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Klout and Kred: The Growing Influence of Social Influence Scores

Klout and Kred: The Growing Influence of Social Influence Scores

Identifying and connecting with online influencers is one of the most important aspects of any social marketer’s job.  By establishing relationships with these individuals, you are not only extending the reach of your marketing content, but also augmenting your business’ social proof.  Very few purchasers are going to make a final call on your offering without seeking out the opinion of a third party.  The testimonials and case studies found on your website will certainly be very valuable in this process, but many decision-makers may seek out a completely independent voice to confirm their decision to work with you.

In the 3rd party online space, blogger outreach has been the primary means by which to establish this social proof.  But when it comes to influencers who do not maintain their own blog, and operate primarily through traditional social media channels, finding and connecting with influencers can be slightly more difficult.

This is where social influence scores can become valuable.  While conventional logic would be to go after the sector of your brand’s followership that have a lot of followers themselves, this is not always the best way to go about it.  Companies such as Klout and Kred have created algorithms that score people’s influence online.  While the number of followers is an important element of this score, they also give significant weight to how many replies, retweets, shares, etc. their content generates.

Overall, Klout is better known, but also held in slightly lower regard when compared to Kred.  The primary gripe social media marketers and analysts have with Klout is that there is no transparency regarding their scoring system algorithm.  Kred, on the other hand, lets users know exactly how they earned their scores.

Another problem with Klout is that its scores are not impacted by what type of content is garnering shares.  So, a cat meme picture will hold just as much weight as a link to your latest webinar.  Kred does a much better job of breaking down influence by subject, allowing you to know whose shares are truly relevant and will reach your target audience.   It also integrates real-world achievements into its scores, making scores more holistically valuable and trustworthy.

Yesterday, presumably in response to this sort of criticism, Klout announced new tools designed to help business target key influencers. “Businesses now have an easy-to-read dashboard that can quickly give them insights into their audience’s top influencers, which networks would be best to engage them on, and most importantly Klout can tell you which topics your audience influences others on most to help maximize your content efforts and drive conversations about your brand.”

This recent news has presented an “arms race” of sorts between the two scores.  It will be interesting to see if Klout recent business-friendly decisions will allow it to hold the public’s consciousness, or if Kred’s momentum will unseat the top dog.  As of right now, Kred is the better resource for a social marketer, but both are certainly worth examining.

Has your business used either Klout or Kred to target influencers? If you’ve yet to use either as a resource, does their recent efforts to help enterprises make you more interested?

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