Attention social media mavens! Klout has altered its algorithm and thus thrown all Klout scores up in the air, prompting many (me) to wonder if this change came about after the role of selecting arbitrary numbers, I mean Klout Scores, was passed over to a new monkey.*
Many have seen their Klout scores rise by double figures, while others (Justin Bieber for example) have seen their scores fall. As always Klout are keeping their algorithms under wraps, as revealing how they calculate it would make the entire process null and void, if it isn’t already. Just head over to Twitter to see the negative, and often hilarious, reactions to these changes.
So does this change mean users are suddenly more (or less) influential?
In this video released on the Klout website, Klout CEO Joe Fernandez explains how this is the most comprehensive update yet and outlines some of the changes that they’ll be rolling out in the coming months.
The changes seem to be a move in the direction of creating a social hub through which users can interact, which wouldn’t be entirely unlike the social media sites that Klout is attempting to measure. The new site design seems to feature a push to encourage users to invite their Facebook friends to Klout – could they be hoping to create a social media network?
The only interesting factor I could gleam from the updates was the introduction of moments, which will offer comprehensive insight into which pieces of shared content are successful. This, in some ways, would shed some light onto the complex and heavily guarded secret of the algorithm. More importantly it would offer brands and businesses a new social media metric to measure success.
Content marketing is big business at the moment, and getting the balance between what to post and when is a huge challenge for marketers. Klout’s updates could help by shedding some light onto what is successful and give marketers the opportunity to figure out why.
Klout could become a useful tool to be used in addition to sites such as Crowdbooster and Post Rocket to help optimise content and increase engagement. Unfortunately, users will have to wait until these new changes are rolled out before they can road test the new features. Unless you can use your immense influence to drum up the support of 10 people and convince them to join Klout, in which case you’ll gain VIP access.
*Disclaimer: I am in no way saying the Klout team are monkeys, I just want to make that very clear. I was making a comment on the arbitrary nature of the number, and not the work of the engineers.
If you’re a Facebook page owner, don’t be alarmed if you see your Facebook Checkin numbers plummet in the next couple of days – this isn’t a rash spout of people taking back their last visit – it’s simply Facebook making changes to the way they count Checkins.
Their intention is to give you a more accurate picture of how people visit your business, which can only be a good thing, so don’t fret about the numbers. Once the new changes take effect, multiple checkins within a 12 hour period will be counted as one checkin. Also, if a person checks in, uploads 20 photos, and tags 6 friends in these photos, that will count as 7 check ins; the individual plus their 6 friends.
In terms of getting an accurate picture of how people visit your business, these changes are great, but you may feel disheartened that the numbers that are publicly visible on your page will go down.
So how can you boost these numbers?
Earlier this month Facebook announced that they would be opening new APIs (Application Programming Interface) which would allow Facebook to become the backbone of social checkins. Now, regardless of which app users are checking in with on Facebook, these will be published through Facebook. So now posts from Foodspotting, Gogobot, and Path will be counted in your Facebook page numbers.
With these changes in place it’s even easier for users to checkin to your business, so you’ll have to be sure you have a good presence on all platforms available.
You can encourage checkins by offering incentives for doing so; or even just by publicising that it’s possible to checkin to your Business, as your customers may not even be aware. Restaurants can make use of QR codes on the menu to facilitate checkins, or Gyms could offer incentives to frequent visitors. Rewards can be inexpensive, but are incredibly enticing to customers as they have to do very little to receive them.
How have the Facebook changes affected your numbers? And what are you doing to encourage your customers to Checkin?
YouTube recently made changes to the algorithm which controls which videos show up in the related video section. This was a direct response to users’ outrage that the old algorithm could be so easily manipulated in order for certain individuals to make money on the success of other videos.
Known as ‘reply girls’, these users discovered that by posting reply videos to popular YouTube videos, they could pull traffic from these videos using a certain amount of cleavage. They very rarely have anything of value to say, and usually merely point out the obvious for around 3 minutes. What would be the point of that, you may be wondering? They make a whole lot of money from the ads, as they usually bring in a similar number of hits as their target video.
The changes will now place videos in that section based not only on the number of views, but also on how long users view the videos for. This will hopefully stop the reply girl videos ranking quite so high, as the majority of people get bored after only a few seconds.
So what does this mean for users who post genuine video responses?
You’re now going to have to work that little bit harder to make sure you capture and engage your audience. YouTube will help you out along the way, by offering news stats which show not only hits, but also viewing times. Be sure to get your aim and message in to the video before you provide the content; then your users will know exactly what they’re going to see. You’ll also have to make sure that the thumbnail you use is highly relevant to the video content, as clicks will still count.
And what about the replygirls? The most famous, know as ‘thereplygirl’ will be using here exposure and video making skills to produce actual content, which will include tutorials and similar content. Although, without the constant exposure (no pun intended) it’s difficult to say if she’ll still be as successful.
It seems that everyone is having a make-over at the moment; following in the tracks of Facebook and Twitter, YouTube have announced that on Wednesday they would be bringing everyone up to speed with the changes which were first introduced back in December. So you’d better get your skates on if you want your YouTube account to continue looking spiffy.
The new design allows users to choose their template; Creator, Blogger, Network and Everything. The idea being that content will be easier to browse if you make it clear what it is you’re curating. And content curation is the key. With 60 hours of video uploaded every minute, hopefully these changes will make it easier to wade through all of this to find the videos which are most relevant.
So what do you need to do to get your YouTube channel looking amazing?
YouTube have released a variety of support documents which should help you on your way, there’s even a tutorial to follow when you first log in to your account. If you don’t have time to wade through the masses of information, here are some of the top things you need to know about YouTube changes.
All of your goodies will now be arranged into tabs; Featured, Feed and Videos. And you can also choose which tab visitors land on.
Behold the featured tab, and trust me; it makes your content look amazing. You can enable this in the channel settings, and then decide if your blog is Creator, Blogger, Network or Everything.
Banners are no longer supported, so you’ll have to merge your current banner with your background, and make the branding work for you using your background (which will support image maps) and your icon. You can also shift the entire channel down by up to 150px to give your background a little more room to peek through.
The width is now 970px rather than 980px wide, so you may need to adjust your background slightly to cater for this change.
The focus is very much on sharing and curating content, rather than only broadcasting your own. Your news feed will now show much more than just your own videos, you’ll now see videos that you leave comments on and like.
That said, there’s only so much you can do with the design, at some point you’ll have to populate it with engaging and sharable content if you want to use YouTube as a marketing tool.
So what’s your YouTube strategy for this year? Share your videos below!