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Introduction

There is a lot of hype around social media influence scores and multiple firms have jumped on the wagon to be the “preferable” party to check one’s social media influence score. One of the most known one’s is Klout so I will take a look at Klout in this blog and I invite you all to read the blog and find out what Klout is about and if it’s important as a SAP Professional to be on Klout.

Klout score

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As you can see in picture 1.1 I’m registered on Klout. At the moment of the screenshot I have been blogging and having conversations on twitter.

When I’m on vacation I try to limit playing around with my mobile devices as much as possible. I don’t need to constantly be online and I don’t even think it’s healthy to always be occupied with it either. I want to free my mind and enjoy the here and now with my family and friends. By doing so my Klout score tends to drop significantly during those periods. Being inactive during the weekend can even drop the score. It does dip for me as in the weekend I don’t spend much time on twitter or other social media either.

Klout tag

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You get tagged depending on what type of influencer Klout believes you to be. In my case I’m tagged a Specialist which means according to Klout I share information focused around specific topics and I have highly-engaged audience. See picture 1.2 for the full text of a what Klout  calls a Specialist. There are other tags like Networker, Broadcaster and Explorer which each have their own “explanation”. 

Social Media and Klout

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Does this mean the more activity on twitter the higher my Klout score gets? Yes, even to a significant extent. The Klout score is based on how often you are mentioned, how often your tweets get retweeted and so on. For me this also means that the Klout score can be off because generating a lot of noise on Social Media can also make Klout belief someone is influential.

Besides Twitter the Klout score also takes into account other Social Media. You can see in  picture 1.2 the Social Media platforms which you can connect to Klout. From left to right: Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, FoureSquare, YouTube, Instagram, Tumblr, Blogger, Last.fm and Flickr. The problem here is that connecting to YouTube and Blogger does not seem to work for a lot of people. I still didn’t manage to connect to those Social Media. Klout is supposed to be working on it but it has been like that for weeks already.

*update Google+ has also been added and it’s now possible to connect to Google+ as well

I’m most active on Twitter at the moment because for me it works best to follow what is going on in SAP land. Of course SCN is a also major factor in my quest for information about SAP. I only tend to use Facebook for family and friends and not really for business related content. I do comment now and then on LinkedIn or post a status update but I’m not that active on LinkedIn either.

I’m not really active on FoureSquare for the simple reason that I don’t travel a lot. I work a lot for the same customers at the same locations so I don’t really feel like signing in the same location each day. Seriously who is interested in reading that I’m at the same location each day? I don’t find it to have tremendous added value either but that is a different discussion.

Influence

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What can you do about those wrong “influential about” topics?

When you hover over the topic you are supposed to be influential on you will notice a “x” button appearing. If you are sure you are not influential about a certain topic you can remove the topic from your influential about list. This will help the Klout algorithm system “learn” and it will actually enhance your topic list after some time.

I tweeted something on Kinect because of a SAP presentation on HANA that was using Kinect but I’m not influential about Kinect so I removed that topic from the list.

I have noticed however topics can reappear after some time so their algorithms are still not that great but I assume it’s still work in progress.

Influencer of

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One of the more interesting features of Klout is the Influencer of section as you can see which persons you influence the most on Social Media. I have a great connection with Natascha Thomson and with the SAP Community so this list looks fine. It shows Natascha is into Social Media, nice score! Note that this is only a small portion of the list.

Should you sign up on Klout?

It’s certainly fun to have a Social Media influence score around but for me it’s not what matters. What matters most is the real connections I make. The number of persons I connect to through Social Media with who I write, talk, create, innovate, collaborate, share and so on. Those connections where you really get added value on both sides are the connections that matter.

SCN is an amazing community, it must be the most amazing community I have come across. The SCN team is doing a great job pulling people in, giving them a place to voice and the possibilities to connect and collaborate. I have a lot of respect for them. If it wasn’t for Marilyn Pratt’s encouraging words after one of my first blogs I might not have persisted to become an active community members. So once again a big thanks for all the wonderful persons and personalities who reside on SCN.

What is true is that some news sites are looking at Social Media influence. The Belgian ICT news site datanews.be published a list some time ago on the forty most influential people on Social Media related to ICT in Belgium. SAP Mentor Martin Gillet who is the only SAP Mentor in Belgium (that’s already amazing) was featured in the list. So your Klout score can help get your name out there.

SAP and Social Media influence

I was wondering if SAP takes into account Social Media influence so I did some research on Social Media and asked some questions to different persons to get a view on how important this is for a SAP professional.

Turns out it is not yet that important but it is possible SAP takes a look at your Social Media presence when you are looking to find a job at SAP. As we all know a lot of SAP’s employees are active on Social Media and so is the HR department who tweet new job opportunities and scan possible candidates.

If you aspire to go work for SAP you should look into using Social Media such as twitter to give you a minor advantage compared to other candidates. Some other companies also pay attention to your Social Media presence. I do believe it’s rather presence and not score so it’s not yet that relevant.

I was also wondering to what extent it would be important for SAP Mentor elections. For those who don’t know the SAP Mentor program. I’m a curious person, which I think is a good thing as you never know if you don’t ask. It turns out that Social Media influence is not that important to get chosen for SAP Mentor.

Importance of Social Media influence in the future

Your Social Media influence might become more important in the future but I don’t belief we are there yet. Social Media is still young and fresh and it still has to grow and mature. It’s also still a question mark if any of these companies can succeed in creating proper algorithms which can interpret the social media activity of users to a proper extent to have a meaningful scoring system. Would I sign up for Klout knowing what I know now? Sure why not. It is interesting to see which persons are engaging your social media presence .

To Klout or not to Klout?

Do I do an effort to up my Klout score? No I don’t believe in tweeting or posting to generate noise to up the score. I rather stick to what I have to say when I want to say it.

At this moment I don’t believe in the importance of a Social Media influence score but it might become a measurement in the future so knowing what it is and how is works might just be a good thing. As I like Social Media and I’m a curious person I enjoyed checking out Klout.

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23 Comments

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  1. Jon Reed
    “It’s certainly fun to have a Social Media influence score around but for me it’s not what matters. What matters most is the real connections I make.”

    Bingo.

    What’s NOT fun about Klout is that too many organizations have taken to thinking that the Klout rankings can actually tell them something useful about who is truly influential within communities. For that I can only say nothing could be further from the truth. Some of the folks I know who are most influential with the people who matter most in the enterprise world – decision makers (buyers of software), have very low Klout scores.

    Klout also does a bad job of rewarding/measuring those who are really making the kinds of personal connections on Twitter that you and I are interested in making. Beyond its deeply flawed Twitter rankings, Klout does not do a good job of taking into account the other social networks it claims to take into account. In short, it does almost nothing very well yet.

    For those who find it fun, I have no objection. For those who use it as a fast food way of figuring out who is influential and basing some kind of decision on who to engage based on Klout, I would say, don’t fall for that.

    – Jon

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    1. Tom Cenens Post author
      Hello Jon

      Thanks for your comment.

      I have had the opportunity to be in the conversation and to connect and collaborate with a number of SAP Influencers and it’s amazingly fun to do. That’s also were real value is created, in a two way connection where both parties are finding added value.

      I didn’t even mention the Klout Perks because I find that’s really the biggest crap in there it doesn’t even deserve a mention in the blog.

      I’m really looking forward to go to TechED Madrid and hopefully I can meet up with a lot of persons that are active on Social Media and on SCN.

      Finding it fun is indeed fine as long as one doesn’t start Tweeting to Tweet to up the score.

      Thanks for fueling the conversation.

      Kind regards

      Tom

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  2. Cindy Jutras
    Klout is valuable in that it is more reflective of influence than simply looking at number of followers on Twitter, which has been overblown in significance in the past (and still?) I am reminded of this every time I see someone who has tweeted less than 10 times yet has over 1000 followers. Obviously this is not a measure of their influence. I am pestered all the time with offers to automate the process of increasing my following. I decline. I want a follower who actually is interested in what I have to say.

    Jon – those software buyers and decision-makers might have very significant influence within their own company but how WIDE is their sphere of influence?

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    1. Jon Reed
      “Jon – those software buyers and decision-makers might have very significant influence within their own company but how WIDE is their sphere of influence? “

      Plenty, they just don’t happen to be very active on Twitter which is Klout’s focus (most enterprise buyers don’t hang out on Twitter either). Unfortunately Cindy Klout is a popularity contest as well. Roughly speaking, the more followers you have the higher your Klout score will be – though there is some variation so it’s not 100 percent true. It’s far from the only variable but it does hold up annoyingly well. It’s an improvement on just comparing follower counts, I’ll give you that, but not as much an improvement as some think.

      – Jon

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      1. Tom Cenens Post author
        Hello Cindy

        Thanks for your comment.

        Perhaps rephrasing the question would a good points of discussion, can Klout be valuable?

        It could be valuable but at this moment Klout is not smart enough. Maybe they will have to look into buying SAP HANA somewhere in the future to help them to process information but at this moment Klout can be easily fooled, way too easily and there is no one moderating to take out the persons who are gaming the system.

        Even with enough processing power it would still be hard to get a proper view on the level of influence. I could be on Skype the whole day talking to SAP influencers that matter.

        Even if you could take that into account in some or the other way you would even have to be able to interpret the conversation itself. If not I could be tagged as being influential while I’m talking about the birds and the grass.

        Connections do matter, on and off Social Media.

        Kind regards

        Tom

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    1. Tom Cenens Post author
      Hello Gregory

      Thanks for your comment and it is definitely an interesting comment.

      A question one should reflect on then:
      How far should you go doing that?

      I don’t want to create a negative impact on my work by constantly looking at twitter feeds or constantly standing at a coffee machine talking to people.

      Is it healthy to take a break now and then? Yes it is and those moments can serve the purpose of influencing and connecting.

      Kind regards

      Tom

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      1. Gregory Misiorek
        Hi Tom,

        Thank you for responding to my brief remark as it wasn’t much of a comment. we are still exploring the new tools and try to assess their usefulness to our objectives. i think we should all take the benefits that the tools bring, but not expect value that simply is not there. we all find ourselves waiting for something, so those moments are very appropriate for a tweet or two, but it should not overtake our jobs. klout scores can be interpreted as being similar to SDN points and taken too literally, but i think we are all smarter than that.

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  3. Jarret Pazahanick
    Good article Tom and I can imagine there will be some healthy discussion about Klout and the ability to “score” influence there should be no question or doubt that social media platforms such as Twitter help build influence for SAP professionals. I personally have established important relationships with SAP analysts and senior management due that started on twitter.

    I will say that although Klout does have a long ways to go many of the SAP people that I would personally consider influential all score very high on Klout. 

    Jon brings up a good point on influencers/buyers from the SAP customer side and my experience is that “typically” they are not very active in social media or the SAP community network and it is something that I hope changes over time.

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    1. Tom Cenens Post author
      Hello Jarret

      Thanks for your comment.

      A scoring system can indeed trigger healthy discussions and I think that it is also necessary to question and challenge scoring systems.

      I have no doubt that being active on Social Media like Twitter can be meaningful but I don’t think you absolutely need a good Klout score to get value out of it.

      It also depends on how large your target group really is and what your own goals are by being active.

      Twitter is the most active Social Media space for SAP influencers so I can agree to some extent with what you are saying about seeing high scores in Klout.

      Perhaps that view will change when one individual starts gaming the Klout system which is fairly easy to do and ends up influencing SAP according to Klout while not doing that at all.

      It would indeed be nice to see more different roles becoming active on Social Media or SAP SCN. It can enrich the conversations by having even more different views and opinions.

      Kind regards

      Tom

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  4. Tridip Chakraborthy
    Hi Tom,
    having a score reflects your presence in the space where your chatter is making sense to the target audiences that have tuned into your time-line
    I had suggested a Klout like score for the new #SCN and am sure some index like this will help draw a line and identify a new community of people that actually evangelize SAP but may / may not be active contributors on a specific topic area or Points development area.

    But great articulation
    Regards
    Tridip

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    1. Tom Cenens Post author
      Hello Tridip

      Thanks for your comment.

      As I mentioned already in my reply to Martin’s comment, this kind of scoring system has been discussed to some extent in the SCN reputation council which also means the SCN team is looking into such topics.

      It’s not easy though to find a good algorithm. In my opinion a lot of different factors should make up the score. At this moment you can find top blog posts on SDN but those are purely based on the number of comments.

      I’ve seen blogs that I didn’t consider great writings getting tons of comments. You can ask the question then why does it get that many comments? There can be many different answers to that question. One example is that it might be a sensitive topic which triggers a lot of discussion.

      A scoring system on SCN should be based on useful user activity, contributing quality content, collaboration, creating conversation and much more. I would like to see it happen though.

      Kind regards

      Tom

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  5. Martin English
    … my score is higher than yours.  Seriously, though, its not the only SocNet with problems interpreting our behaviour – I got the Bender badge on Foursquare (supposedly awarded for being out partying for four nights in a row) after 4 nights of working past 8 PM !!

    Having a good ‘score’ or not is a function of your behaviour PLUS the tool used for the scoring; My tweet volumes varys depending on my work, so my klout score varys depending on my workload. The important thing, as alluded to in other comments, is that I don’t tweet for Klout. I tweet to share, to learn, to socialise.

    Artificial methods of scoring this (i.e. Klout, Foursquare etc), that take no consideration of my location or my goals, are no use to me 🙂

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    1. Tom Cenens Post author
      Hello Martin

      Thanks for your comment. Your score is higher than mine at the moment by the way 😉

      I agree with you that algorithms to build up such a scoring system have to be very very complex to provide a good result.

      The topic has also been a point of discussion within the SCN reputation council for good reasons.

      Kind regards

      Tom

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  6. Kumud Singh
    Hello Tom,
    Thanks for sharing info on Klout and comments are pretty good.
    I am wondering if I happen to join it, My score would get stuck to 0.
    As whatever means it uses to give scores, I am not very active on any except FB that too I don’t access it much.Linkedin, only profile is created and I accept new connections.
    Oh would that mean I am not social at all?

    Regards,
    Kumud

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  7. Trond Stroemme
    …being left with the feeling that a lot of people view social media “influence” and related scores as a means in itself. The net abounds with tips and tricks on how to beef up your score, and position yourself ever higher in the social media hierarchy.

    I’m on SDN, but that’s it. No twitter account, barely active on facebook and g+. I do read quite a few (relevant) blogs, though, and manage to keep myself fairly well updated in my field.

    But as for participating in the social media rat race, count me out.

    Just my 5c… no offense intended. For those who spend valuable spare (or work) time to contribute in the various fora, kudos. I try myself to contribute on SDN as best I can, but the mere idea of being “out there” 24/7 is not one that I’m even remotely comfortable with.

    Maybe it’s a generation thing… but I can’t shake the feeling that there’s a certain amount of hysteria fuelling lots of people’s interaction with and presence on social media these days.

    Guess I’ve got no Klout… 🙂

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    1. Tom Cenens Post author
      Hello Trond

      Thanks for your comment.

      You don’t necessarily have to spent huge amounts of time on Social Media to gain added value out of it.

      Using RSS feeds etc you can read Social Media like you would read a news paper or in a similar fashion as you would read SCN blogs

      I’ve written blogs on work / life balance in the past also and I can assure you I’m not anywhere near 24/7 on Social Media.

      I would recommend you give it a try though 🙂

      Kind regards

      Tom

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  8. Michelle Crapo
    Klout is yet another way to check your score and compare it to others.  Another “game” if you will. 

    I’m not sure how useful it is.  For me being active in SCN, net, and more.  Well that is because I have something to say not because I want a higher score.  Companies that hire based on that score?  Shame on them.  They really need to look at the person not the number.

    At SCN we often debate the score / badge system.  Why?  Because it can be abused.  And really does it drive me to comment more?  Blog more?  No it doesn’t.

    Klout.  I believe that could easily be abused as well.  Just my ten cents this morning.  (And no I don’t know my score either.  I am

    Nice blog as usual it gives me something to think about. 

    Michelle

    Michelle

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    1. Tom Cenens Post author
      Hello Michelle

      Thanks for comment.

      I agree with you that companies shouldn’t be looking at Klout scores, too bad it does happen already (not in Belgium though).

      I think a healthy discussion is necessary around points / badges systems. It did motivate me in the beginning I have to admit. Nowadays not anymore as I discovered way more important value in getting connected and being part of the community.

      Klout can easily be abused once you know how the scores are calculated it’s fairly easy to do. It’s important that everyone is aware of that so they can also interpret the score values better.

      Kind regards

      Tom

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  9. Natascha Thomson
    Tom:

    nice blog with a lot of well-researched and -presented information.

    I feel ambivalent about Klout. Yes, it helps to see where somebody is influential and if they are “active” on Twitter, but I don’t think it measures true influence. (BTW – tools like Radiant6 use Klout).

    Influence is based on the strength of relationships, this could be personal or professional (you trust this person for reliable content) and Klout cannot measure that (that would be freaky).

    Frankly, I don’t think at SAP a lot of people care about your Klout score. It’s about your “real” influence, and that is created through your online and off-line presence.

    A well respected analyst told me that he is not on Twitter as he does “not need it”. He has enough business and influence. And he really is very well respected.

    It will be interesting to see where this goes…
    Personally, I am feeling a bit of social media fatigue and I want to be more focused instead of trying to keep up a score by being super active.

    A good question to answer would be, how to you expand your reach on Twitter beyond the people you are already connected with into new (relevant) networks. That would demonstrate influence…

    Cheers,

    Natascha

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    1. Tom Cenens Post author
      Hello Natascha

      Thanks for your comment.

      The well respected analyst is right 😉

      I do find value in Social Media as I have been able to connect to great persons like you through Social Media. Participation in many different ways is how I expand the network of persons I know who are into SAP.

      I do feel like meeting someone in person enhances the connection, face to face still has my preference but I’m also convinced connecting can happen through tweets, direct messages, mail and Skype for example.

      Social Media lowers to boundaries to talk to people in person as you feel you already know those persons to some extent by following their online presence, thoughts and rants.

      Kind regards

      Tom

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