Social media has truly grabbed the attention of anyone hoping to drive traffic to a website in 2011. Everyone knows that social media is a great way to generate publicity for a website, but it is time consuming. Creating engaging content, commenting on articles across the web, tweeting, stumbling, connecting, following, friending, liking, even using VoIP phone systems for those who want to chat-it’s all a lot of work. The question then is this: How can you tell whether or not these efforts are actually making a difference? Looking at the number of followers on Twitter or number of “likes” on Facebook simply won’t do the trick. The quality of these interactions is simply too difficult to gauge. After all, how many times do you really visit the website you’re following on Twitter? How many times have you clicked “like” and then completely forgotten you did that in the first place?
To answer these questions, many individuals and companies have turned to Klout. Social media is almost a form of telemarketing, so it is important to have an idea about how your efforts have been received. Although it has been criticized by a few editors and publishers across the web, it has been praised by most. Consider how utilizing Klout can help you understand the link between influence and traffic:
How a Klout Score Works
Klout is a service that measures your social media influence by calculating the overall amount of activity that happens because of your influence on the networks. This activity is known as your social media influence, or Klout Score. Your Klout Score is composed of three different calculations:
- True Reach-This score is the number of people you influence. Basically the Klout service looks at the impact pieces of content have on your connections. According to Klout, they analyze over two and a half billion connections and pieces of content every day.
- Amplification-This number illustrates how much influence you have on these people. This number is measured by looking to see how many people act (tweet, comment, etc.) upon your content. Klout even goes as far as to measure the influence means when focus on a specific person. For example, a comment on your article that comes from someone who never comments on content is more meaningful than someone who spends all day commenting on articles.
- Network Impact-This score is the influence of your audience. In other words, this score will let you know whether or not your audience is full of quality users or the one-time likers and followers. If you have a high network impact score, it means your content is getting to the right people.
Everyone has a Klout score whether they are a part of the website or not. To get your Klout score simply visit klout.com, connect all your social media accounts to the website, and wait thirty seconds for your scores. This site has been growing in popularity since it started in 2008, but does it really help you see whether or not you’re generating the right kind of traffic to your site? In other words, does influence mean traffic in the long run?
Why It Matters
The truth in, most social media measurement tactics are flawed. It is extremely difficult to put an exact number on influence. To make matters worse, Klaut recently reworked its algorithms that have changed many Klout Scores. Naturally, this did not bode well for Klout and users staged somewhat of an online uproar.
Nonetheless, Klout is beginning to make strides toward measuring social media efforts, and although they may not be perfect, they do offer some value. This site will give you an idea of whether or not you’re on the right track when it comes to social media. Should you dwell on the number? No, but do take a look. If Klout doesn’t do it for you, consider David Strom’s list of other alternative social media measurement services.
All in all, being influential on the web means more publicity and more respect. As most small business owners know, these are two qualities that can bring enough traffic to a website for years to come.
Photo Credit: tech4world.net
Author: Amanda DiSilvestro
Amanda DiSilvestro gives small business and entrepreneurs SEO advice ranging from keyword density to recovering from Panda and Penguin updates. She writes for the nationally recognized SEO Company HigherVisibility.com that offers online marketing services to a wide range of companies across the country.