University Twitter Accounts Compared Using Klout – A measure of engagement?

Here’s a comparison of Swedish university twitter accounts using Klout (I’ve done something similar before).  I’m interested in how much klout tells you – does it reflect the nature of the twitter account. Does it tell us whether the twitter account is being used to engage, or simply broadcast? And before you get all sniffy, engagement is a fancy word for talking.

Swedish university twitter accounts ranked by Klout score.

Swedish universities and their Klout score

Does Engagement Have An Impact On Your Klout Score?
Klout only seems to tell you so much. It’s definitely telling you whether you left the starting blocks or not, but after that – well – it seems to get pretty blunt rather quickly. Here’s the amount of tweets, RTs, and @ replies from the top 6 Swedish universities, as ranked by their Klout scores, from January 2011. #RT is the number of times they retweeted something, #@ is the number of times they replied or mentioned another user (but not in a RT). Lists is the number of times they are listed.

Swedish universities with a high Klout score and their engagement

The number of @s and RTs gives an idea of how much the account is talking. It would seem that Klout is not so sensitive to engagement.  For example, @karolinskainst and @lundsuni have barely acknowledged that they have followers, through their lack of RT’s and @s, but still they have a reasonably high klout score. Both @malmouniversity and @liuuniversitet are engaging with their followers, but it does not look like it particularly impacts their klout score.

Klout’s important for a gross comparison –  but it looks like it’s less sharp for getting a handle on engagement. Or? Shoot me down in flames – I’ve love to have a single number which quantifies engagement!

Some observations on best practice.

I looked at a bunch of twitter accounts for this article, here’s some observations:

You so need a bio, and if you’re not using all the characters you’re missing out on opportunities to be found. It’s the only place on your twitter page (other than the tweets themselves) that you can put a clickable link in. Without a good bio it’s hard to decide whether you’re worth following or not – this goes for your personal account as well.

How often do you tweet? Particularly if it’s an English language account, there’s whole bunch of people who never see your tweets because they’re on the dark side when you’re tweeting. If it’s important information, consider sending it out several times to maximise your changes of being read– don’t be shy.

Are you sending traffic to your other online assets? Your Facebook page would probably appreciate a shout-out once in a while, and if you’ve just updated your admissions guide on your website why not tweet about it?

Do people care enough about you to put you on a list? Getting included on someone’s list means you’re in the VIP lounge for their attention. Make your own list of all the tweeting staff, students and offices from your university – that way you’ve got a handy source for RTs and an overview of your tribe’s activity.

A final word, if you’ve created an account but are rarely using it then you still need to pay attention to any questions or comments you get. Otherwise you could be quietly bleeding out good will, without ever realizing it.

A Quick Comparison: Klout scores of university twitter accounts

Klout.com recently become more useful as it now updates daily – and seems to reflect more accurately twitter activity. Just out of interest I did a quick comparison of the klout score, as of today, for a range of university (mostly Swedish) twitter accounts.

Twitter Name Klout Score True Reach Amplification Network
http://twitter.com/Stanford 69 3000 55 74
http://twitter.com/#!/UniversityLeeds 52 481 26 57
http://twitter.com/#!/UniofPlym 52 779 30 55
http://twitter.com/#!/warwickuni 50 2000 25 57
http://twitter.com/#!/Bristoluni 49 936 26 52
http://twitter.com/#!/uclnews 49 625 25 57
http://twitter.com/StudyInSweden 48 634 26 55
http://twitter.com/#!/ManMetUni 46 728 21 56
http://twitter.com/#!/MalmoUniversity 45 213 20 52
https://twitter.com/#!/KeeleUniversity 43 616 21 51
http://twitter.com/#!/Stockholm_Uni 41 278 19 49
http://twitter.com/#!/NextGLearning 38 24 15 50
https://twitter.com/#!/yorkuniversity 36 2000 17 44
http://twitter.com/#!/KauOfficiell 33 15 15 36
http://twitter.com/#!/umeauniversity 32 68 15 37
http://twitter.com/#!/lunduniversity 32 97 13 41
http://twitter.com/#!/queensmba 26 80 14 10
http://twitter.com/#!/KTH_PA_INSIDAN 17 120 11 10
http://twitter.com/#!/wmgmasters 10 132 10 10
http://twitter.com/#!/HogskolaGotland 10 51 10 10

This gives us some insight into how well our accounts are performing against others. True Reach seems less critical- for calculating the overall score- than the Amplification and Network scores, with Amplification having the most correlation with the overall Klout score.

The public tool only gives the overall figures, and does not provide any data over time, but – if you’re investing in your twitter account – then it does give some measure of the effect of your actions relative to your competitors. Keeping an eye on this, over time, would allow some identification of whether your competitors are pulling ahead in their use of twitter.