Your Guide to Social Media Enlightenment – From Trending Topics to Innovative Startups
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What You Should Be Getting Out of Social Scoring Sites

By Kristi HinesThere’s a lot of talk about why scores shouldn’t matter or why you should opt-out of Klout and similar sites altogether. Then there are the people who are seemingly obsessed about the numbers themselves. But what you should be doing is thinking a little less about the number itself and be more concerned about the things you can learn from the top two social scoring networks.

What You Can Learn from Klout
Let’s start with the hottest social scoring network around – Klout.  Love it or hate it, it does offer some useful information if you can get past the number, the algorithm changes, and the privacy issues. Even if you have never been to Klout, you likely have a profile unless you are very new to social media. To find it, go to http://klout.com/#/usernameand replace username with your Twitter username.  When you sign in via Twitter or Facebook, it will connect your accounts to your profile so it can start analyzing your score across other networks. You can also connect your Google+, LinkedIn, Foursquare, YouTube, Tumblr, Instagram, Blogger, WordPress, and Flickr. 

Score Analysis
I don’t care if you know my Klout score (it’s 61.01 at the time of this post). The point to blurring it out is I don’t want you to think about your score. I want you to look at the graph. Everyone wants to improve, so if you have been trying a different strategy, be sure to check out your overall score analysis graph to see if you have been making improvements in your engagement and reach.
90-day Activity
Want a little synopsis of your Twitter, Facebook (soon), and Google+ activity? It’s laid out for you beneath your score analysis graph.

Topics
In the left sidebar, click on Topics. If you have seen tweets about other Twitter users giving you a +K for a particular topic, this is where those topics are summarized. This can help you see exactly what people really think you are influential about. If the topics don’t align with the purpose of your social media accounts, you might want to rethink your strategy because these are the topics you are talking about the most.
Also, if you see a topic that you really don’t want people to notice you for, simply click the X next to them.  I had to get rid of Oregon, Keyword, and Money in my list.

Klout Style
In the left sidebar, click on Klout Style. This area will tell you Klout’s opinion of your social media activity. You can learn more about other styles by hovering over the people in the grid below your description.

Why Didn’t You Mention…
Yes, there are other interesting areas on your Klout profile, but some of them I don’t find that accurate. I don’t recognize most of the people in the list of people I influence, and the people who are my influencers are just people I tweet often who have a higher score. I’ve only gotten one good Perk. The achievements are relatively interesting if you’d like to know you’ve hit the 5,000 retweet milestone or if you’ve visited a ton of Klout profiles. But the other areas are much more important in my mind.

What You Can Learn from PeerIndex
PeerIndex is a site similar to Klout that measures your social engagement on a score from 1 to 100.  Also similar to Klout, you don’t need to have been there before to have a profile. Just go to http://peerindex.com/username, replacing username with your Twitter username.
Again, let’s not focus on the score but other informative items including the following.

Top Topics

Top Topics is similar to Klout Topics except it is not based on votes by others but what PeerIndex thinks you are sharing the most about. Mine were pretty on the spot. If you feel any of them are off base, go to http://www.peerindex.com/dashboard#topics when logged into your profile and X off any unrelated topics.

Sources
Curious which sites you share the most content from? Find out by checking out your Sources box. Mine again is pretty much right on.

Groups Featuring You
PeerIndex allows users to be added to groups.  See yours or create your own at http://www.peerindex.com/dashboard#groups when logged into your profile. These groups will let you know what others think about you and the topics you are influential about. Keep in mind that these are a little less reliable than Klout’s Topics or PeerIndex’s Top Topics.

Your Stats
Similar to Klout’s 90-day Activity, you can see your Twitter and Blog stats for the last 120 days if you visit http://www.peerindex.com/dashboard#stats when logged into your profile.

Why Didn’t You Mention…
The first thing you see on your PeerIndex profile is your Topic Fingerprint. I left this off simply because I rarely talk about sports, and I talk about politics even less, yet my graph shows I talk about politics more. So that is just inaccurate and strange. You can also see Your Connections in the dashboard, but I have no idea how they can differentiate who I talk to vs. who I retweet.
Do you use social scoring networks like these to measure your influence or engagement on social media? Would you prefer to simply be opted-out?  Let us know in the comments! 

Kristi Hines is a freelance writer, blogger and social media enthusiast who enjoys photography, tennis, and salsa dancing. Follow her on Twitter.

 

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2 Responses to this post.

  1. Kristi Hines's Gravatar

    Posted by Kristi Hines on 20.12.11 at 8:52 am

    There are a ton of other analyzing tools out there, but I hadn’t seen this one before.  Will definitely check it out!

  2. Travis Balinas's Gravatar

    Posted by Travis Balinas on 20.12.11 at 8:52 am

    The only other one I would mention that offer insight beyond (or at least, a different perspective) would be tweetlevel from Edelman. 
    http://tweetlevel.edelman.com/

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