Influence measures the overall online influence of a given voice. Keep in mind that just because a person does not have a high influence score doesn’t mean they aren’t influential. They just may not be a strong social media user – but that doesn’t mean they don’t influence a lot of people.
Check out your favorite reporter. What is his or her Klout score? Did they even break 30? While many journalists use social media, many more do not. Or they don’t use it very well. That does not mean they are not influential.
How much influence do they have offline? How many people read their stories or their columns? How many thousands of readers do they have? And what happens if that reporter decides to write something less than flattering about your company or pay closer attention to the CEO’s implication in the bribery scandal, or even writes an entire column about their experience. (Yes, it happens.)
Our point is this: Social media influence scores are important, but that doesn’t mean you should ignore someone who has a lower score. You kind of have to use your human brain to identify your influencers.
Influence is another metric that requires machine interpretation of human dialogue. This means it is an easy metric to “game” and its accuracy should be verified and clarified by other humans.
Like with sentiment, share of voice and passion, this requires some interpretive nuance and is not always going to be as accurate as we would like. That being said, it is worth measuring and having a baseline to start from will give you accurate context to understand how your influence and the influence of others is moving.