Rating 4 social media influence-scoring platforms

How does one calculate social media influence? How does one find “influencers” in categories like publishing? Influence is currency, and the unprecedented rise of social media has generated a need to evaluate that influence.

Publishers want to know: What are influencers saying about my brand? How many of my Twitter followers are clicking through my links and retweeting my content? How can we increase those numbers? But most importantly, publishers want to know what is the “true reach” of their organization?

There are several companies that offer influence-scoring platforms for measuring social media influence. Here are brief evaluations and ratings for 4 of them.

Klout

The so-called “standard of influence,” Klout is the best known of the social media influence measurement tools. Late last year Klout also started measuring Facebook influence. Armed with recent VC funding, it sometimes seems as if all influence scoring platforms merely inhabit the outer periphery of Klout’s world.

Klout, briefly, is all about giving users the tools with which to track their own social influence. And that’s fun. A Klout score — from 1 (low) to 100 (crazy high) — consists of an algorithm incorporating list memberships, total retweets, unique retweeters, unique mentioners and unique messages retweeted. There is also a Klout Classification — the Klout Class — which includes 16 possible categories determined by factors such as who you follow, who follows you, the frequency of your tweeting and how your audience interacts with your messages. Klout’s rankings, though fun, are notparticularly useful. Rating: B

PeerIndex

PeerIndex, unlike Klout, focuses more on identifying topics, even offering a “Topic Fingerprint,” which gives a ranking in 8 categories, like Arts/Media/Entertainment, Technology/Internet, Science/Environment, Economics, etc. By contrast, Klout is more focused on the user and the user’s score. The Topic Fingerprint moves beyond the whimsy of searching ones own rankings and the ranking of ones friends. The rankings at PeerIndex are based on authority, influence and activity.

Similar to Klout, the UK-based PeerIndex has more detailed, useful metrics. They even identify top topics in the users most recent activity! I am a big fan of PeerIndex’s execution (and I’m not just saying that because they gave me a higher score than Klout). PeerIndex can also be integrated into Twitter profile pages. Finally, users can compare themselves to others in their peers. Rating: A

Traackr

Cambridge, Mass.,-based Traackr’s proprietary scoring engine tracks and identifies “influencers” through eight types of media: blogs, micro blogs, photos, videos, reviews, music, social bookmarks, social networks. They’ve been around since 2006 and claim to “harness the value of online influencers.”

As you can guess from that self-description, PeerIndex is fixed on topics. Klout, by contrast, centers on user rankings. Marketers, PR professionals and market researchers will probably get the most out of Traackr, which will offer real value in terms of tracking influencers and opinion leaders in specific spaces. Rating: B+

WE twendz pro

WE twendz pro offers historical, interactive graphing so that users can analyze the changing social mediaconversation, as opposed to, say, Klout, which is laser-focused on providing users the most accurate data on their social influence. WE twendz pro is more about helping organizations achieve brand effectiveness by monitoring the overall impacts of Tweets. Also, like Traackr, they identify key influencers and the conversations they are having about a particular brand. According to the company, “WE twendz pro service gathers tweets, assigns influence ratings and calculates metrics to show how a brand is being discussed within Twitter conversations.”

Developed by Waggener Edstrom, it is a tool that gages “audience emotion.” We Twendz also offers web analytics, such as overall reach and influence within Twitter. Rating: B-

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