Identifying centers of influence has been useful and effective for businesses and advertisers as long as people of influence have wielded power in their communities. Historically, though, the challenge has been that it's not always clear who is influential, especially in relatively narrow niches. However, as the use of social media continues to grow and evolve, quantifying influence, at least through social media channels, is becoming possible for the first time - and companies are jumping quickly to fill the void.
The current leader in this space is a company called Klout, which seeks to make itself the standard of measuring (online) influence. While thus far the company is relatively new and its impact is limited, it is growing fast. In fact, in some industries, an individual's Klout score is already impacting their ability to get a job, or their opportunity to receive discounts and perks from advertisers. While the time hasn't arrived yet, Klout may soon become relevant in the world of financial planning as well, for everything from increasing the visibility of an influential planner, to identifying centers of influence to contact in a target niche market. Which raises the question: do you have Klout?