Klout, Twitalyzer & Peerindex are social ranking tools to justify one’s ability to reach and engage the social network. Are they an ego booster? Why would anyone need these tools? Who should use them? How do they work? One grand question lies within the credibility; are they misleading?
Are they an Ego Booster?
Can be, but what really matters is, “are we making money?” Those who ask or need to answer this question are brands, agencies and businesses. They can all benefit from these tools if done correctly. Problem is, it gives a number. This number can be misleading.
The standardization with a number is limited simply by its nature. Social Media Examiner’s Elijah Young covered Klout in-depth with his article and brought up the pros and cons. Klout can be a better judgement of social media ranking than comparing the number of Twitter followers. It offers an explanation for the score through other variables. However, Klout can be gamed according to Young. Others, such as Niall Harbison with Simple Zesty, believe its total bullshit. It is an improvement in the sense that it analyzes more than the number of Twitter followers. There are some flaws, but good thing there are two other tools to compare with.
Why would anyone need these tools?
Depends on who is using them. Agencies use them to track their own reach along with their client’s reach and monitor them over a timeline. Agencies record when certain events occur, such as campaign start/end dates, when milestones have been reached, or special activity. This can be packaged and presented to the client and repackaged as a case study.Some brands sometimes track all of this information in-house, if they have the balls to, or if they want to keep an eye on their over-paid, under-performing agency. For those who manage in-house, it can provide a snap shot of information or with Twitalyzer, an information overload for the general user. But for a number loving nerd (like myself), it levels the playing field, sort of like calculating the probability for scoring a hot model at Comic-Con. Just take a gander at HALF of the available statistics to analyze from Twitalyzer, for free!
Who should use them?
Anyone who has a goal or purpose for social media. Many use Twitter and Facebook for sharing interesting and relating things. Others use Twitter or Facebook as a way to promote and engage. However, it is always fun to see your score, but refrain from using it as a score board against your friends, it becomes an addiction and you just look like an ass.
How do they Work?
Young does a great job analyzing how Klout works. Twitalyzer and PeerIndex work very similarly, just measures variables differently to equate a score. I compared myself to someone in my network to prove a point:
Glancing at how many people we influence makes it more understanding: I influence a mere 84 compared to 198. Makes sense, but the next thing I noticed was the differentiation in Twitter activity: I was nearly double in tweets, following, followers and listed.What gives? Quality, amount of engagement, frequency, and many other variables. For instance, Klout also takes into account of other networks. You can connect Facebook and a variety of other social media networks to enhance your score. Even after adding Facebook, I only gained 4.
What about PeerIndex?
PeerIndex does a good job at looking at the standardization of social media influence and rank differently. PeerIndex evaluates sources and the type of content that is shared, such as technology, medical. It still measures the Again, you are still given a number.
Are they Credible?
A great comparison for these three social media ranking sites are like the three major credit reporting agencies: Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. They do the same thing, but how they do it is what makes it different. Klout and PeerIndex’s indicators are quite similar:
Klout: Amplification, Influence, Reach
Peer Index: Activity, Authority, Audience
Numbers may vary, but not significantly in most cases. Bottom line is, there needs to be a standard and this is a great start.
These numbers are like masquerade, until you lift off the mask, it’s just guest at the social media ball.
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