Klout, or the lack thereof

Share this post


Klout is crap. There, I said it. Maybe I’m making myself unpopular right now and I’m sure my Klout score will plummet in the next 24 hours, but it needs to be said.

For those of you who aren’t in the know, Klout is a web-based social media analytics tool that supposedly measures a user’s influence on their social network. The network can include Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, Tumblr, WordPress, Foursquare and several others. Things like clicks, followers, reactions and interactions calculate a user’s score. The idea is great in theory, but in practice it ends up as a lackluster and surprisingly deceptive analytics tool.

An Organic Online Presence is Better Than a Fabricated One
Whatever algorithm the kids over at Klout use to determine a user’s online influence is tragically flawed insofar as the message doesn’t seem to matter, as long as the user is blathering on about something —anything— consistently. It seems those trying to use Klout to leverage a successful social media campaign pepper in keywords relevant to their business. Ultimately, that’s the sort of online presence that raises eyebrows in suspicion. That often boils down to a recognized yet disingenuous online presence. In turn, that renders Klout useless and contrived. Moreover, the Klout scores and influential topics users rank are contrived and useless.

The potential value of having a reliable metric for social media success is inarguable. Although Klout claims to provide this, you may end up with an unrealistic snapshot of your most recent interactions and a bloated number quantifying your popularity. In the end, your Klout score doesn’t translate to customers, friends or true supporters.

Klout Buy Me Love
Further proof that your Klout is not exactly equivalent to tangible influence, you can now receive Klout perks from using and raising your Klout score. You also receive perks for focusing on a particular topic. Let’s say you target a perk that you’d like to get, so you purposely tailor your messages to relevant topics to make your user account eligible for said perk. In a way, it’s a form of classic conditioning, whereas the perk is the bell and you are Pavlov’s dog. Do what we want and we’ll reward you. Not that there is anything wrong with that as a business model, but when used under the guise of an objective analytical tool that measures your influence, I have complaints.

Be True to Who You Really Are
When it comes to your online messaging, say what you mean, mean what you say, and say what you know. It’s that simple. Your genuine self will garner far more fans, supporters, friends and actual customers than a façade. Also, by having an authentic online presence, you can usually avoid being confused with a robot or spammer. Even if it’s not on topic or in line with your messaging, go ahead and wish everyone a nice weekend. In the end, an online presence is one that needs to be trusted by those you hope to turn into customers. It’s going to take more than a Klout score to achieve that.

Recent Posts