Who has more Klout?

Tony Manolatos Tony Manolatos 13 Comments


Viewing the San Diego Mayor’s Race Through Klout’s Lens Shows Fletcher On Top

Klout assigns a score to everyone who uses social media sites like Twitter and Facebook. Scores range from 1 to 100.

If San Diego’s mayoral race was based solely on social media influence the winner would be Nathan Fletcher.

That’s not going to sit well with some people, so allow me to explain.

In the past, one’s social media influence was measured by the number of “friends” on Facebook and “followers” on Twitter. Today, services like Klout assign a score to your social media influence.

Klout scores range from 1 to 100. Wikipedia says: “The analysis is done on data taken from sites such as Twitter and Facebook and measures the size of a person’s network, the content created and how other people interact with that content.

“The final Klout score is a representation of how successful a person is at engaging their audience and how big of an impact their messages have on people. The accuracy of Klout has been questioned several times by different researchers, however Klout is being used by most social media marketers as a barometer of influence.”

It is clear, when looking at the Klout scores of local elected officials and other opinion shapers, Klout assigns a lot of clout to engaging people and posts.

In other words, those who respond, retweet and are retweeted score the highest. Those who use Twitter and Facebook as a one-way communication tool to deliver talking points and press releases – a common practice among most politicians – score lower.

Launched in 2009, Klout is not part of our vernacular, but I expect that to change. The average Klout score is close to 20 (I have read that some social media savvy employers won’t hire anyone with a score lower than 30), and a score of 50+ puts you in the 95th percentile, according to the San Francisco based company.

Here are the Klout scores of the top mayoral candidates and sitting council members in San Diego, along with a few others:

  • Bob Filner: 25
  • Fletcher for Mayor (campaign’s Twitter handle): 36
  • Bonnie Dumanis: 38
  • Carl DeMaio: 44
  • Nathan Fletcher: 51
  • Marti Emerald: 24
  • Sherri Lightner: 25
  • David Alvarez: 29
  • Kevin Faulconer: 36
  • Tony Young: 40
  • Lorie Zapf: 40
  • Todd Gloria 45
  • Jesse Durfee: 24
  • San Diego Rostra: 35
  • Ron Nehring: 44
  • Mayor Sanders: 46
  • Me: 49
  • The Union-Tribune: 59
  • Tony Krvaric: 59
  • Lorena Gonzalez: 61
  • Barack Obama: 87
  • Justin Bieber: 100

If you compare recent tweets from council members and mayoral candidates you can see why someone like Todd Gloria has a higher Klout score than his colleagues.

“Love your food! Will be back again soon,” Gloria said after retweeting this from Crest Cafe in Hillcrest: “Nice to see Councilman Todd Gloria for the second time this week!! Thanks Todd!”

My advice to politicians using Facebook and Twitter: Be bold. Take risks. Engage your followers. Tell us who you are.

Too many politicians don’t use social media effectively and they’re missing a real opportunity. Most fear difficult questions so they quickly pop in and out on Twitter, for example, always on message and too often tweeting about something easily found on their web sites.

Those who make themselves vulnerable and answer the tough questions attract the highest numbers, and not just on Klout.

You can follow Tony Manolatos on Twitter or LinkedIn Click here to view his business profile.


Comments 13

  1. All the polling that’s been out shows DeMaio in first place in the 30s, Filner in the 20s, and Bonnie in the teens. Fletcher? Single digits.

    This is a DeMaio-Filner race.

    Insiders should spend less time talking to themselves (or on twitter) and more time talking to those that matter: voters.

  2. Tony: I don’t think your analysis adjusts for the fact that there is a world famous professional surfer named Nathan Fletcher. Those of us who surf know he’s been getting more press and social media buzz than the other one lately. Anyone who looks at twitter traffic would have a hard time believing the klout score is entirely due to the politician Nathan Fletcher.

    Go Carl Go: “this is a DeMaio-Filner race” is a little ridiculous. You might be right eventually, but anyone with over $500,000 is a contender. But spot on with the last part.

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    Hi, Roger…

    It’s Klout’s analysis, not mine.

    No two Twitter handles are alike, meaning Klout is tracking candidate Fletcher’s tweets – from @nathanfletcher – and not the surfer’s when assigning a score. A cursory look did not turn up a Twitter handle for Nathan Fletcher the surfer.

    I am not sure if Facebook allows for duplicate pages but I don’t think so.

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  5. Klout scores are useful to a point. It’s important to know exactly what Klout measures. It weights the score heavily in favor of Facebook, less so Twitter. It barely registers influential blog posts, such as those on Rostra. Otherwise writers like Tony and me would have Klout scores 20 points higher than they are.

    Posting photos and to an extent links will raise your Klout score; being shared and retweeted also helps raise your Klout score. People who want to “game” their score set up dummy accounts and repost/rewtweet themselves.

    Any employer stupid enough to hire someone based on a Klout score deserves the employee they get.

  6. Simply can’t resist this, Gayle…

    Any citizen stupid enough to vote for someone based on a Klout score deserves the representative they get.

    (This is not a reference to any particular campaign.)

  7. I think it’s like any of the new “tools” available to engage and gauge these days. Give it some value but don’t fall in love with it.

  8. Klout is a bogus statistic to determine who is “influential.”

    @BronxZoosCobra has a Klout score of 56. @NYTChicken a score of 51, @GeorgeTakei a score of 71 and @My4YOSaid gets a 45.

    By Klout’s math, all of these should be in the running for Mayor of San Diego. Hell, George Takei could run for President.

    The word “Influence” is used way too liberally by the people at Klout.

    Klout scores are fun to wave around and show people, if you are new to Klout. But if you’ve watched it for a while, you know that it’s really quite meaningless. I wouldn’t hire someone who put it on their resume. And I certainly wouldn’t elect someone based on their Klout score.

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    Have I ever told you that you are a wise man, JW?

    Social media is one piece of a very large puzzle and a tool like Klout is one way to monitor how effective you are at engaging people on sites like Twitter and Facebook.

    As for the Bronx Zoo Cobra Twitter handle…It had my wife and a lot of other people talking and laughing not too long ago. Effective use of social media comes in many shapes and sizes.

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