At Klout we’ve always felt that measuring a person’s influence was only meaningful if you could understand what specifically a person was influential about. To achieve this we run every tweet and every link shared in those tweets through our semantic analysis to abstract out what people are talking about. The by-product of this analysis are tags we associate to your account and save in our database. If you look at your content page you can see the ten tags that you have used the most according to our engine. We feel that this is much more powerful than just tracking keywords that are often used because it allows us to build a taxonomy of authority.
In the coming months we will begin introducing our topic based K-Scores that utilize the semantic tags we are generating from tweets. You can begin to get a preview of what user has been assigned any specific tag the most by clicking the tag name. This tag rank page is a new feature that allows you to explore who tweets the most about any specific topic. This is a great way to discover new people to follow who share similar interest with you!
If you’ve found your way to this blog post then I probably don’t have to sell you on the idea that social media is fundamentally changing the way businesses market themselves and connect with customers. Here’s the thing: they aren’t doing this just because it’s the cool new thing. One of the biggest reasons companies are adopting social media is because they’ve learned that people trust their friends more than “A-list” bloggers or other forms of advertising. These companies are looking to leverage your influence to help spread the word about their company or product.
Consulting firms like Razorfish even say influence “is a driving force that affects everything we do as an agency, and, as we’re impressing upon our clients, it matters more than ever in this economic downturn as consumers across the country are losing faith in large institutions and experts and instead are turning to each other for advice”.
Even Harvard Business Review says that “online connections might be strategically targeted so as to take advantage of their influence on one another”. Think about this for a second, your ability to influence others through social media is becoming a core marketing strategy for many businesses.
Influence has become the currency of social media. While companies might not cut a check in exchange for your influence (you would probably instantly become less influential if they did), in this world of “user-generated marketing” there is real value in being influential. Companies will often establish focus groups around influencers where their opinions directly shapes what products are created and how they are sold. Influencers often are invited to special events, given product samples and can (and should) be treated like royalty by companies.
Some people use influence measurement tools like Klout for the simple gratification that they are using Twitter correctly. Others are just looking to have their ego stroked (we all need it sometimes). The truth though is that the individual is now a broadcaster and is being monetized by businesses. There is power in understanding how you are viewed by companies and the public at large. The best part about being an influencer isn’t being hooked up by companies because you helped spread the word for them, it’s being able to spread your own ideas and knowing that with a simple tweet you can have almost any question answered or door opened. If you dig into the data provided by Klout you can maximize your ability to do that.
Before we officially launched Klout I thought I had curated the most amazing group of Twitter users to follow the world had ever seen. Using Klout for the last couple of months I’ve realized that the Twitterverse is way bigger and more interesting than I could have ever imagined. Though Klout was not designed specifically for finding new people to follow, here are a four ways I have used Klout to make the list of people I follow infinitely more amazing.
1. Check out who influences the people who influence you.
Charlie O’Donnell (@ceonyc) is one of the people Klout names as an influencer of me. By clicking on his profile image from my Klout profile summary page I am able to then see who influences Charlie. From here I discovered great people like @kmaverick and @jdrive. It kind of feels like working my way up the tree of knowledge.
* Note – You may have to tweet out who influences you to unlock the ability to see other people’s profile by clicking on them.
2. Who else influences the people you influence?
Klout says that I am influencer of my co-founder @binhtran. By clicking through to his profile I can see who else influences him. From here I have found some great people to follow and have learned more about @binhtran. Seeing what other influencers you are grouped with in the mind of your follower is a unique way to find cool new people.
3. Retweeters of your favorite tweets
When clicking across people’s profiles one of my favorite things to check out is the content tab to see which of their tweets where retweeted the furthest across Twitter. Often I’ll see a retweet that strikes me as something I surely would have retweeted. By looking at the other users who retweeted that message I’ve been able to find users that share my very specific interests to follow.
4. Discover who tweets the most about any term
This is brand new functionality we just rolled out last week and is probably the coolest way to discover people to follow. When you are on anyone’s “content” page you’ll notice a list of tags. These tags are generated by running all the links shared and tweets created by the people Klout monitors through our semantic analysis. The semantic analysis allows us to abstract out whether or not there is any meaning behind those 140 characters. You can click on the tags you see on anyone’s content page to see who has used that tag the most. I was able to use this functionality to find other people tweeting about Downtown Los Angeles, where our office is.
My hope is that Klout is as helpful in your search for finding the perfect people to follow as it has been for me. We would love to hear about any other ways you’ve used Klout as a discover tool!
For most of the past three months the Klout team has been hard at work behind the scenes. We’ve been building a platform that monitors millions of Twitter users and evaluates each person’s overall influence. We go beyond overall influence though and look at the strength of influence between every connection on the social graph. We want to understand whether a person’s influence is wide and shallow or runs deep with a core group of people. We then look at every tweet and every link shared and run it through our semantic analysis to see if we can abstract out any meaning behind those 140 charecters to begin understanding what topics someone is influential about.
Most of this work has happened behind the scenes and while we’ve been making great strides in our ability to process more data in less time with increased accuracy, our site is looking pretty stale. It is with great pride that we release our first big change to the Klout website.
The first thing you’ll probably notice is that instead of two main navigation tabs (summary and detail) you now have four. Summary is still the same, but we decided to break the detail tab into “stats” and “content” and add a new “network” tab.
The stats tab now displays the six categories used to calculate a person’s K-score. Each category contains a number of variables that are measured versus the entire Klout population. For each variable we provide analysis about how you rank versus everyone else. If you are interested in trying to raise your influence this is a good way to gain insight into how you are using Twitter.
The content tab shows the tags that are generated by our semantic analysis of the users tweets and links. Click on the tags to find out who uses that tag the most. From the content tab you can also see which of the users tweets were retweeted the most and what links they have shared.
The network tab is a geography based visualization of the users influence. By measuring the influence between each connection on the social graph we can tell you what cities you are most influential in. This map is just a starting point but if you were going to visit a new city and wanted to know which one of your friends had a lot of “Klout” there and could hook you up, it could be very helpful!
As the title of the post indicates, this is just part I. Over the next couple weeks we will be releasing a series of new features that will help serve as your personal publishing analytics tool box. Knowing that there are more exciting features you could build with this data then we could ever possibly get to we are thrilled to also be releasing our public API!
Developers can now visit api.klout.net and start adding influence to their apps. Most the data used on the site is available through the API. The rate limit is relatively low but just shoot us an email and we would be happy to work with you to raise it.