Should Your Nonprofit Use a Social Scoring System?

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January 24, 2013; Source: Fourth Source

In a recent post, Robert McAllen, Blackbaud’s product manager of European markets, makes the case for nonprofits to use social scoring. Social scoring is the process of assigning a value to one’s level of online influence based on variables such as one’s amount of friends/followers, the popularity of one’s posts or Tweets, etc. Platforms such as Klout and Twitter Grader are examples of those offering such services. Currently, Bing takes social scoring into account in its search engine rankings but Google does not. This infographic demonstrates some of the powerful benefits social scoring can offer by helping people understand which social networks are getting results and which social audiences to target with different fundraising pitches.

Although tapping into social media influencers could increase awareness and donations, some individuals have expressed wariness about relying too heavily on social scoring for planning social networking strategies. Some critics argue that “key influencers” could also be illegitimate spam accounts, which could actually lead nonprofits to a worse understanding of their real constituents.

While social scoring may give organizations insight as to who is most likely to pass along that fundraising pitch, others contend that a social scoring focus could hinder relationships with online supporters overall if certain online supporters are predetermined to be more important than others. What do you think? Should charities look to incorporate social scoring into their social networking strategy? –Aine Creedon