One of the stories that really hit home with me was how a boy managed to get a Klout score and profile when he never allowed access to any of his accounts. Shockingly you can even click to see his Facebook account. As a mother and someone who is very prolific on all the social media networks I would be furious about this!
It was reported that he wrote on her wall (which was public). So does that mean Klout accessed his details? Whether this is a one off example, a glitch or not, I don’t know. But it’s clearly not good and if Klout itself wants to have a good score they need to sort this out and quickly.
But what is Klout? Klout is said to measure your social influence based on your ability to drive action.
After signing up, you are given a Klout score. The higher the score the bigger your social influence. So, if you are very active across different social media networks, your influence will be high, leading to a high Klout score. Klout measures your social influence across Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Foursquare, and YouTube. Your score could range from 1-100. Klout groups your score into 3 metrics: Network Influence, Amplification Probability and True Reach.
Your Klout score isn’t based on how many followers or friends you have.
Rather it considers the number of re-tweets, messages, likes, comments or shares you have. Klout isn’t just interested in how many mentioners, re-tweeters, likers, commenters and recommenders you have, it’s also interested in how influential they are.
Klout is often seen as a way to measure your success in the social media arena. Certainly, Klout is currently the most dominant tool to measure your online reputation. Whether you like it or not, Klout does seem to be influential. Many are anxious to increase their Klout scores and panic when they go down. However, not everyone is a fan. As many are beginning to realize the limitations of Klout, there has been heavy criticism of this tool.
Many don’t see Klout as a valid measure and give little attention to their score and believe that others do not care either. The arguments seem to be divided between pro-Klout high-scorers and anti-Klout low scorers. But who is right? More importantly, should you be using Klout? Let’s weigh up the pros and cons…
Klout is simple. It conveys a lot of information very quickly.
Klout gives an immediate and clear indication of a person’s engagement and influence on the net. One score gives you a quick snapshot of how you and others are doing online. Likewise, it also gives others an idea of how they and you are doing online. Whilst it’s not completely accurate, it does give you an indication. Klout is a useful tool to keep a watch on your online influence and it can help you learn more about your how you use social media. Whilst it’s not completely accurate, it does give you some indications of areas that you need to work on. Trying to improve/ maintain your score can be a good motivator to keep your efforts up.
But it’s not all good. There are limitations of Klout and negative implications that arise from this.
Consider some of the questions.
- Is it really possible that a single score can truly reflect everything about your online influence? Perhaps not. Surely your success on the net is more complex than that.
- Furthermore, the metrics used are arguably flawed. Surely follower counts are a good metric? But Klout doesn’t take them into account.
Moreover, the narrow range of metrics often leads to skewed scores. Often the scores don’t add up to what you would expect. Frequently the results don’t make much sense. This problem is compounded by the fact that your Klout score is improved if you mix with others that have high Klout scores.
For that reason, perhaps it’s time to get back to basics.
Surely, intuition and common sense are better judges of your influence than some narrow score. It seems you cannot afford to remove the human element from your measurements. Whilst Klout is fine for getting an initial feel for a person, it cannot replace human intuition.
- Should a single score really determine your fate online?
- Is it right that we should be judging people on a single score?
Certainly there are negative implications. People might be sidelined or discriminated against due to a misleading score that is not a true reflection of their actual influence. If the score is misleading, we could make bad decisions against others based on this score. Our own online reputation may be potentially hindered by a narrow misleading score.
How can a single score apply to everyone?
I don’t think it can. If you are in a very niche market I would be very wary over using Klout.
Klout’s recent actions have angered a lot of people. Klout changed their algorithm which caused millions of peoples Klout scores to be lowered. But to be fair to Klout they are trying to improve. They are making efforts to integrate more services into their system. They are also trying to become more transparent helping users to work out how they can improve their overall social media Klout.
Overall, whilst Klout acts as a useful guide, its crude measures means it should be used with caution. Klout is not for everyone – Whilst it is liked by some, its loathed by others. I guess the only way to know is to try it for yourself.
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