Companies need to get value in their social media investments and want to go beyond the likes and comments.
But if, like Microsoft, you want a social influence partner to find your influencers, but want greater transparency than Klout offers, you might want to try other options.
The challenge I have with Klout scores is that people try to game the system. Most social platforms have an opportunity to game the system.
In fact people try to game every system including life -- you can see it happening.
I do not tend to trust the scores that influence tools such as PeerIndex and Klout often return.
If I am advising a client and the client wants a list of influencers. I can not immediately tell if my list contains any folks who game the system, are competitors, or work for the client.
If the client is trying to send out new versions of product then sending product to competitors or members of staff would be a waste of campaign money.
From what I’ve seen so far, Kred seems to break the mould on influence measurement, bringing a new era of transparency. Kred publishes its rules and how it scores you, the points it attributes and your activity stream.
Andrew Grill, CEO of Kred says ‘while we don’t publish the actual maths algorithm -- we don't have to as its fairly easy to work out how we are doing it -- We are insanely open. And that has meant that people trust the score because there is nothing to hide.’
Kred was conceived in 2008 when founder of Kred’s company Peoplebrowsr Jodee Rich met the CTO of Twitter and asked what it was doing with its fire hose of information. Twitter then gave Kred access to the whole stream.
Back then Kred was probably one of the first companies in the world that had access to the Twitter fire hose according to Grill. Kred bought servers and started to capture each tweet.
Every single one of the 130 million Twitter profiles has an activity statement which can be used to calculate your Kred influencer and outreach score which is scored out of 1000.
There is a real myopia about people relying on the score and saying 'If your Klout is below 70 you're a loser and we would never talk to you.’
You could see a tweet that I sent about @AndrewGrill, how many points he got for that tweet and how many points I got for being generous.
You also have access to the tweets going back more than a year.
Social media monitoring is a busy space right now.
Kred’s business model has it competing with Radian 6, Brandwatch and Sysomos in terms of social media monitoring. Social Media influencer analytics were dominated by two players Klout and PeerIndex.
Kred was built to move into the social media influencer analytics space. Grill says ‘In terms of brand recognition we keep being mentioned in the same breath as Klout but we are not the same as Klout’.
‘We just weren't happy about what was being done with influencers -- there is probably a better way to look at scoring given we have access to all these Tweets in real time.
Rather than copy others that have got scores out of 100, lets have a score out of 1000-- that's more granular.
Let's also have two scores, influence -- but also your outreach -- the likelihood that you are going to share a story with someone. But also lets make it insanely transparent and open’.
There is more than enough room for other main players in the market and Kred has had a great take-up since it launched in September 2011. Kred has very quickly become number two. The leaders are Klout and Kred with quite a gap between the others.
There is still some way to go to change the mind-set according to Grill.
Grill reckons that there are questions around influence again because of the great job that Klout has done with people being wedded to that score. ‘There is a real myopia about people relying on the score and saying if your Klout is below 70 you're a loser and we would never talk to you.’
But it is not just about influence outside of the company. It is also a challenge finding the skills inside the organisation too. If you could find out who has influence or who is the go to person in the company it could really help you in your day to day work.
If you were delivering a big presentation on say QR codes and were not an expert on QR codes you might be able to find someone in the company who is -- even if the internal directory does not list specialities and just lists job titles and your office location.
Grill says he could go onto his Kred version of the internal tool and find that Billy who is in Singapore actually has very high influence on QR codes. He could drop a note to him and he sends over some information.
He could win the deal because he can leverage internal networks as well.
‘Its not even about influence per se. With internal networks there is a rich river of information being shared inside the organisation’.
Will Kred overtake Klout in 2013? Klout certainly has the lead at the moment. It has a longer history and more consumer accounts.
I think that in 2013-2014 there will be consolidation down to two main platforms, Klout and Kred. Providing Twitter still allows access to its fire hose, Kred is well positioned to take the lead.
However PeopleBrowser, Kred’s parent has won a restraining order against Twitter to stop it blocking access to its fire hose in November 2011. The hearing has been set for January 8th 2013.
I also think brands will become smarter about using influencer analytics tools to identify people who can spread the brand message. Social serving will be done more effectively through the influencer networks.
But for me, transparency is key to trust. As Grill says ‘Having someone say I really like what Kred is doing because they are transparent, makes my day’.
Social media should be as transparent as possible, and currently I trust my Kred score more than the others as it makes more sense to me.