KLOUT: Viable or Venomous
The jury seems to still be out on Klout as many social media gurus, marketers, and employees have varied opinions on its validity. But what happens when Klout directly affects your social media strategy and should it?
I am pretty certain that Sam Fiorella was not a big fan of Klout last Spring when he was recruited for a VP position for a large marketing firm in Toronto. Fiorella had over 15 years experience consulting for large brands like Ford, Kraft, and AOL on his resume, but was caught off guard when his interviewer asked him about his Klout score. He then hesitated to answer the question and ultimately confessed that he did not know his Klout score.
Th interviewer then pulled up Klout.com and found that Sam's Klout Score was 34. A Klout score is based on a users' online influence on a scale of 1-100. The interviewer then cut the interview short and ultimately Fiorella did not get the position as it was given to a guy with a Klout score of 67.
This has been a pretty well documented story over the last year and poses the question of the validity of a Klout score and should the corporate world being using it as the Social Media Bar?
The rub is that you can easily manipulate and improve your score on Klout without providing valuable content to your online communities. Sam was able to improve his Klout score from 34 to 72 in six months.
Over the last two weeks I have been on a mission to figure out to improve my personal Klout score to see how easy it is to improve. I started the last week of May with a Klout score of 41 and today stand at 52.
How did I improve it over the last couple of weeks you ask?
This is a very simple answer that leads me to not have too much confidence in Klout. All I did was add my Foursquare and Google+ accounts to my Klout profile and start leaving "Tips" on Foursquare. Nothing else changed as my average number of daily ReTweets on Twitter and Shares and Comments on Facebook have remained virtually unchanged.
I asked a couple of social experts how to improve my score and they gave me the idea of leaving tips when I checked in at locations on Foursquare. Klout views this as providing valuable content to the social media channel regardless of what the tip is or how often it is read. I personally don't find this very authentic, but it is what it is.
It's Your Turn
So, I left 27 Foursqaure tips over the last few weeks and saw my score rise from 41-52. Is this the right way for your social media viability to be measured? We would love to hear your thoughts below.