Social media practitioners will tell you that the number of fans or followers that you have is irrelevant, numbers aren’t a good measure of how effective your campaign is and I’d have to agree. But if those numbers aren’t important what numbers are? There are lots of ways we can measure the influence of your campaign , you can count interactions, shares, the number of times links have been clicked, the amount of traffic to your website but there are also influence scoring tools out there that will offer you a new matrix , one number that will assess all of your social media efforts. Compelling as this is, are tools such as Klout or PeerIndex an accurate reflection of a users influence? Before we decide lets have a quick look at the tools. Klout Probably the most well known is Klout. It claims to be ‘The Standard of Influence’ and is integrated into Hootsuite so It’s the one I’m most familiar with. Everyone has a Klout score whether they have connected with the application or not, the score claims to mark your influence out of 100. You can connect it with Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, YouTube, Google+ and more. If you log in to their website you can get a break down of your score into; True Reach ‘the number of people you influence, both within your immediate network and across their extended networks.’ & Amplification ‘How much you influence people.’ It lists the people who influence you the most, those who are influenced by you and the type of social animal you are. PeerIndex PeerIndex also allows you to add a Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin accounts and gives you an overall score out of 100 breaking this down into authority, activity and audience. It also very easily allows you to compare yourself to other users. There are other influence measurement tools out there but these two are the main players. It’s interesting to note that the two networks pulled up slightly different results for me and those I measured myself against. What’s the point of influence scoring? The ideal use for scoring would be to find influencers in a specific field to follow. When embarking on a social media campaign we want to connect with, and build relationships with, influencers within our industry and those who influence our potential customers. In theory we can do this using Klout or PeerIndex, in reality the tools aren’t evolved enough yet to accurately reflect the topics people are influential about. One Klout user talks about being listed as influential on Aviary which he attributes to an off the cuff tweet about birds. So if you are looking for influencers via Klout do check their profiles and make sure that they are what Klout suggests they are. I know I’m not alone at periodically checking my Klout score, I rarely log into the website but it’s a score that I keep my eye on and use to benchmark myself against others. Why? I don’t feel like I should take it too seriously but a rise in score usually comes from good strong interactions and this is something I’m passionate about. For me interaction is the most important part of social media and my Klout score seems to represent this quite accurately. As to whether your influencer score is something you should use to measure the success of your campaign I would have to say, at the moment no. The algorithms are not yet complex enough to be an accurate reflection of your work. The system can easily be beaten to inflate your influence score. However I do see tools such as Klout and PeerIndex becoming more integrated into other tools. Both Crowdbooster and Commun.it which I use on a regular basis, identify influencers for me to follow or show me who I should be interacting with more. I see this kind of integration as the future of influencer scoring. We will also see a trend to non machine created scoring as we have with the Google +1 button, the Facebook Like button as well as the recently added Klout recommendations. Do you find influencer scoring useful? If so how do you use it? I’d love to hear other ideas so lets start a conversation below.