In-between writing another chapter for the Social Media Tool Kit last night,  I finally got around to checking out the Twitter influence scoring service, Klout.I have read quite a few articles recently about how services such as Klout are going to be used by marketers and business owners to target key influencers on Twitter. Customer service teams, for example, have been used as an example whereby only those customers with high scores will get a favourable follow up in the event of a complaint etc. Tiered society (online) here we come…ScoringEager to see what my score was, I popped my Twitter user name into the system and waited patiently for the result. The system came back with a score of 55. According to the description, this was apparently an ok score but came with an underlying message of ‘please try harder’.Klout isn’t the only horse in the race, though, so I thought it would be interesting to try some of the other services out for comparison. Being a big fan of the work that Hubspot are doing, I gave their Twitter Grader service a whirl. I also tried Twifficiency.Scores were as follows:Twitter Grader – 97.2%Twifficiency – 42%As you can see, the scores varied massively and all claimed to use a similar algorithm. Klout, for example, uses a factor of over 35 variables broken into three categories; True Reach, Amplification Score and Network Score to determine your overall score.So with the scores varying so massively, how valuable are these services to marketers?Taking aside the fact that these services just give a generic score and don’t allow you to segment users based on the subjects they are most influential for (Klout does provide some basic functionality around this, though), I ultimately think they have some worth but need to be taken with a pinch of salt.While there is always the ability to game the system, a scoring system such as Klout arguably offers a stronger method of determining key influencers then the basic follower count. The engagement metric associated with each of these services is a key element to this, which shows how many people actually interact with the content the individual shares online (RT etc). It’s great having lots of followers but if they are not engaged with the content you share then the amount of influence you have on that particular social network is questionable.This is clearly not an exact science, though, as I know a number of very influential people in the tech and business communities that have low scores because they might use Twitter sparingly. It doesn’t make them any less influential in the grand scheme of things, though.Ultimately, services such as Klout do offer some filtering potential for marketers to better segment their target audience online, but they clearly need to be seen for what they are: a signposting tool.At this stage of their development, I am not sure I would use the information these services provide to inform all my decision making efforts.Its going to be interesting to see how these develop, though. In the meantime, I guess I had better take Klout’s advice and ‘try harder’…What are your thoughts on social scoring?This was originally posted over on the socialBiz blogFlickr image credit