Social media insight tool are massive right now. With those working in the industry competing for the bigger score, setting up profiles just to boost ratings and even brands using these tools to rate how their social media programme may be doing. It all seems rather childish and perhaps a little narcissistic at times. Lots of us are playing the game, but just how important is it to have the most Klout?

Social media is often described in the media as being a ‘great democratiser’. Perhaps this is true, we all now have access to a model that allows us to potentially connect and converse with world leaders and pop stars alongside the postman or your friend’s Mum. They have multiple platforms with which to influence our view of them. This is all rather fun, but when it comes to using tools like Twitter to network and expand our social circle, how do we decide who we should follow?

In order for a hierarchy to form there needs to be a way of distinguishing the fabulous from the mundane. Of course new media columnists can choose their favourites but that doesn’t really give us an objective view. Sites like Klout and Peer Index attach a value to an individual or brand based on their interactions with social and blogging platforms like Quora, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and even the users own website. Each individual can be assessed in the same manner and ranked according to their score. They can then be ranked according to their knowledge in particular subject areas.

Social networking and microblogging sites are constantly evolving. They are mentioned in the news on a weekly basis, are used as sources by journalists and are generally the ‘in’ thing. People just can’t get enough information about them. So big publications and now even niche trade journals are constantly running features on them, which is why these scores matter. To seem engaged we have to play the game and create and use new profiles on the sites these tools draw information from. It all seems like a faff but I believe there’s more at stake. This is why you should worry about them…

– Prove your worth: Your boss wants a worker with Klout

The other day, a rather nice article about the Klout scores of insurance firms was published in insurance magazine Post. It was great to see that the brand I’m building was featured alongside house-hold names like Aviva and Simply Business. One of the big aims in my role is to raise brand awareness and this definitely shows that by Klout’s analysis we’re certainly catching up with the big boys. The article was first brought to my attention online by a member of staff and then later, my managers noticed the article in the paper copy of the magazine.

As social media manager I understand that Klout isn’t necessarily the only or even the best way to assess how my work is progressing, but it’s definitely a fantastic way of showing that your work is having an effect.

Ideas:

  • Keep a record of your scores over time
  • Tell your manager about social insight tools
  • Share positive results with other staff members

– Your future boss wants to employ an expert

As these tools get more publicity it’s also a good idea if you’re working in the social media or marketing industries to look at your own scores and see how you can improve them. You could share them with contacts and add them to your LinkedIn profile or CV.

Ideas:

  • Research your own scores and add them to your CV
  • Compare with other people in your role or desired role
  • Look at ways you can improve these scores (see below)

– Be seen as an industry leader

New Media Age release a weekly list of social media workers called the NMA Top 100 which is currently based on Peer Index scores. Of course being on the list could have huge benefits, and it also allows the industry to be more self-aware. Although, as it’s opt in I would imagine that the list probably misses out on the top 10% of users as it takes time to enter (tweet this hashtag: #nmaPITop100).

Ideas:

  • Create your own list of companies in your industry and their scores
  • Analyse what those above you are doing differently and what is working best
  • Find new people to connect with through other people’s lists

Bookmark this! Peer Index for the British Insurance industry

– Get support

Now, this may seem like a little oddity. But for me, being a social media manager can be quite a lonely business. We have real world meetups, but generally it seems if you work for a firm, as a person you may make up the sum total of the whole department. It feels good to connect to those with similar interests, but building contacts takes a long time. Checking insight tools for influencers in certain topics can definitely help put you on the right track and I think is definitely more useful than searching for people on Twitter. You already know they’re engaged if they’re using these tools, and that they’re interested or working in your subject area.

– The problem with company/personal profiles

I have noticed there are currently some issues with connecting certain company profiles to insight tools, mostly those which have been created through personal accounts. This emphasises the need to set up pages from work profiles. But still it’s not always simple to connect a Facebook page, for example, rather than a personal profile (if anyone knows how to do this well, let me know).

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Now read this…

5 ways to improve your scores

  1. Regularly update your profiles
  2. Engage with your followers more often
  3. Create profiles on sites that are used for the score algorithm
  4. Refresh your score profiles weekly
  5. Look at what works for other people

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