The term social media seems to have become synonymous with clutter.

After the initial goal of broadcasting social insights to a chosen set of demographics, companies then desire to see that they have actually created a blip on the social media radar.

How do we do this though? Door to door surveys have proven ineffective once we reached the 20th century, and the more innovative way of measuring clicks on websites is not as useful as we had hoped. Not to mention much of our social media influence comes from websites and programs that are not our own, such as Facebook and Twitter.

One way to gain perspective on our social reach is the Internet influence service known as Klout – a program based out of San Francisco. It is currently building a massive database that tracks the influence level, user style, and content of different forms of social media.

Klout originally began by focusing on Twitter, the social network that leaves a followable bread crumb trail of tweets and retweets. They use different data points from the website to develop a “Klout score.” The score gives a numerical representation of not only the amount of followers. But by delving deeper they also discover who has the ability to compel action from other online users. They use many different categories that analyze who has “true reach” and “true amplification” on Twitter. However, on October 13, 2010 the company Klout announced that they are expanding their content to Facebook. By doing so, the company is attempting to dominate the category that measures influences “across the social web.”

After submitting your company to Klout they will evaluate different data such as comments, likes, and networks to determine your influence on Facebook. While configuring your specific score it could take up to 72 hours for a response. Ash Rust, the Director of Ranking at Klout, wrote in a blog, “As on Twitter, our underlying premise for influence is not the number of friends or followers you have, but your ability to drive action.” Although this may initially seem like a way to pay a company to give you a gold shiny accolade for your compelling social networking skills, it is actually a marketing tool that has become crucial in today’s world. Not only does this device tell you where you stand, but it also pin points the movers and the shakers in the social media world.

Marketing agencies have become increasingly aware of discovering specific demographics and target audiences that not only use their product but that spread the word about products like their own. For hotel media managers, Klout’s service will be able to tell you who is using Facebook to share ideas on where is the most desirable vacation spot. For upcoming architecture companies, Klout can let you discover who is influencing others to “like” blueprints and pages about new buildings that are being constructed nearby. After they have discovered these specific people, they can analyze how influential they are by determining feedback. So not only can Klout tell you who is talking about ideas similar to the purpose of your company, but it can also show who is listening.