When Government Agencies Receive High Klout Scores, Does it Really Mean They Have More Clout?

IBM Center for the Business of Government recently issued a report that provides some very interesting social media insights for federal agencies: which agencies have the highest Klout rankings.

If you are not familiar with Klout, it essentially measures your overall social media influence. For example, when you create content or engage through social networks, Klout will analyze that impact and give you a “Klout Score” anywhere between 1 and 100 – with 100 being the most influential.

According to the IBM report, NASA received the highest score out of all other federal agencies with an 80 out of 100. FEMA came in second place with a score of 75.

While this research is certainly interesting and can provide insights into which agencies are ahead of the curve when it comes to social media, it begs the question: does a high Klout score translate into having real clout?

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Henry Brown

Depends greatly on what one describes clout as…. As per the article in FCW Klout is describing clout as a “measurement of influence—a combination of popularity, reach and engagement —primarily for accounts on Twitter but also for accounts on Facebook, LinkedIn and other networks” … and if one limits the definition of clout to that, I can see where both NASA and FEMA would be relatively high on the scale depending on the news of the day…

To me it would be MUCH more interesting to see the Klout numbers over an extended period of time…

And I would be VERY careful before I expanded the definition of clout and tried to apply the Klout score for an agency to the expanded(excepted) definition

Corey McCarren

NASA has a lot of real “clout” on social media, so in that instance yes. Klout is a fun tool, but I don’t think it has many applications besides entertainment. I would guess “#Teamfollowback” twitter users probably have high Klout scores, but they aren’t making any actual contributions.

Kona Gallagher

I don’t see Klout as a super-scientific way of measuring anything, but it’s a nice indicator to show us where we are. I definitely use it in addition to other network-specific analytics.

Chris Cairns

Until someone can substantiate that your social media klout score translates into real-world clout, I can’t be convinced that Klout is a good tool for measuring influence.