Klout – I Just Have to Laugh

Klout retweet infographic

In the frenzy of trying everything new social media I of course came across Klout. You’ve heard of Klout, haven’t you? They describe their “service” as “When you recommend, share, and create content you impact others. Your Klout Score measures that influence on a scale of 1 to 100.”

It was easy to get sucked in to the striving for a “good grade” but over time and due to many algorithmic changes that drive waned. Their focus has turned to fame and notoriety rather than quality of content and engagement. The most humorous part, and what tells me there is something funky in the way numbers are crunched, is the topics they say one of the accounts I manage is influential about. Of course the top 4 reflect the content. But after that?! Bourbon, Crafts, Dementia, Cuba, Weddings, Shopping. Seriously? Cuba and dementia.

Another clue, and I have tested this, it appears that the more activity I engage in, the more I participate with quality content and rich conversations, the lower the score goes. For example, just yesterday, I participated in three very popular chats, posted my usual 10-15 regular tweets, got RT’d and mentioned over 70 times by some very “influential” people, people with tens of thousands of followers, the leaders in their respective fields. Today, my score dropped again.

That particular account’s blog continues to increase in clicks and the score goes down.

Worst of all, Klout does not count engagement on Facebook pages, only accounts. This business account is screwed because they had an account first with business pages attached. Facebook cannot be reached and I was advised by someone “in the know” that the business can’t change without loosing their fans.

The kicker, I have another account where I hardly engage, post and tweet sporadically and that score continues to go up.

Getting an answer from anyone at Klout is about as easy as reaching and talking to someone live at Facebook. Fer-get-a-bout-it. They suggest tweeting them. So ok. I’ll tweet this post.

At first it all drove me bonkers. Now, fortunately supported by those in the social media community, the actual relevance of a Klout score holds little validity. People know it can be manipulated and that it is clearly skewed towards Facebook. We realize that our actual, real life experience in the social media channels is where the true worth lies. We know who is influential, who is authentic, who we care about as people, as opposed to their assigned number.

Now when I periodically check the number for grins and giggles, to see what new topics I have become influential about etc. If the number goes down that’s a sign I’m doing things right.

Do you have a Klout story? Has your experience been similar? Or, are you on the opposite side of the fence and put stock into the scoring system? Share your comments and opinions below.

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