Measuring influence is hard.  It’s more than just Twitter followers, reTweets, and mentions – influence has many dimensions.

Yet at least 3 companies have thrown their hats into the ring to measure influence: Klout, Kred, and PeerIndex.

The Social Influence Smackdown

While researching these companies, I asked myself, “How different are the results? Is this easy? Or is it hard? And if these three companies got into a fistfight, who would win?”

Today I’ll look at how these three companies stack up on some influencer identification tasks:

Heat 1: How Influential is Matt Gratt?

I started with the easiest question: How influential am I?  (The answer is ‘Not Really, At All.’)

Let’s see what our players came up with:

Klout: 51/100

PeerIndex: 61/100

Kred: 705/1000

Outreach Level: 6 of 12

 It appears that I’m most influential on PeerIndex.  I believe these scales are logarithmic (not absolutely certain – doesn’t seem to be in the documentation), not linear, so with a little math, we can make an apples to apples comparison:

Klout: .85

PeerIndex: .89

Kred: .95

Heat 2: How Influential is Aziz Ansari?

Aziz Ansari is a famous and incredibly funny actor and comedian, best known for playing Tom Haverford on Parks & Recreation, Randy in Funny People, and appearing in Flight of the Conchords, I Love You, Man, and many other entertaining programs.  He is also really, really good at Twitter.

Klout:

85 of 100

PeerIndex:

 

74 of 100

 

Kred:

Influence: 988 of 1,000

Outreach Level: 6 of 12

Now this ranking begs the question, “What does it mean to be influential?”  For example, if Aziz Ansari tweets he has a new comedy special, I’ll buy it immediately. However, if Aziz (for some strange reason) decides to start a display advertising platform, I would not be moved by his endorsement.

Heat 3: Who are the Most Influential People in Business Intelligence?

In this heat, I’m using a business case:  Who are the most influential people in business intelligence? If I ran marketing at a BI company, who should I build relationships with?

Klout:

Klout produces a list of ten influencers.  In a quick analysis of the ten influencers, 4 were vendors (either marketers at vendors or corporate accounts), 2 were consultants, 1 was an analyst, and 3 seemed to have no relevance to business intelligence.  So in that search, 3 useful results were obtained.

PeerIndex:

PeerIndex doesn’t have topic pages – they have these ‘coming soon’ pages.

 

Kred:

To get a Kred page, I had to search on the hashtag #BusinessIntelligence.  Then I got this page back.  Using the same rubric as before, I see two analysts and eight others who appear to have no relevance to business intelligence.

Note I didn’t use any of the companies’ paid products in this test – I only used their free versions.  I understand their paid versions are more robust, particularly at influencer identification.

As you can see, while this tool category is rapidly developing, we’re still far away from reliably sourcing influencers from social media data alone. 

Thanks for reading- What’s your favorite social media influence assessment tool? How do you use it?

mattgratt

Matt works on customer acquisition at BuzzStream. Before BuzzStream, he worked as an SEO Strategist at Portent and a Marketing Manager at AppCentral (acquired by Good Technology). You can follow Matt on Twitter or Google Plus.

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