Is the Only Purpose of Having a High Klout Score for Vanity?

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It’s been some time since I have written about Klout, and there still seems to be a lot of misunderstandings about it even after it being around for a while now. I want to take this opportunity to address it. Last year I had written a heated blog post called What you Must Know About Klout because so many people were hurling judgments towards it without knowing much about it, and I wanted to take that time to bust those judgments. Unfortunately not much has changed, and the fact that Klout has had faced many challenges last year did not help matters.

One major criticism towards Klout I have heard lately from a lot of people is that they believe that the only purpose of a Klout score is for vanity. The fact of the matter is, no it is not. Not at all.

Klout is a tool that measures your engagement, interaction based on content you share on various networks, as well as some offline factors as well such as having a Wikipedia page. Based on these factors, you are given a score from 0-100, as 40 is the average score, and 5% of users have a score of 63 and above. And I can reassure you that the majority of those who have a high Klout score are not attempting to win a popularity contest. They are just very resourceful, highly engaging, and receive a lot of reception from their networks because they share good and compelling content on a consistent basis. Because of that, they will end up with very high Klout scores, without intending to do so a lot of the time. However, many that do remain consistent on social media are attempting to increase or maintain a high Klout score only because they know of the benefits that come with it (which has nothing to do with vanity by the way).

Because the Klout score is being looked at more, examples being entrepreneurs having high scores are invited to do speaking engagements; job seekers who have high scores have a better chance of being hired than someone with the same experience who has no or a very low score (given that having knowledge of some social media is expected in most fields nowadays); better customer service, and receiving free upgrades on other perks- it is a firm indicator that having a social media presence is crucial. Especially once again when it comes to the majority of industries. And by knowing this, who can blame people for wanting to increase their scores? Especially since they are aware that they are being checked out. Again, this has nothing to do with vanity, it all has to do with the fact that in most cases people are expected to be consistently active on social media.

Unfortunately, there are still plenty of people out there who attempt to increase their Klout scores for the sake of vanity. They are not the ones who share meaningful content. They frequently share irrelevant content that will generate a lot of likes and comments, or retweets. They will share pictures on Facebook at least 3 times a day tagging 100 or more people just to get reception for the sake of blowing up their Klout scores. I want you listen to me loud and clear. People who do this are doing everything they can to game their social media activities in order to have high scores so they can inflate their egos! This is not Klout’s fault by any means. Again, Klout is a tool – and remember that a tool can be used properly or misused. When it is misused, is it logical to blame the tool itself? I would think not.

Klout is not quite at a point yet where it is scoring based on the type of content shared alone. If there is a lot of engagement that comes with it, then the score will increase. I imagine that eventually it will get to that point,and they have worked on squashing blatant gaming for the most part other than that. And like any tool, glitches will happen and Klout has had many moments of glitches and challenges. Therefore it will not be 100% accurate, and really what is? It is however accurate enough to indicate whether or not you have a strong social media presence, and if you are interactive with your network.

And yes, even though it is important to have a high score for the purpose of it being an attention grabber (your competitor could have been given that opportunity to speak at an event who had a higher Klout score than you did), it is more important to achieve it the right way. And we are not talking about just throwing random content on your networks for the sake of getting engagement. Now there is nothing wrong with tagging a few of your interactive friends even once a day if you want to send a message of encouragement so they can see it. And there is also nothing wrong with sharing a little bit of irrelevant content here and there. In fact, you are encouraged to do so at times because it shows you are real! However, most of the time you will want to share compelling content that is relevant to your niche through out your networks. And you need to do it consistently. That is how you will grow your tribe, get real interaction, and be sure to engage with them as well- and that ultimately will give you a strong social media presence and you are spreading your influence this way- and yes, your Klout score will inevitably go up because the score is meant to measure a strong presence. People just need to know how to do it the right way.

Klout is not meant to be misused, and unfortunately many times it is. And when that happens, those who are abusing the tool are the ones who are using Klout for vanity– it’s not Klout itself doing that!

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Written by Miriam

Miriam

Miriam Slozberg is an author, social media consultant and depression advocate. Connect with her on Google+, Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

15 Responses to Is the Only Purpose of Having a High Klout Score for Vanity?

  1. Andrew Grill January 8, 2014 at 1:47 am #

    Miriam, good post.

    Most recently I was CEO of Kred (Klout’s major competitor) so I am somewhat familiar with the issues you raise here.

    I blogged some time ago about the Myopia of Klout and Kred scores at http://lc.tl/myopia

    The issue of people gaming Klout and social media follower/fans scores is becoming an issue because clients are not looking beyond the score, but are hiring and engaging based on the perceived influence via these scores.

    The fact you can also game best-seller book lists, this shows that almost anything can be manipulated.

    Seeing “best seller” on a person’s social bio when you know they have used techniques discussed at http://lc.tl/fakefans to inflate their book sales and get on a best-seller list makes me angry.

    They know that having a best-seller book gets them on the speaking circuit and in the main this is going unchecked.

    We as an industry need to educate our clients to look beyond the score and see WHERE (and why) a parson has influence.

    Regards,
    Andrew Grill
    Former CEO, Kred
    @AndrewGrill

    • Miriam January 8, 2014 at 2:02 am #

      Thanks so much for your input Andrew. And yes, people need to understand that the only purpose of the score is the attention grabbing aspect, what is underneath is what is the most important, how you engage and what you put out. Those who are attempting to game scores, need to stop and realize they are only hurting themselves. Like I said in previous posts too, unfortunately anything in life can be gamed.. and you bringing up someone claiming to have a book that is a “best seller” is a great example. Thanks again for your input and be well.

  2. Andrew Grill January 8, 2014 at 2:07 am #

    I wish the Klout gamers actually cared about what they are doing – but they are getting away with it and aren’t being held accountable.

    Time for more in the industry to raise this as an issue with clients.

    I still have people audibly gasp at conferences when I explain that fans, followers, likes and best seller lists can be gamed.

    • Miriam January 8, 2014 at 2:09 am #

      I agree Andrew, I would love to chat sometime 🙂

  3. Andrew Grill January 8, 2014 at 2:13 am #

    Likewise. I am very social – ping me via http://grill.im and see where I am speaking in the US in the 1st quarter of this year at http://social.bz/2014 – we might cross paths.

    • Miriam January 8, 2014 at 2:15 am #

      Thanks, I will definitely keep tabs! Be well and thanks again for your input!

  4. Carly Alyssa Thorne January 8, 2014 at 2:25 am #

    Completely agree with You both.. Truly sad that people don’t get it… Gaming is beyond hurtful to one’s reputation and people find out anyways so why do it… Great post and great input Andrew…

    • Miriam January 8, 2014 at 2:26 am #

      Thanks Carly, so true!

  5. Fred Mcmurray January 8, 2014 at 4:09 pm #

    Great post. I’ve long believed that getting people to engage was more important that a numeric rating.

    • Miriam January 14, 2014 at 1:19 am #

      Thanks for the comment Fred and very true.

  6. scott glaze January 8, 2014 at 7:38 pm #

    Great post!

    • Miriam January 14, 2014 at 1:19 am #

      Thanks!

  7. Tereza January 8, 2014 at 9:59 pm #

    No need to use Klout for vanity. I’m sure many users check their Klout score daily, but I’m glad I’m not among them. I occasionally check my score, but I’m not hanging by my keyboard for any rise/drop!

    • Miriam January 14, 2014 at 1:19 am #

      Yes, it is a great accountability tool as well. Being interactive and engaging is crucial.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Your Klout Score is Checked More Often Than you Realize | Miriam Slozberg - March 19, 2014

    […] it, your Klout score will be high. That is not hard to do. However, you don’t want to just share random and meaningless content to only game your score up. You want to share good quality content that is mostly niche related (it does not all have to be, […]

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