Klout and Kred: a scoring love story

The fact that new social media measurement tools come up (because this is an eternal process) doesn’t necessarily mean they have to always and indiscriminately be used and abused. I recently came across Twitto.be which provides a ranking of Belgian influencers on Twitter based on Kred and categorized among (list categories).

Kred and Klout are the most common “points-givers” on somebody’s presence on social media. Let’s have a look at how they work and think how much attention we should pay to them. The lesson I learnt from reading this analysis is “don’t get to obsessed with this.” Even though both services provide good benchmarks for businesses and institutions, I don’t believe your communication strategy should completely depend on it. It is indeed rewarding to have a score higher than a competitor or an organization working in the same field. It proves that (according the Klout’s or Kred’s algorithms) you are doing great.

This article from Forbes helps us get started with some comparisons.


kloutThe first company really to nail down a measurement algorithm and to assign a number to people based on their perceived social influence.  It was an interesting idea, even a good one.  Those with high scores jumped on the bandwagon shouting from the hilltops about what a great platform and measurement tool it was.  Those with poor scores didn’t care, shrugged it off or felt mistreated.  There was no transparency as to how they were coming up with these scores and what mattered. Yet some HR wannabe early adopters with no sense or ability to understand or make their own determinations about social media prowess actually made hiring decisions based on these scores, unbelievable I know. As most people know this score goes up and down daily and often without reason. In addition it’s always been easily manipulated. Hire someone to spam your twitter handle (like some gurus I know) and all of the sudden you’re a social rocket scientist. Apparently a 14 year old screaming about Bieber every day is just as influential as an intelligent thought provoking tech journalist with a solid following and engagement.

Also noteworthy is they were one of the first to put a program in place that rewarded individuals they perceived to be influential with rewards from companies they partnered with called their PERKS program. It was an interesting concept; let’s get our stuff in the hands of people to chatter online.  But I rarely ever saw anyone really talking about the products or discounts they were receiving, and in the last year or so I’ve seen those offers drop off steadily, probably due to a lack of roi for the participating companies.


kred-logoKred started off in a similar fashion, focused on a score. Their approach was a little different by attempting to be transparent about what factors went into their score calculations.

They recently made a huge departure from their initial model and approach.  By displaying a massive real time stream of the data they aggregate via their data engines. It’s like a visual buffet of everything you have tweeted, posted to Facebook etc. It shows you retweets, accolades in different topics.

What I love is the transparency, they say point blank this is what we see you doing, this is how people are reacting to your content, and this is why and what we feel you’re influential in. To me this is Huge; transparency is everything today voodoo black magic is old news. Kred is so transparent that they have even published a Scoring Guide seen here: http://kred.com/rules

In addition to influence they also measure outreach which I thought was an interesting and important metric.

What I don’t like is there’s too much information upfront. It’s cluttered & hard to sort through. I’d like to see the information better organized, and maybe presented more in an analytics way versus a streamed unorganized wall.  This way you could drill down and investigate social moments and how certain pieces of content performed etc. Right now the way it’s laid out it’s too difficult to sort through, and understand.

The idea that a person’s ability to monitor, engage & understand social media branding can be determined by a score is preposterous, and downright idiotic. What someone does with their own personal social media presence may give you a general idea if they “get it” or not, but certainly cannot, and will not determine whether or not they know how to manage a company’s social media brand.

Often times an individual’s social media account like Twitter or Facebook is their solace, their get away from reality, or a way to stay lightly connected with those from their past. They may very well know and understand the ins & outs, analytics, data, forms of engagements, the best statistical times of the day to push content etc. But they may choose to operate personally in a whole different form than they would for a brand.

While social influence measurement tools are a novelty in my eyes, and really do little to determine someone’s social worth, understanding or abilities they do serve a purpose. They can provide a 40k ft. overview and give you idea of how active someone is, what they talk about, their interests, and to a degree their level of engagement.  Would I ever use this to determine whether or not we hire someone, absolutely not. If I had an HR manager making decisions based on that they’d be fired in a heartbeat plain and simple.

That being said don’t be afraid to use them to explore what someone does via social media, their interests, and even outreach. These tools may be useful in identifying people considered to be industry experts who would be of value to engage with and might be able to help spread your brands message. I do use both platforms to quickly determine how active someone is on various social media platforms, and as of lately I find myself using Kred a bit more than anything else out there.

2 thoughts on “Klout and Kred: a scoring love story

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