What is Klout? I was asked this recently. Anyone with a social media account has a score given to them by the website klout.com. Their score measures the extent of their social media footprint.
It’s a fairly arbitrary number assigned by Klout, but does have a LOOSE basis in reality.
To prove my point, I was recently assigned to work on our non-profit account for an event taking place in March. @PortlandGlobal had ZERO social media action for a month. Their Klout score was 14. Now understand that they average social media score of a regular person is around 40. A score of 14 suggests that they have accounts, but have spent the last 30 days on the beach without Instagram’ing pictures of their legs and mojitos.
As soon as I signed the non-profit up for Klout and linked all the accounts together through the website, the score jumped to 39.
Mind you, I still hadn’t posted.
Everything that I have written up unto this point would be proof that the system is flawed and ruled out all reason to use it – but is that really the case? What are the plus sides of this coin?
While I’ve already established that the actual score is flawed, however after you link the accounts up, your score stays pretty even, focusing more on your actual activity and showing how your engagement pans across the networks. It’s easy to look at the 50 likes on your Facebook post and believe that that’s where the bulk of your score comes out.
Looking at the pie chart Klout provides I can see that the relationships I have cultivated across the 3 networks this account is tied to pretty equal with regards to impact on my score. This chart has helped me either funnel efforts into another network, or get a broader picture of what I am actually doing.
I know there are other companies offering a way to score social media efforts and while they may have a more authentic way of generating the score, it’s the commonality of Klout that keep me coming back. Looking up a score for a marketing job applicant? Klout is integrated into HootSuite.
This big picture I would argue is what makes Klout useful.
Another bonus to Klout watching your change over time. Onward and upward. I personally, log my score weekly and attempt to improve on it every week.
Regardless of the discrepancy in scores the fact remains, a Klout score of 14 is embarrassing, and anything in the 70’s is admirable.