Through the emergence of Social Media (web 2.0) we have seen a plethora of changes of behaviour and how the world works, introducing us to new approaches and even terms that have become common language.
- Social Media News– According to a 2017 survey by YouGov online (70,000 people in 36 countires), 54% cited using social media as their news source and a similar report from Reuters stated 2/3 of Americans get some of their news from Social Media.
- Fake News– through this growth we have seen the rise of the term ‘Fake News’, with rumours able to spread far more quickly than ever before, becoming seemingly real. See my previous Blog on thisHow Electronic Chinese Whispers and A Pop Star Caused London Panic
- Cyber Fame– We have seen some become famous through social media, take Justin Bieber discovered via Youtube amongst many other examples, through to the Kardashians who milk Social Media to their own gain.
- Influencers– These range from the mundane & logical to the plain weird; Business people who influence in their specific sector through their work, their reputation and perhaps their blogging, speaking etc through to Kids who have started Blogs on Make-up, building Lego, How to play Video Games etc and turned them into lucrative money making careers.
Focusing on the latter, the emergence of influencers in a wide variety of fields and subjects, led to a market for measuring the influence and reach they had. (much like there are tools to measure the success of Web site rankings and value – eg Moz Scores) Companies started using influencers to market their product, to take their brand message wider to their target audience. Perhaps getting a gamer to play their new game, share about it through their networks and thus drive sales. This became ‘a thing; both in B2C and B2B with companies looking to find who the influencers were in their market, those who had reach and leverage to the buyer persona’s they targeted.
If you are in doubt of this search for ‘influencer scoring’ in Google and see how many results you get for tools and agencies helping brands identify and work with social influencers!
A plethora of social media measurement systems appeared from 2010 onwards, ranging from Peer Index (acquired by Brandwatch who removed individual access), Klout, (who got acquired by Lithium Technologies in 2014) and Kred amongst other smaller names.
For a good many years these platforms took on colourful commentary, attacks, questions and challenges as they founded a new marketspace and explored new ground. Through to now when this market has shaped up and continues to evolve, a time where Klout just announced that their system shuts down on May 25th2018, coincidentally the day that European Data Law GDPR comes into play – was this just an excuse for walking away from the effort and debates around their platform? A real shame as this company truly pioneered, maybe slightly too early for its time, fuelled by a team of PhD scientists. Klout created a measure in what is now a multibillion $ industry of influencers.
We may never know the true reasoning. However, it has created a stir in the influencer community and from the back of this the social chatter about and with other platforms has risen rapidly. Kred for example had system issues when it experienced a mass deluge overnight of traffic from Klout users and another new platform with a mobile App only interface (at this point) Skorr has appeared, promising the influencers (in engaging online discussions) an AI platform that will be like none that has gone before, time will tell. (Skorr is getting a lot of coverage and debatein the influencer community).
The need for businesses to know who to go to, who to leverage for Social influence in a given subject will continue, especially as we continue to see traditional marketing and selling approaches to engage new customers waning, being replaced by new methods of Social Selling, Social Influencer Marketing, Inbound content engagement marketing, etc
Your Social score rating was the subject or a recent Black Mirror Episode ‘Nosedive’ where the social ranking affected what you got or didn’t get in your every day activities, were you allowed into the ‘nice’ restaurant etc. Sounds farfetched, however in China, according to a recent Wired story, a similar nationwide tracking system was introduced in 2015 that rates the reputation of individuals, businesses and government officials with the aim for every chines citizen to be scored in this ‘credit system’ by 2020. Those with higher scores gaining life privileges and being exempt from certain fines and penalties.
So with Klout gone, what other options are there to look at as a Social Influence platform (this is by no means extensive) ;
- KRED – this is a platform like Klout that is now being rapidly revamped for a re-launch with the intention of attracting the Klout user base across.
- SKORR – This only just appeared, perhaps good timing for them based on the Klout announcement and is showing early signs of ‘neatness’ with influencers having engaged discussions on social about and with them, hoping this will be a modernised platform with more useful measures and interface. Time will tell!
- Kcore Analytics – This is a tool that allows you to quickly compare a social subject for those showing social influence on this #tag or subject area.
- Onalytica – An organisation that provides Influencer Relationship Management Software and produces a wide range of influencer lists across verticals and subject matters.
So to Klout we raise a glass, they provoked controversy and debate, but certainly contributed a an important area of the industry and led the path where many others have followed.
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