Measuring Klout in the purchasing world paints a revealing picture as to who the real market influencers are . . .

Posted on October 27, 2011


According to a recent Wall Street Journal video on Klout, an application they referred to as being the most effective means by which to quantify one’s true reach and influence in the world of social media and social networking, yours truly appears to have garnered a solid score, surpassing industry traditionalists such as Jason Busch and Andrew Bartolini.

Yes, yes its true that Jason and I have on occasion exchanged what can be viewed as virtual barbs . . . mine for referring to him as an out of touch scribbler of antiquated musings and Jason, for calling me a pontificating poop whose predilection for colourful if not animated prose is annoying, makes for an engaging dialogue.  The world of course is a far more interesting place when one has someone with whom they can from time-to-time cross swords.

This being said, the real question is simply . . . besides us, is anybody really listening?

Do you move people to take action?

Enter Klout!

Once again, and for those unfamiliar with Klout, it is a means by which people and companies can measure their real reach in the virtual realms of the Internet.  As the above referenced WSJ video explains, Klout scores are being taken very seriously by everyone from car manufacturers to television shows in terms of determining where for example their advertising dollars are going to be spent.

Within this context, it is interesting to note that when compared with Jason’s Spend Matters Klout Rating, my amplification score indicates that I am four times more likely to have my posts re-tweeted than his.  In fact in the key measurement areas, including overall Klout Score (I am at 54 versus Jason’s 41.61), it would appear that my coverage is more likely to illicit a response or call to action than Jason’s.

By comparison of course, Jason’s score is considerably higher than say self-professed Supply Management Expert/Evangelist Andrew Bartolini whose score is a low 27, meaning that outside of a very small and familiar circle his influence is virtually non-existent.

Other industry notables whose Klout Score requires work includes the Procurement Leaders Network with a score of 36, closely followed by Ariba at 34.

What is also worth mentioning is how the gap in Klout Scores between the analyst firms such as Gartner and the growing list of independent industry pundits is rapidly closing in key areas, indicating the former’s waning influence.

Let’s take Gartner for instance, a firm that has been in existence since 1979.

The fact that they have been around 18 years longer than say the Procurement Insights Blog means that their higher overall Klout Score (61.41 versus my 54), and True Reach relative to engaged followers (10K versus 1K) is not surprising. However, what is worth noting is that despite the advantage of years and head count, the firm’s Amplification Score (9 versus my 36) means that their audience is not motivated to share what the company has to say with the rest of the social media world.

Comparisons with other firms such as Forrester, produced similar results.

This is a telling statistic in that it demonstrates a static audience participation level in which the cross pollination and the related compounding factor that ultimately drives market relevance and influence is left wanting.  In short, the analyst firms may be speaking to a bigger audience, but is anyone really listening?

Even individual analysts within these larger firms have minimal traction in the increasingly influential world of social media.  For example, Aberdeen’s Andrew Boyd has a Klout Score of just 16.40 versus my 54, meaning that the likelihood of his posts/tweets being shared with the industry is even lower than Gartners.  Or to put it another way, with an Amplification Score of 3 as opposed to my 36, my posts/tweets are 10 times more likely to be shared by readers than his.

It is likely that some may view the above disclosing comparisons has being somewhat self-serving . . . let’s be honest, would I have been as keen to write this post if like Mr. Bartolini and Mr. Boyd my Klout Score indicated that I was speaking to air versus an actual audience?  While I cannot honestly say one way or the other, this is not the intended purpose of today’s post which is to issue a challenge or call out to the purchasing industry to get into the game before the game (and audience) passes you by.

To be even more blunt, social media is not an option but is instead a vital part of connecting with an audience that is rapidly changing in terms of age and the means through which we all connect and share information.

The following provides the links to comparisons with other organizations in terms of Klout Scores: