Klout for lawyers and law firmsI received a question from a LexBlog Network member in Texas last week asking what Klout was. She had seen Klout mentioned by a few folks as a measure of one’s social media influence and wondered if she should care.

San Francisco based Klout provides social media analytics that measures a person’s influence across their social networks. The analysis is done on data collected from social networking sites such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Foursquare, and YouTube.

Klout bills itself as the ‘The Standard for Influence.’

When we’re measuring your influence there’s no room for error. We have a killer team of scientists and engineers working everyday to ensure continued accuracy and make the Score clear and actionable. We hold ourselves to a high standard and we hope you will too.

Klout measures the size of your network, the content you create, and how other people interact with your content. Scores range from 1 to 100 with higher scores representing a wider and stronger sphere of influence. Your Klout sscore is highly correlated to clicks, comments and retweets.

Items measured by Klout include:

  • True Reach. The size of your engaged audience and is based on those of your followers and friends who actively listen and react to messages.
  • Amplification Score. The likelihood that one’s messages will generate actions (retweets, @messages, likes and comments).
  • Network score. Indicates how influential one’s engaged audience is and is also on a scale.

Klout breaks down the subjects and industries a person has influence in as well as who the person has influence over. Expect Klout to expand this so as to show who has influence in very specific niches and locales.

Should you care about Klout (or be concerned if you don’t have it)?

  • Nielsen gave us an audience measurement system for television and radio advertisers. Klout would like to do the same so that Madison Avenue knows who to engage to spread word of their clients products and services. It had to happen for social media and there is likely a lot of money to be made by Klout and other companies like them providing solutions to advertisers. There is value in such a service.
  • If your goal is not to be looked at as an influencer by advertisers targeting your market, Klout is not going to be as important to you.
  • It’s possible law firms could at some point consider a Klout score on a couple fronts. Law firms want to penetrate certain segments of industry. Knowing who the influencers are could be beneficial in knowing who to build relationships with through social networking. It’s also possible that law firms could make hiring decisions based on a lawyer’s Klout in a niche area.
  • Everyone wants to hang their hat on analytics when it comes to measuring success on the net, even with social networking. Rather than your Klout score I’d suggest looking at whether your blogging and other social networking is growing your network, establishing yourself as a subject matter expert, and bringing in not just clients, but high quality clients. As a lawyer you can take those things to the bank.

Will I look at my Klout score from time to time? Certainly, I have an ego that is unfortunately stroked by shallower things from time to time. I expect you’ll check out your Klout score as well, if only even once out of curiosity.

But as with the PageRank of my website or the Technorati ranking of my blog, I’ll focus on measuring my success on the Internet by the relationships I build and nurture and the high quality business partners LexBlog brings on as clients.