An influencer is a person who is highly active on social media about a specific subject. They are recognized as an authority among others due to their expertise in this area. Marketers work with influencers because they have the power to affect others’ decisions either it’s a purchase or to connect to a cause. But is Social Scoring still a thing?
Social Scoring Platforms
Platform 1: Klout
Klout is a platform that analyzes how many followers and how many likes/shares/retweets a person has to evaluate their expertise in a specific subject. They give a ‘Klout Score’ between 1 and 100 to everyone with a social media account. The more influential you are, the higher your Klout Score is. The algorithm that gives you your Klout Score is based on:
- True Reach: the number of people who engage with you, like or share your content;
- Amplification: the amplification of your message, how many people spread it further;
- Network: the other influencers in your online circle.
- A Klout Score can allow influencers to evaluate their social interactions over the months;
- There is a certain pride knowing you have a high score because it means you are sort of influential in your field;
- You can connect over 14 social platforms to evaluate your Klout Score;
- To marketers, it’s a great starting point to look at influencers in the area they want to work on and see who is active or not.
- Measurement issue, does it have a scientific value?
- Some people get obsessed with Klout Score and modify their interactions to increase it. Klout offers the possibility to give K+ to others who have influenced you;
- Some recruiters or even dating sites use the score to evaluate our availability over real criteria;
- It forces us to be more active online, depreciating real interactions over online interactions;
- “It tries to automate the idea of influence with numbers when the engagement is the actual key to determine real influence“.
Platform 2: PeerIndex
With PeerIndex (PI), you can connect several social platforms like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Quora to obtain your ‘PeerIndex Score’. The social scoring platform measures people’s influence based on Activity (how active you are compared to others), Audience (what’s the size of your audience compared to others) and Authority (how others rely on your activity. It increases anytime someone like, comment, share or engage with your content).
PeerIndex has similar pros and cons than Klout. PI score gives you an idea of how influential a person is on a specific topic but does it have a real scientific value? It’s another debate that we will discuss further later. The positive point for PeerIndex is that it calculates the activity of a person over a period and helps find influencers based on topics. On the other hand, the scoring platform tracks fewer sites than Klout.
Platform 3: Kred
Kred offers two types of scores to rank a person: ‘Influence’ (assessing retweets, replies, mentions or follows from others on your Twitter account) and ‘outreach level’ (how often you retweet, share and mention others).
Kred works mostly on Twitter. They place users in communities per a topic of discussions. The person with the higher score is defined as the most influential and called ‘Kred Leader’. This scoring platform calculates your score based on your online and offline achievements (e.g. if your company reaches its budget goal or grow in staff). Like Klout, you can also reward other with ‘+Kred’ to increase their score. Contrary to Klout and PeerIndex, Kred provides you with a real-time update of your ‘Kred Score’.
Social Influencers Analysis
Influencer 1: Lauren Toyota
Before becoming a social influencer in the vegan community, Lauren Toyota was well known to be a television host on MuchMusic and MTV Canada. After she left the traditional media, Lauren and her boyfriend John Diemer started a YouTube channel and a blog called Hot for Food. The two Canadians bring vegan food to another level with the intent to show that vegan food can be “sexy” and doesn’t resume itself in eating salad at every meal.
Being vegan is not sufficient to be an influencer in the vegan community. Through the YouTube Chanel and the Hot for Food blog, Lauren Toyota showcases her knowledge. She is not only offering vegan recipes; she is revisiting traditional recipes and adapting these to her diet. For example, her cauliflower buffalo wings or her macaroni and cheese dish (made with cashew nuts instead of cheese). Recently they published a video in partnership with Kin Community on how she influenced one of her viewers, Joe Rap, to become vegan like many others.
Through Hot for Food channel and blog, Lauren and John are not trying to show off and push you to become vegan. Their primary audience is obviously vegan people but they also want to explain through delicious and visually attractive dishes that other options exist to non-vegans.
Lauren Toyota engages a lot on social through her own platforms and Hot for Food platforms.
Lauren Toyota would be a great influencer to work with to launch a new brand of vegan products. Through some videos, Lauren explains how Canada is poor in vegan options. There are less alternative brands than in the United States. If brands like the Tofutti Ricotta or the Miyoko’s Cultured Vegan Butter she mentioned in her video for Kin Community, decide to export themselves in Canada, she would be the perfect brand ambassador for these; spreading the message out there to all the vegan and non-vegan foodies.
Influencer 2: Alexandra Larouche
Alexandra Larouche has come a long way since her debut on YouTube in 2011. Beauty vlogger, she launched a makeup collection called “Alex” with the Canadian brand Lise Watier in 2014. She went on tour with the brand giving her the possibility to meet with her fan base.
Her success is probably due to the fact she was one of the first beauty YouTubers in Quebec alongside Cynthia Dulude.
Bloggers started to be influential because people got the feeling they were talking to their best friends. Alexandra’s approach is very similar. Her personality is the core reason for her success. She is honest, approachable and relatable. Even though she became popular, she keeps her feet on the ground and it is reflected mostly on her vlog channel. She shares her daily life which appears to be like yours or mine. No glitters added. She does YouTube for a living but doesn’t brag about it or even splurge herself on high-end products.
Alexandra Larouche is mostly active on YouTube, Instagram and Twitter but also has other active platforms.
Although Alex Fashion Beauty started as a beauty channel, we can see an evolution in the topics Alexandra is covering. As she grows older, she developed a passion for home décor and stationary. A passion she expresses on her two channels when she shares her agenda or how she decorates her apartment. She recently indicated her desire to have one day her own stationary collection.
Since she already partnered with Lise Watier and other makeup brands, brands like Indigo or smaller stationary creators should take this opportunity to expend her passion into a collaboration and advertise their products to her audience. The Irish retail store Primark did something similar with the British YouTuber Gabriella Lindley (velvetgh0st) creating in partnership a décor and stationary range available in-stores.
“Social scoring platforms have changed the way we communicate online.”
The information provided by social scoring platforms can be totally bias. Everyone can build up their score by selecting who to follow and by interacting with certain people to increase their own score. It can totally change the nature of a person attracted by fame or free products.
Social scoring platforms are another pressuring tool to be perceived as perfect. The higher you score is the better is your position in the social community. It forces us to be more active online, depreciating the real interactions over online interactions. At the end of the day, don’t we say that if it is not shared on social media it didn’t exist?
Hopefully social scoring platforms don’t have the same impact as before. Today, we tend to use them as a tool to start exploring our options regarding the influencer hunt. It can save marketers time and money. However, some people tend to give it too much credibility. As marketers, we need to filter the information offered by these platforms.
Hurley Hall, Sharon. “Don’t Like Klout? 12 Other Ways to Track Social Media Influence and Engagement” The Daily Egg, https://blog.crazyegg.com/2013/06/04/dont-like-klout/, 4 June 2013, Web. Accessed 26 January 2017.
Steers, Natalie. “Influencer marketing: Klout vs Kred vs PeerIndex” My Customer, http://www.mycustomer.com/marketing/strategy/influencer-marketing-klout-vs-kred-vs-peerindex, 15 March 2012, Web. Accessed 2 February 2017.