Over the past 30 days, my Klout score has climbed five points.
I guess that’s a good thing, and it suggests the time spent on social media over the past month after returning from a lengthy vacation is starting to dividends. After all, it’s difficult to remain as influential when you’re sitting on the beach as opposed to tweeting or posting updates.
But having a Klout score of 67 rather than 62 hasn’t made much of a difference. I don’t feel more influential, although anyone who feels influential probably has too high an opinion of themselves. I haven’t seen a flurry of new consulting opportunities, a flurry of PR pitches in my inbox, or special treatment at any retail establishment I patronage.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s cool to have a Klout score of 67 because it suggests the time spent building a social media presence is resonating and having an impact, which is good for my personal brand and, hopefully, business.
I’m a big fan of the emerging influence marketplace because there’s value in being able to measure peoples’ influence so it’s easier for companies, brands and other people to identify the leading thought and opinion leaders based on their interests or needs.
But it is apparent we’re just scratching the influence surface and how we assess, discover and engage with influencers. Players such as Klout, PeerIndex, Empire Avenue and Appinions (a client) are developing different approaches and technologies to determine who is an influencer, and how companies and brands can identify and interact with them.
Just like the social media monitoring marketplace, there is room for a variety of influence players. At this point, it is important for companies, brands and people to recognize three key factors:
1. Just as there’s more than one way to skin a cat, there’s more than one way to determine an influencer.
2. It is still early days and there is a vibrant and competitive marketplace that should be explored. Appinions’ Influencer Exchange, for example, assesses influencers by looking at who’s creating content and who’s attracting the most coverage and attention.
3. While giving an influencer a score is user-friendly, there are other ways to measure and display peoples’ influence.
So while Klout has a high profile, there are other compelling options that meet different needs for people seeking influencers.