What is Klout?

After an announcement today that Klout can now include Facebook personal profiles in it’s algorithm, I thought it was worth taking a look and explaining a little bit about Klout in general.

What is Klout?

Klout is an algortithm for measuring someone’s influence on social networks – up until today that has basically consisted of analysing a twitter account for things such as Followers, Mutual Follows, Friends, Total Retweets, Unique Commenters, Unique Likers, Follower/Follow Ratio, Followed Back %, @ Mention Count, List Count, List Followers Count and quite a few more.

Why pay attention to Klout?

Klout is a useful measure for an social media marketing campaign as part of an overall mix and can help you to understand who best to engage with to spread your message on twitter as far as possible.

Does adding Facebook improve the scoring accuracy?

That’s the million dollar question. In order to have your personal facebook profile information included in your Klout score (Klout can’t include business and fan pages as yet) you need to actively sign up at the Klout site and provide it with access to your Facebook account, due to the relatively closed nature of Facebook itself.

Having to perform this extra step (Klout can get an accurate score from twitter without authentication), is likely to naturally skew the results given by the system. Facebook is thought of much less as a business platform than Twitter, and those with the highest influence of Facebook are the most likely to use it specifically for personal communication and are least likely to authenticate their accounts with Klout.

Klout are trying to combat this by encouraging people to tweet their score, or post it to their Facebook updates with handy buttons on the site, but a Klout score is a long way from becoming a badge of pride for your average social network user to display on their profile with pride.

What effect will linking my Facebook profile have?

Let’s see! I’ve got a twitter only Klout score of 5 which I’ve tweeted today, since I’ve only just come out of lurker mode! According to Klout it will take up to 72 hours to link up my Facebook profile that I’ve been active with for much longer and has 370 friends at last count. I’ll tweet the score again when it’s finished aggregating the information and the score updates.

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