I’m currently researching the myriad ways to analyse social media activity and my God, there are a lot.
Throughout my merry investigations I’ve read quite a lot of articles debating the use of Klout and Peer Index scores as measurement, heard tell of job adverts listing “raising our Klout” as part of the job description and been flabbergasted to learn that there was a party to which you can only be invited if you have a good enough Klout score!
Really, what is the world coming to? I have a vision of a gutter full of modern day Cinderellas outside a club, all frantically tweeting via their iPhones, imploring their fairy godmothers to turn their tatty, uninfluential tweets into shiny powerful beacons of influence through the magic of multiple retweets and link clicks.
I'll admit I find some of the breakdowns on Klout really quite useful and interesting – seeing who you influence for example, and monitoring the growth of the individual metrics such as “amplification” can help you see if your reach is expanding. However, placing a single score value on all your activity seems reductive, and in my mind your own business goals of conversions, web visits, event attendance, whatever, should dictate your metrics.
During advertising campaigns via TV, print, radio, etc, no one attempts to give a company one encompassing score of how influential their advertising is, so why do it with online activity?
In my opinion, Klout and Peer Index et al have invented a problem and given it a (sometimes faulty) solution.
The party policy highlights the inflated sense of self-importance these scores can create. Sure, influential bloggers can be great connections for PR purposes, but in terms of business, having a high score doesn't automatically translate into sales. If all the Cinderellas in the gutter decided they didn’t care about Klout scores and gave each other their Twitter handles and Linkedin URLs think of the party they could have.
So what’s your take? Do you use these scores as goals or measures, or for benchmarking against competitors? Do they add any value to your strategy?