We’ve had a bit of a competition in the office over Klout scores since I don’t know when. It’s one of those strange phenomenon when groups of people get together & start to compete without any real point or actual incentive to win. So when our latest summer intern, Tom Hargreaves, wrote this article explaining his thoughts on why Klout is an important part of our lives I thought I’d share…
What I love about Klout
- It is one massive game. The competitive nature makes it completely addictive as you strive for more points. This is accentuated by the fact that you don’t how the score is created, adding an element of mystery.
- It offers brands and marketers an opportunity to identify and target influencers. Though this is not foolproof, it does allow speedy identification of those who are at least vaguely active in social spaces.
- The free swag that could be just round the corner. Klout Perks offer excitement. If you are considered influential in a specific sector you may receive free stuff from the likes of Audi, Virgin Atlantic or Sony. (I may be starting a campaign based on my love of Playstations in the near future).
- It seems to be evolving rapidly. In the last two weeks FourSquare, YouTube, Tumblr, Instagram, Flickr, Blogger and Last.FM have been added.
Where it fails
- Klout is essentially a score of how effectively you get the content you create and link-to on Twitter retweeted, replied to, read and ‘favourited’ and is thus quite easy to game.
- Klout is poor at recognising a person’s influential areas. Our own Andy Wood is apparently influential on hurricanes. Therefore if I was the Met Office using Klout to identify a meteorologist with a passion for hurricanes, I may be a little disappointed with Mr Wood….
- The score itself is a little ambiguous. Take Justin Beiber’s perfect 100 score. Does it mean that he’s completely influential to everyone that follows him? By the same token does my score of 41 give me nearly half the influence of the pint sized Twitter monster?
How should we view it?
When all is said and done, social media is just one section of a person’sinfluence. We influence through connections, at meetings and through reputation, all of which are conducted offline. Spending hours on Twitter chasing Klout may come at the expense of these other channels and lead to those with huge Klout scores having little real-world influence. Therefore we should view Klout as what it is. A number indicating a person’s level of activity in certain social spaces not their level of influence. As individuals we should concentrate on creating content and conversations that we are passionate about and through that we will all gain ‘true influence.