I have a Klout account, but I accept the fact that my Klout score is meaningless. You should too. I’ll justify my claim below. The main point, though, is that taking your your Klout score seriously is a waste of time.
Apparently I am not the first person to feel that a Klout score is meaningless. Than you Google Instant for validating my feelings.
Before I go any further, you should know that I like the concept of Klout. It’s a really smart idea. I think Klout is a smart, memorable name. I think Klout has a good looking logo. But the score Klout generates to measure your ‘influence’ means nothing.
Klout: Give A Lot, Get A Fish Sandwich
There was about a three week window of time that I decided to take Klout seriously. I downloaded the app on my iPhone and began caring about raising my Klout score. The key to making your Klout score go up, I found, was activity. As you’ll see, if you care about your score, Klout can easily take over your life.
To keep his score up, Lee tweets up to 45 times a day—an average of one every 32 minutes. [...] Lee once took a vacation during which he had no access to the Internet. This made him uncomfortable. “I was worried that brands couldn’t get in touch with me. It’s easy for them to forget about you. And I knew my Klout score would go down if I stopped tweeting for too long.” (Wired)
At the height of my Klout usage, my score was 62. No big deal. I came to the conclusion Klout was a waste of my time when I received my first ‘Klout’ perk. It was for a McDonalds fish sandwich. I wasn’t the only one disappointed / grossed-out.
The Klout Score Doesn’t Accurately Measure Influence
The real issue with Klout is that the score does not truly indicate one’s influence online.
I began using the social analytics tool CrowdBooster a while back, and like most social media tools, I forget about them. I made an point one day to check my CrowdBooster, and when I did, I saw something that proves that the Klout score is not an accurate representation of influence.
The influential Twitter user they wanted to me follow is proudly a member of Team Follow Back. If you’re familiar with Twitter then you know people that represent #TeamFollowBack is one of the corniest things someone can do on Twitter. These folks may aquire thousands of followers, but they have little influence.
(Remember, people are following them only so that they get followed back and mutually pad eachothers follower counts to create the impression of popularity. in their profiles and tweets when they are desperate for followers. It’s the equivalent of saying, “hey guys, follow me and I’ll follow you back so follow me, okay?!…you guys are gonna follow me right?!”)
I have always said that having 5 followers on Twitter who want to follow you is better than having 5,000 followers who are following you for other reasons — let’s say because of #TeamFollowBack.
I didn’t write this blog post to be controversial or insult the folks over at Klout. As I mentioned, I think there’s a lot of ‘good’ in Klout, but my experiences have shown me that it needs some tweaking before I can take their claim of being the ‘standard of influence online’ seriously.
Maybe I’ll dedicate a future post to writing some ideas on how Klout could improve?