How influential are you on Twitter?

30 Jul

By now most Twitter users have figured out how to gauge their overall impact within the space using a variety of tools. The most popular of these is probably Klout.

On Klout you simply pop in your user name (go on, try it here) and, as an unpaid member, you will see four critical measurements of your clout on Twitter – klout score, true reach, amplification and network – with some rudimentary explanations tossed in. Paid members can take some much deeper dives.

The Klout Score is the key number that tweeters buzz about. It ranges from 1-100, with the lower scores going to people who don’t tweet regularly, or simply push others’ content, or have few followers, or are not regularly retweeted.

There are many pleasing graphs in which graph-heads will get happily lost.

There is even a Klout Laboratory where they conduct experiments on birds’ brains.

The question is why should you care about your influence on Twitter? You may only have a few hundred followers, yet you may be a specialist in your area and play by all the best practices. You might be regular, generous, insightful and loyal to your lists. How can you measure up against someone like Ashton Kutcher and his 5,000,000+ followers? He only follows 500 of those back so this is clearly not an individual who’s priority is listening. He wants you to listen to him. Doesn’t this go against all the values we talk about being so intrinsic to Twitter success? And yet his Klout score is 97, one of the highest.

If Klout measured engagement, which represents two-way conversation, rather than influence, which offers celebrities the golden chalice, then the quality of tweeted content would be measured over the number of sycophants and celebrity gaggers who will think anything Ashton Kutcher says is worth sharing…to create the illusion that he’s influential.

Klout at the moment seems to currently measure quantity over quality. And quality is only measured by how many times the content is retweeted, so back to the Ashton Kutcher Syndrome (AKS).

My own Klout score turned out to be Zero, which means I have no presence. What luck. A quick WTF email to Klout was promptly replied to with the explanation that the Twitter app was to blame and my score had been reset: to 13, which seemed more accurate, if  unluckier.

What’s your score?

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