Scores, Lists and Influence

The #TNL Twitter chat on Wednesday (4/27) was spirited, educational and great humor thrown in here and there. Craig Fisher invited Megan Berry from Klout to help educate the recruiting and HR community about Klout and what the numbers could mean in our space. The questions were flying at Megan and, in my opinion, she did an excellent job responding with valuable information in a quick manner. That had to be tough considering she had on average 120 characters to use [after the hashtag and Twitter handle]. It was interesting to see the spectrum of attitudes, beliefs, strong opinions and snarkiness towards the Klout numbers and other sites that try to show someone’s influence in the social media sphere.

One of the hottest questions/topics was around if people should put their Klout score on a resume, or submit it when trying to land a project or business for consulting work. The responses ranged from suggesting that someone with a high score is spending too much time in social media and not enough time working to if you are going for a social media role then it should probably be listed. An example was given by @2morrowknight losing an account because his Klout score was not high enough in the customer’s eyes – I was a little shocked because his score is in the upper 70’s and he has over 180,000 followers on Twitter (in addition he has blogs, started on-line communities and works for a well known publication) and is clearly influential in the social media sphere.

After his comment the question “What is a good score?” came up a few times in the stream. Thankfully no one said “it depends” (see my previous post) but the answers ranged from the sarcastic to the serious. Some posted they could care less, some almost bragging how high their score was and others admitting their scores were low with explanations on why. As the conversation continued it became clear that it is all subjective and what may be considered high on one site may be low on another. Someone may be influential to one group but have absolutely no influence within another. An example was given showing that someone who had a higher Klout score than a peer did not put much faith into it because the peer is considered to be much more influential. Here is the link to the example: influence is not a number

Is influence getting people to take action, buy a product or change their opinion or approach? Sure, but does a score or being on a list guarantee your level of influence? Should we only listen to those who have the high scores and are regularly on “influencers lists”?

In my opinion, no. Take them for what they are – the measurement of on-line activity. I commented during the chat that my score is around 40 but fluctuates with my activity and that I am a “casual” social media participant. I average two to three tweets a day, one or two blog posts a quarter and it is nice to see people respond to my work in ways that may never be measured by Klout or other sites. I use social media to professionally network, to educate myself on trending topics within recruiting and HR or to seek advice. I also use the tools to interact with people I may never meet in person but share common interests.

The Talent Net Live conferences started with my one tweet response to @DorothyBeach and Craig has taken the event and run with it. I am not trying to boast here but trying to drive a point home. If I had never responded to Dorothy’s tweet and included Craig and others we would have never experienced these great events. That moment will never show up in any scores, lists or influencer rankings and I am happy it will not.

By using the tools to fit my needs and to stay focused on the task at hand I can ignore the scores and lists and take away what is important for me to do my job. By doing so I can move an organization forward.

I welcome your thoughts.

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “Scores, Lists and Influence

  1. Hey Mark,

    Thanks for the kind words and great chatting with you yesterday. We welcome debate about the best way to use the Klout Score — it can be a very useful metric but, of course, it’s always good to keep in mind what it measures and what it can’t.

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