Social media interview – Joe Fernandez from Klout


Over the past couple of weeks we have been asking you to send in questions for the CEO of KloutJoe Fernandez, these have now been compiled and you can read his responses below. In case you are unaware of Klout, it is an online influence rating tool, that many see as a real indication of the level of an individual’s gravitas in the online world. The service has recently introduced daily updates which has attracted a lot of attention as this caused many scores to take a pretty hefty jump. Read on for some great insight from the driving force behind the project.

CEO of Klout

Joe Fernandez talks to The Social Penguin Blog

Daily updates are now in place, are you happy with the response to this? Has this created an upsurge in usage?

JF – We have been really happy with the response to daily updates.  It’s caused scores to jump (since we are capturing more data about people we have a more holistic score).  This has caught some people off guard and I think we could have done a better job communicating this.  Luckily people love seeing their score go up so not many people are complaining

TSPB – You have recently made major updates to the algorithm, can you share what this has allowed Klout to measure?

JF – The big changes in the algorithm are further emphasis on who engaged your network is in your content and continued integration of Facebook.

Colin Gilchrist – I’d like to know if Joe has a vision for this application outwith Twitter and what purpose he would like it to serve?

JF –  When I first started working on Klout I thought about providing influence data to the rest of the web the same way Google made geo simple with Google Maps.  I wasn’t really sure how the data would be used but was confident that people a lot smarter than me would figure out cool ways to use influence.  We launched our API weeks after the site and the growth on the API has been 100x what we have seen on the site.

Tim Barlow – How similar do you think your way of assessing influence is to the way Google assesses Twitter users?

JF –  I think we go a lot more in depth in understanding influence as relevant to topics.

Tim Barlow – Do a lot of SEOs use Klout for identifying people to approach as part of SEO work?

JF – Yeah, we seem to have a lot of interest from SEO’s.  I am speaking at Pubcon in a week.  Google seems to be giving a lot of juice to content that has social media cred.  We are able to find the people that can impact the amplification of content through social media.

Tim Barlow – Bonus question: do you ignore no follows too?

JF – We don’t care about followers.

Kelly Forbes – I’d like to know Joe’s thoughts on businesses using Klout ratings as a means to offer customers discounts out with Klout Perks. Had they foreseen this kind of thing happening? Do they approve? Is this a new direction they’d be willing to take the company?

JF – We are seeing a ton of this and it’s exciting.  Companies have traditionally always measured their customers based on the amount of money they spend. It’s great to see companies care about the network.

Kelly Forbes  – How will Facebook integration affect people’s scores and will you be explaining the methodology behind them? Will Facebook pages also be included?

JF –   FB scores will only raise your twitter score.  Our goal is to be completely transparent about the methodology.  On the stats page of Klout you can see the factors used in the score.  FB pages will be the next phase of development for us.

Kelly Forbes – Will geolocation become part of Klout to allow business to identify influential locals?

JF – Yes, we are excited about all the development going on around geolocation and look forward to adding it to Klout.

Kelly Forbes – What does Klout consider an average score to be?

JF:  Right now the average is around 15.  Anything over 20 is pretty good

Kelly Forbes – Is Follower Count the most important metric to achieve a high Klout score?

JF –  Actually, follower count is the least important metric and has almost no barring on your score.  The most important factor is engagement.  What proportion of your content is being acted upon and how influential are the people interacting with your content.

Rodrigo – Currently which industries have been using more measurement tools like the ones your company offer?

JF – We’ve gotten a lot of interest from travel industry and advertising.

Rodrigo – what are the main drivers to grow influence? Any patterns across users?

JF –  The main patterns are to consistently create content that your network engages with.

Where are the biggest influencers?

JF –  San Francisco & NYC have a high proportion of influencers (not surprisingly)

Huge thanks to Joe for his time and to our readers for putting forward the questions. Be sure to follow Joe Fernandez on twitter he is very engaging!

How is your score looking? Do you respect people with a higher score? Would love to hear your thoughts…

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About Mike McGrail

Mike McGrail is the owner of The Social Penguin Blog. He is the MD of Velocity Digital. He likes scotch and leather-bound books. Follow Mike's ramblings on Twitter. He also resides on Google Plus here.

  • Anthony Rome

    I definitely respect those with higher scores. Mine happens to be a 54. I strive to become more influencial and most of all, participate in social media!

    • Mike McGrail

      Hi Anthony thanks for reading and your comment! Participation seems to be key to a high score. I like the fact that Klout gives you a classification, I recently changed to ‘Specialist’ which was a nice feeling!

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