99.9% of all clients haven’t even heard of Klout scores, let alone use them as a critical deciding factor for hiring fusedlogic as their digital strategist. Are they missing anything? Yes, in my opinion more meaningless numbers that can be manufactured by gaming social media platforms. White noise on multiple platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, Google +, Linkedin, YouTube can lead to false Klout score and the perception someone has more influence than they truly do out in the world.
What clients should understand about Klout is what fuels it, and how people game the system, including Klout itself. Here’s an interesting article called “Don’t Fall for this Sneaky Klout Trick…” on Klout scores by Anthony Wing Kosner on Forbes.com. Another dose of reality, “5 Reasons You Shouldn’t Care About Your Klout Score” by Erik Kain also on Forbes.
So why are Klout scores a form of hallucinogenic drug for so many?
They feed ego, especially when the number goes up of course. This is further justified (predominately in the US) by the fact that the Klout heavy weight would suggest that they could be hired because of their high Klout score. If a company hires someone because of a Klout score generated based on a high volume of low value engagement, it sets the wrong precedent. Klout is trying to combat this by reducing your score if you associate with this type of social media communicator. That said, they also rank spambots which is problematic when considering its value.
In my opinion this provides for further propagation of bullshit numbers manufactured to appear like influence.
Let’s ask ourselves about the purpose of this infographic released today by Hill and Knowlton.
Make a list about politicians and journalists on Twitter, and hope to get some brand recognition as a result by pumping up their egos for today. Watch to see if it’s a slow news day and generates media play. If so, it was time well spent, Klout scores would have directly contributed to media coverage for this brand and that has value.
And what about free Klout Perks? PCWorld.com Brad Chacos asks, “Do Klout Perks carry any real world weight?” There is some evidence of free products exchanging hands from major brands but there isn’t evidence that Klout Perks has achieved the kind of consistency of repeat business that would suggest real lasting results for major brands.
Ultimately, I find it a stretch to connect Klout scores to real world boardroom influence. For the vast majority of people, a Klout score will not make them any more money or increase career success beyond some possible bragging rights with little meaning.
Do you think more or less positively of any one of the politicians on this list? What about the journalists? Is Paula Simons more influential in your mind then she was before being listed on this image? As a side note, Dave Cournoyer is a great political blogger but would be the first to state he’s not a professional journalist…
I suppose if Klout eliminated from their algorithm any activity generated by me on my accounts, and left it entirely up to others to dictate my “clout”, I would start to feel differently about all of this. That said, an argument could be made that tracking my efforts can be directly connected to the outcomes.
Kind of like Edmonton calling itself “world class”, versus others praising our fine city.
What about you, has your Klout score helped you get a great job, free stuff, media attention or nothing more than another profile to maintain…