For those of you that don’t know, Klout is a way of measuring digital influence through social networking platforms. I’ll admit that I was fully engrossed in checking my score compulsively when I first discovered it and was more elated than a kid on Christmas when my score broke a certain number. Granted, it’s still a modest score, but I feel good about it. Or I did until I really sat down and really thought about it.
Please note that, while I write this, I’m sure my Klout score is depreciating in value. Soon I’ll be back to a lowly ten.
Klout and clout are really two different things. Klout is a score of 1-100, measured by how well you engage in the way Klout wants you to. Clout is how much influence you actually have from delivering informative, timely, engaging content. Influence can’t really be judged by an online service so much as the people you are, in fact, influencing.
So you may ask: why bother using Klout at all?
I’ll be the first to admit it – I’m a competitive person. An in-it-to-win-it thrill seeker. I also love incentives. Klout offers all of that – ways to compare your scores to your friends, family, and colleagues, as well as incentives called “perks.” It seems like a great way to get everyone in on the fun.
What are the downfalls? Well, I’m still waiting for my Lipton Tea “perk” and I’m still baffled as to why I can’t break my current score to even just one higher. Most importantly, don’t even get me started on the fact that Justin Bieber is the only person with a perfect 100 Klout score to my knowledge. Even more than all of that, though, is that sometimes (especially for the competitive like myself) Klout can become time-consuming when it’s not even the best measurement of influence. After all, to increase your score and get these perks, Klout measures your influence by how well you carry out the tasks and post the sort of things they want you to.
How do I recommend measuring your true reach? Look at your actual social media platforms and ask yourself: how many discussions have I started or become involved in? Am I bringing something to the table with my posts?
I’m not saying, by any means that I’m an expert in perfecting ones reach through digital means. But as someone who’s spent quite a bit of time clicking around Klout – don’t make the perfect 100 your goal to aspire to (unless it’s really important that you join the same ranks as the Biebs). Care to disagree? Tweet me @msamandarush and we’ll hash (tag) it out.