In the early days of social media (just a few years ago), the amount of followers, friends or fans someone had was the only way to measure their influence over their social media network. Over time, those who were not inclined to embrace the ‘social’ part of social media found ways to boost their counts without really putting in the hard work that it takes to grow a loyal and attentive following. The practice of ‘hoarding’ or ‘collecting’ quickly made follower counts relatively meaningless. So the question became- How do you truly measure your social media influence?
Thankfully, a number of companies have stepped in and created third-party applications that score your influence based on specific algorithms. Many of them allow you to compare yourself to others to see how you match up against your ‘competition.’
Klout and Hubspot are the two companies in the forefront of social media influence measurement. Klout’s Influence Reporter scoring tool has been a great Twitter-only tool for social media junkies for quite a longtime. With this tool, you can log in and calculate your score every 48 hours. The generated report gives you a total score along with analysis that tells you, among other things, how many people you are reaching each time you tweet, how likely your content is to be ‘acted upon’ and how influential your follower audience is - all very handy stats when trying to grow your Twitter presence.
Klout also announced very recently that it will now measure your Facebook influence based on likes, comments, shares, friends, etc, and will combine that score with a user’s Twitter score to give an overall social media influence score. While this new format takes longer than it used to (up to 72 hours) to calculate, it should be a sizable step in the direction of measuring your overall social media influence.
Our neighbor to the South, Hubspot in Cambridge, MA, grades everything: social media platforms, websites, press releases, books, calls-to action, etc. If it’s online, Hubspot probably grades it.
Focusing on only their social media Graders for this post, Hubspot offers Graders for Facebook (user and page), Twitter and even the geo-location medium Foursquare. Each of these Graders works independently of the other and use proprietary formulas to calculate how influential you are on each of the social mediums. Once a score is calculated, you are able to compare your influence with other users based on a number of categories and searches. It even allows you to see where you rank in your hometown!
If you are looking to establish your own social media presence, these tools are critical to building a network properly. I highly recommend them.
If you’re looking to bring in a consultant to establish yourself or your company in the social media world, I would also strongly recommend you grade them! With so many social media “experts” running around out there, these tools may be the difference between your social media success and a disappointing experience with a consultant that is in over their head!
In closing, I know I will get asked the question, so I will put my money where my mouth is and reveal my scores…
Twitter grader: 100
Facebook grader: 91
Foursquare grader: 92.2
Klout: TBD (At the time of writing this, I was in the midst of the 72-hour Facebook connection waiting period.)
So...What's your score???
Note: This post first appeared on the wedu inc blog. Craig Smith is Director of Operations at wedu.