There is no standard for social influence, rather different points of view

By November 15, 2011
social influence

Social media influence measurement tools are getting extremely popular, and somewhat overrated. While each is trying to set the standard for SMIM, there might not be a unique standard. Rather, each score brings a different point of view.

Since the boom of social networks, users and businesses have been eager to measure their “social influence” as a way to polish their social media strategy. Tools such as Tweety Feet, PeerIndex, Crowdbooster, Tweet Reach and many others provid, help track influential people and compare yourself with them and your friends. Of course, each of these tools offers a different approach to social media influence measurement (SMIM). As we already discussed, the Klout algorithm has recently become the standard to determine social influence, by focusing on people’s popularity across social platforms. But a new entry to this category, PeerReach, has focused its algorithms on somehow assessing an individual’s expertise, as opposed to how many people are following or subscribed to this person.

PeerReach: social influence based on expertise, not popularity

PeerReach is a new startup co-founded by Zlatan Menkovic, Nico Schoonderwoerd and Ivo Toby. While the startup is yet to be launched, they are testing the waters concerning their approach to SMIM and their claim that there are other ways to measure social influence then just looking at popularity. Instead, PeerReach claims to have developed a transparent and trustworthy algorithm reflecting people’s level of expertise, by opposition to the rather opaque assessment process Klout has been using. As a test, PeerReach put up two lists of social influencers – one by Klout and one by themselves – and asked people which list they preferred. According to their own documentation, 76% preferred list B, the PeerReach list.

There is no standard for social influence yet

PeerReach is exhorting its transparent and trustworthy influence score, possibly in the wake of a Klout backlash. Klout has received a good amount of criticism lately, for its lack of transparency and therefore suspicious Klout scores. Business2Community’s Pam Moore considers that social measurement “is still in its infancy”. “Influence will never be able to be put into a box or one single score.  Any social influence score must be leveraged as “one” of the numbers in our bag of measurement tools and influence metrics”, she writes on her blog. In other words, businesses and users should not base their assessments on a single measurement tool. They should instead use several, each reflecting one approach to what social media influence means.

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