Karen’s PR & Social Media Blog

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July 24, 2011

The Battle for Social Media Influence: Issues & future developments into algorithm to calculate influence

Klout seems to be one of the primary social influence services right now for business, marketing, and public relations professionals to use to see how they stand in terms of their overall “social media influence.” While there have been both positive and negative comments about the service, it still is considered to be a reliable source to look at in terms of the overall perception you have based on certain algorithm calculations.

However, you really do not get the complete story behind the numbers appearing on Klout, which Mark Schaefer mentioned in his post appearing on his {grow} blog on the subject and other points to take into consideration.  Other services are coming out to try to measure social media influence, like Edelman with their launch of Tweetlevel and PeerIndex, which are both rising competitors to Klout.

There are definitely some considerations and additions in which Klout can expand their presence and services to try to really capture what makes an individual or brand influential on social media.  First, while I think that it is key to make sure to include three of the major social media profiles (Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn), where does traditional blogs and other social media platforms come into play?  A lot of professionals are establishing their presence and building relationships within their communities through the content and information that they write about on these sites hosted on either Tumblr or WordPress. There appears to be these developments in the future, but these are definitely other points to take into consideration.

In addition, it is key to be aware of the audience that is being targeted and influenced on these various platforms.  Friends on FB are different from followers on Twitter, as well as those who are connected and read blogs or post commentaries on Quora.  Which raises another point in consideration – what about an integration into Quora?  Contributing, sharing, and expressing your expertise and content with a community is another form of influence – but this is not taken into consideration in the Klout algorithm.

So, I would say besides the integration of other various platforms in social media, a focus on sentiment analysis and contribution / curating information to others should also be incorporated into this formula.  Plus – what about the personality of the individual?  How does this influence how they are perceived in the community?  These are just a few additions that could be tested in research – which would really help contribute to the community in measuring influence more effectively.

In other words, all of these social media influence models and sites are beginning to touch on some of the characteristics and attributes that do make individuals considered to be”influential” – however, more research and discussion needs to happen in order to improve the site to measure the evolving digital atmosphere and where people are going to share, discuss, and redistribute their content and information with others.  Social media influence needs to also look at the possibilities on how to measure this in Web 3.0, and what would be the characteristics and attributes that need to be incorporated into this formula as well.  The future is exciting in this area, and we will have to wait and see what developments happen next.

Hope you all are having a great day!

Best Wishes,

Karen

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