Social media has become a permanent fixture in our everyday lives. Whether you share photos on Facebook, tell your story in 140 characters on Twitter or use LinkedIn to scour for your next job opportunity.
But keeping on top of those networks is a hard task indeed. The countless hours spent perfecting statuses, polishing tweets and enhancing your profile in order to sell yourself. There are a number of social management tools allowing you to manage your online presence, some of the most popular including HootSuite and Sendible.
In 2008 Klout was released, a website and mobile application that gives you a 'Klout Score' based on your social media presence. One of the difficulties that I found when I first entered the world of Klout, was this nagging thought. 'Why have I been given that score in particular?' There doesn't seem to be a specific reason why you are awarded a certain score, and as of yet, I have not found a way in which to find this out. This has been an area of criticism for Klout and so I am sure that they will include such a feature as swiftly as possible.
It allows you to connect a plethora of social networking accounts from Twitter and Facebook, to the lesser known including Foursquare and Yammer. It seems that the more accounts you link to your Klout account, the higher your Klout score becomes. This to me is a major flaw, as certain businesses or individuals are not comfortable with the features of the some of the more ambiguous Social Networking sites. This could lead to a number of users feeling that they have been given an unfair score in comparison to those who hold accounts over a number of platforms. However, it also allows you as an individual, or more importantly as a business, to visually see the wider audience that you may not be targeting.
The key feature that I find generally useful is the schedule and posting system that Klout offers. It gives you the ability to post a specific piece of information across a number of social media account that you have linked up. This saves you both the time and effort that it would take to write it up on each account individually. However, not only can you post across a number of sites, you can also set a schedule for when you would like the post to 'go live'. This allows more flexibility as you can schedule a number of posts to post one a day over a week, taking away the stress of remembering to send them.
Overall I feel that Klout is definitely a beneficial tool for use within a business such as the Informatics Centre as it would be key to analysing how popular our posts are and what we could do to improve upon this. We would also be able to put the scheduling system to use when uploading blog posts and tweets about upcoming events and ongoing projects.
In terms of individual use, the posting system is perfect to keep track of where your contributions are going. However I feel that the 'Klout Score' system lacks and the overall usability of the site can be daunting and a little confusing at times. I may download the mobile application and see if that is any simpler!