KloutWhen it comes to measuring the effectiveness of your social media marketing efforts, the challenges are endless.

Everyone involved must first agree on what exactly your goals are and how you will know when you achieve them.

Yeah.  Easier said than done.  But it must be done, especially if you have decided to work with a marketing consultant who specializes in social media.

Which brings us to Klout.

Klout is a service that measures a person’s influence and reach on Facebook and Twitter.

To determine someone’s level of influence, Klout uses various data points which they then compile into what they call a “Klout Score”.  The Klout Score  ideally represents someone’s online influence and ability to compel others to action.

Scores are in the range of 0-100, with the highest scores generally (I said “generally”) representing some pretty big names in social media. Many agencies and marketing companies will not hire social media marketers who do not have at least a 30 Klout Score and companies like Starbucks and Virgin Airlines offer deals to influencers who rate even higher.

So why doe Klout exist?

It’s not so people who live on Twitter and Facebook can feel good about themselves.  It’s so businesses like yours have some way to measure social media influencers who can drive action.

There really is not a better tool out there and the San Francisco-based startup seems focused on delivering  a quality score based on timely updates.

We don’t shill here.  We don’t advocate stuff we don’t like or believe in, especially if it’s not perfect out of the box.

You can punch holes in Klout, but it’s the first innings of social media and this is a good tool to use right now.