  • Klout – 51 (out of 100)
  • PeerIndex – 11 (out of 100)

And what does this mean?

To be frank, not much if you are just looking at a score, but before completely writing off these scores it is important to note that I do think they can be of use such as by helping to identify influencers.

Using scoring systems to help identify influencers

For brands that have thousands and thousands of mentions on social media platforms each day, it would be an extremely time intensive (and not to mention costly) process, to review each and all of the people that were responsible. A couple of ways scoring systems can be of use:

1. To narrow down large lists of potential influencers

To make a huge list more manageable you filter to view only the top 10%. Using a tool such as Brandwatch would be a way of doing this as they integrate both Kred and Klout scores. The next step is the most valuable; it is the point where you ‘bring in the humans’. Tools such as Klout and Kred are largely reliant on the number of followers or friends that someone has to determine a score. What they cannot reliably do is tell you of those followers who will be relevant to your client, and who are even real followers and not automated bots.

2. Identify influencers on certain topics

Another aspect which the tools share is the ability to identify topics that people are influential on. For example, Klout tells me that I am influential about football, gym, steak, rugby and burritos (amongst other things). But these are vague and whilst fairly accurate this information on its own is useless. I may be influential about the gym, but of my followers, I know for a fact that only a small proportion are interested in this. So using a tool such as Klout to draw up a list of influencers on a certain topic is only useful if you undertake a thorough research into who the followers are and whether they are a relevant audience for you or your brand.

Does KredStory set it apart from its competitors?

KredStory provides information in a more intuitive and visual manner for people to see what is happening amongst their followers. For brands, it will easily allow them to identify influential individuals around specific topics, and in a more visual manner. In summary, while I don’t think this is a game changer, it may mean that when people are considering using a influence measurement tool, that Kred gets the nod.

What it doesn’t change is the fact that all these tools are merely scratching the tip of the iceberg and that none of these tools can be relied upon without a significant time investment from the people using them and deciphering the information they provide.

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