There's been a ton of discussion lately about Klout and in particular their new algorithms. Klout and other similar tools can be useful in measuring your online success but what do we do when those tools fall short (as we've seen lately with Klout)? I want to talk about other ways to gauge your effectiveness at least on Twitter.
Most of these measurement tools seem to focus on influence. Depending on your goals, influence can be important. However, we should focus on engagement more than influence. Social media is all about engagement and although a lot of people will talk about engagement and authenticity, those same people often really seem to be focusing on number of retweets, follower counts and other measure of influence. But I would argue that engagement grows your influence but does it in a much more meaningful way than just getting followers that pass along your content.
Let's apply that to Twitter since it's my favorite of the social networks. It takes a minimal amount of effort to click that retweet button. Sometimes we'll add a comment but even that really isn't much of a commitment. However, when someone actually replies to a tweet then you know you've really grabbed someone's attention. I'd rather have one person that finds my content so interesting that they're compelled to respond than have 10 people retweet me. Sure the 10 retweeters would be out there spreading my name to the world, but who cares? What does that get me? A couple of followers? A little boost in Klout? But that one person that was truly interested in my content will be much more likely to remember me and be part of an online relationship that is actually meaningful.
When you want to gauge how you're doing on Twitter take a look at how many people are responding to your tweets. Also look back at your timeline and see how many of your tweets are parts of conversations with other users. This a great way of determining how effective you are on Twitter. And best of all it's not based on the whims of an algorithm you have no control over.
Yep, followers and retweets are great but next time you want to see how you're doing on Twitter just take a look at your actual engagement. No third party tools required.
Full disclosure: I love checking my Klout score. Even though it generally appears random and meaningless I still can't help but check it a couple of times a week. And yes, I saw a significant drop in my score with the new algorithm.