What you Must Know About Klout

It is that time for me to write another post about Klout, which I have not done in a while. Be prepared as this is going to be a very heated one. Over the last few days especially, I have read up on so many people trashing Klout endlessly. My eyes are still so tired and sore from all of that rolling. That is all I can say. Actually not really. I have plenty to say.

It is time for me to bust those ignorant judgmental beliefs about Klout that many people have marked it with once and for all. But before I get into it, the first thing I am going to say to those who just want to continue to judge Klout with the intention of keeping a closed mind, just quit social media all together- unless you want to have Facebook and Twitter page to just interact with your friends occasionally and that is it. In that case, you will be right. Klout would not have to be an issue to you.

Yes that is right. Just quit social media for any other purpose. What will that do to your career? No worries. Just go into a job where social media is not needed. There are plenty of them out there. You can be a janitor, factory worker, a data entry worker, etc. This way, you can forget about social media and Klout all together. Hey those kinds of jobs can pay you quite decently but I am sensing that the idea of doing that does not appeal to you?

It is Time to Accept Klout Because it is Not Going Anywhere

Well I hate to break it to you folks but unless you are not professionally dealing with the public, in most professions, utilizing social media properly is a must! And it will become even more crucial as time goes by. And what you do online is being measured and monitored. What you do online affects your offline world. Yes, it has come to that and I know this makes a lot of people resentful but it is a reality. This is the biggest reason that so many people dislike Klout, and add to the fact that Klout went through so many growing pains and made plenty of mistakes along the way. It is no wonder these haters find it so easy to pick on Klout due to those weak moments that it had.

These haters do not even want to accept the fact that Klout has come a long way since it was established, and it will keep improving all of the time.

Anyway, I am going to list the spiteful and ignorant remarks about Klout that I keep reading. Then I will share the facts about it.

Remark #1- Klout is stupid, useless and irrelevant.
I don’t know about you, but I feel so much anger and resentment around this statement. Not to mention it is a vague one. So explain, how is it stupid, useless and how is it irrelevant? Klout is a tool that is measuring your online social media engagement which once again I am going to say, is very important these days. What about this fact upsets you so much?

Remark #2 – Klout is inaccurate.
Sure, perhaps it is. In fact you cannot measure everything that is done online. If your posts that you put out on your networks are shared privately, then Klout will not necessarily pick those up either. But let me enlighten you. Nothing in this world is 100% accurate, so why pick on Klout? Is your credit score 100% accurate? Not likely. But Klout is accurate enough to indicate whether people are responding to what you put out or not. It is accurate enough to show whether you are engaging in your networks or not. So it may not give you an exact number but it is still a good guideline. That no one can deny.

Remark #3- Klout can be gamed. So can anything in life by the way. And yes, when Klout was just starting out, it was extremely easy to manipulate your score. Do you also remember back in the day it was also very easy to manipulate SEO? You can’t do that so easily now. And guess what! The same goes for Klout! That is right! Black hat tactics will never get you far whether you are using it for Klout or SEO or anything for that matter. I had a Paper.li post go out a few weeks back and I got thousands of genuine retweets for it. I am still baffled as to why because I am not so sure what was so special about it but it went viral. My score went up by a quarter of a point as a result. My score even goes up if I even get 20 retweets but not by nearly as much. I actually decided to do an experiment to test out how easily Klout can really be gamed. I bought a Fiverr gig where I would have something of mine retweeted 300+ times. I took a chance just to try it out as I was curious to see what it would do. I saw who retweeted it and these were from very low level accounts. And guess what! My score did not change after that. It did not drop but it did not increase either. This tells me right there that it knows what kind of engagement is real and what isn’t. Sure, the Klout score can still be somewhat manipulated by tagging endlessly but I don’t think nearly as much as it used to be. So can you easily game your Klout score? Not nearly as easily as you could back in the day. And if the score is manipulated by endless tagging, it does not last. And I predict that in time, you will not be able to manipulate your Klout score at all- just like you can no longer game Google.

Remark #4 – All Klout is good for is boosting your ego. And how do you know that is Klout’s ultimate purpose? I am going to remind you again that Klout is just a measuring tool, not an ego booster. You are the one who is responsible for what you use Klout for. If you want to boost up your score just to inflate your ego, then that is your problem- not Klout’s. All Klout is meant to do is measure your social engagement activity. It is not there to measure your worth, authority or anything else. If you throw this kind of silly judgement at Klout, then you better start digging deep to find out why your self esteem is so low.

Remark #5 – Klout is not transparent enough. That used to be the case. Why do you think that Klout went through a huge transformation last summer? Part of that reason was to improve its transparency. You are thinking of the old Klout when it was still starting out. It is time to let go of that because it has evolved a lot, especially over the past year. Therefore, Klout is a lot more transparent than it used to be and you can see what posts you created that received any kind of engagement.

Remark #6 – Your Klout score would go up if you kept posting dumb pictures all the time and got likes for it. Well again, if the engagement is genuine then you are right. It will go up regardless of what you put out. But again, you are responsible for what you put out in your social networks and who you interact with. And remember, I never once said that Klout measures any kind of authority. Just public social activity and the responses you receive from it. However, interestingly enough, I have never seen someone who puts out silly stuff all of the time on their networks even with engagement with really high scores either. Perhaps their scores may be above average but nothing that I would say is particularly high.

If you are a professional dealing with the public, it is recommended to have a high Klout score because whether you like it or not, people are looking at it! But don’t build up that score by posting nonsense all of the time. It is fine to throw something silly out there at times but your Klout score is not only being looked at. Your posts are what people see! So if you have a high score along with being known to post anything that is relevant and informative that revolve around your interests and niches, then that is where the online influence is!

I am sure there are plenty more remarks that I could throw around but I hope by now you are getting my point. Klout is neutral here. A lot of people hate it because again, they cannot stand the fact that they are given a score for what they do in their social networks. Therefore it is easy to pick on and chastise any fault it may have or once had! Well, since you know how prevalent social media is, it is silly to believe that your activity would never be monitored. And what you do with Klout is your problem. You could either continue to hate it and quit social media all together- or accept the fact that it is not going anywhere and learn to work with it and make the best of your social media engagement. The choice is yours. Either way, quit judging it.

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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.

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25 Responses to What you Must Know About Klout

  1. meg tucker January 15, 2013 at 7:44 pm #

    Thankk you SO much for taking the time to write this article. I feel the exact same way 🙂

  2. Ashley January 16, 2013 at 5:30 am #

    Miriam this article is awesome. It is about time that people left Klout alone. Thanks for being their voice.

  3. Justine January 17, 2013 at 2:27 am #

    Right on! Klout rocks and so many people just don’t wanna believe it. Even those who have high scores whine about it. Can’t figure that one out.

  4. Craig January 17, 2013 at 1:57 pm #

    You could not have said this any better. Many thanks.

  5. Pamela Ward January 19, 2013 at 7:22 pm #

    Hi, thank you for putting that out, it was very enlightening. I made a decision right before I got on my iPad to delete all of my accounts, due to the fact there’s so much I can’t do on a mobile device:( I really didn’t want to do this. I’ve met some wonderful people through klout, and realize I would miss them. I am not a professional in any way, except with animal care, I run a no kill shelter for animals from my home.
    I just feel like I’m not being fair when I can’t return Ks to the people I owe. My iPad is a 1st edition so I can only see 10 topics at any time, of course they shift during the day. I try to seek out new people everyday to interact with, but I’m afraid I will let them down. I’ve missed a couple of perks ( the headphones) that I really wanted, because of my computer problems.
    After reading your newsletter I’m going to give it a little more time. I do not think it’s stupid as a lot of my non-klout friends do. I’ve been offline for 2 days because I lost my glasses, lol. I’m always losing stuff! I just thought of a good thing they can write on my gravestone. Pamela Ward. She may be in the is grave or not, she never could find herself! I’ve shared this newsletter, hopefully other members will read it and feel better about Klout.
    Thank you for the opportunity to meet the people I have met through Klout!
    Sincerely
    Pamela Ward.

    • Miriam January 19, 2013 at 8:40 pm #

      Thanks Pamela, being mobile friendly sure would help and yes, Klout is an awesome place to connect with people too! Glad to see you are here 🙂

  6. Culligan January 21, 2013 at 9:43 pm #

    Well said. I tweeted it out.

  7. Lou January 21, 2013 at 10:06 pm #

    Thank you for speaking your voice and I agree with some of what you have said. However, I am still not fond of Klout. Can you explain to me why true social media gurus like Mari Smith who receive plenty of interaction has a score of 72, and there are joeblows that are less interactive and somehow they manage to have scores that are even higher than yours?

    • Miriam January 22, 2013 at 4:32 am #

      Thanks for your input Lou. You may want to refer back to remark #2. I realize that Klout may not be 100% accurate, and there could be reasons that Mari Smith has a score of 72 as opposed to say a 79. Maybe her networks are not hooked up correctly as once in a while links need to be reset for it to gather all of the data, especially with FB and G+. If she does not go into her Klout dashboard often then she will not realize that. But even a score of 72 is still quite elite. Anything over 63 is considered elite so her score maybe lower than you would think it should be… but it is not that far off. As far as those who have higher scores than me who contribute nothing, I would love to see these accounts. Feel free to email me these accounts so I can take a look and let you know my take on that. I have to admit I have a hard time believing that, not that I am saying you are wrong but… I would like to see it. I have to say I have not seen anyone who has a score higher than mine that is not heavily influential in some way or another. So now I am very curious.

  8. Dona Chakraborty January 22, 2013 at 4:23 am #

    Fantastic Post Miriam. I like it.

  9. Sylvia January 22, 2013 at 5:34 am #

    Hi Miriam,
    Thanks for all the great points. Absolutely agree with you. No one likes to be judged but we live in the real world where we are judged from the way our hair looks to our scores. I find Klout a great reminder to get engaged when life gets busy. Probably not “exactly” what it is meant for but when I get that little alert my score has gone down a bit…I know I have been setting aside social interaction a couple days to long.

    • Miriam January 23, 2013 at 5:43 am #

      Thanks Sylvia, and you are right. Klout is a good accountability tool because if it goes down, and the issue is not on their end (which sometimes it is and that is annoying), then you know that you need to get active again on your networks.

  10. Paul January 24, 2013 at 12:52 am #

    Great post. You said it well.

  11. KJ January 24, 2013 at 11:48 pm #

    Like you, I see their purpose and I think it is a great one. But they are filled with too many bugs right now.

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