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