A High Klout Score is Almost Useless
Smart marketers know that vanity metrics are generally pretty useless, and one of the most limited measures is the Klout score. Worst of all, some people treat the metric like a real indicator of a person's importance of the world. I refuse to live by a system that ranks Justin Bieber above Barack Obama, but I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a little obsessed. There are dozens of reasons why Klout is stupid, and we've compiled the top 7 here:
1. Klout Measures, Well Klout.
Your Klout score really isn't a measure of anything other than how good you are at the metrics Klout takes a look at. The only part of the universe where a retweets by a Twitter celebrity count for more than winning the Nobel Peace prize is Klout, and the extreme limits of this metric are definitely the top reason why Klout is stupid.
2. The System is Full of Holes
Nothing good in life should come easily, but the Klout system is famously simple to game to up your score. IMA President Bill Faeth famously increased his Klout score by 11 points in 2 weeks just by leaving 27 tips on Foursquare. There is no such thing as guaranteed SEO results or one-day marathon training, and the fact you can so easily increase your Klout is stupid.
3. It Mistakes Mentions for Influence
It's easy to understand that talking about a topic is a lot different that actually establishing thought leadership. I follow a humorous lifestyle blogger with a strictly omnivorous diet, and Klout considers her an influencer in the field of veganism because she's mentioned it on social media. I hope to never live in a world where just using terms on social media gives you real influence, and the severe limits of the influence metric are another reason why Klout is stupid.
4. It Ignores Pinterest
Social media marketers can't afford to ignore the explosive presence of Pinterest, so why should Klout? Pinterest is now the 3rd most popular social media network worldwide, and some of the top users of the female-dominated network actually have influence on style trends worldwide. Klout hasn't adopted Pinterest followers, repins or comments as a metric, even though they really can measure the influence of both business and personal users of the network. Ignoring an entire social media giant is one reason why Klout is stupid.
5. Industries Aren't Considered
The Klout score is consistent across all industries, regardless of a person's occupation or field. People in "boring" or small industries are at an extreme disadvantage for getting an honest read out of their Klout score. It's a fact that not all industries are created equal, which is why there is no such thing as a one-size fits all social media strategy. This failure to separate professionals by industry and designating a more accurate score is why Klout is stupid.
6. Some Employers Care
Being secretly obsessed with your Klout score is one thing. We've all sucuumbed to dreams of creating viral content or becoming an Internet celebrity at one point or another. Actually making hiring decisions based off a person's Klout score is entirely another. Unless they position posted is for a Klout score strategist, the fact some smart people think you can actually measure reach and influence with Klout is stupid.
7. Robots Are More Influential than Warren Buffet
The thought that Robots could have more influence over society is the final reason why Klout is stupid. Warren Buffet has a Klout score in the 30s, which is considered that of a casual networker. Adrian Pelzer ran an experiment in which some bots were able to earn a Klout score of 50 in less than three months, simply by having them tweet humorous quotations at consistent intervals.
It's a fact that a high Klout score is almost useless. Small businesses can track the overall health of their social media reach by periodically checking their Klout score, but building your entire inbound marketing plan around increasing Klout is stupid. Treat this measure as metric of limited value, and stop trying so hard to be retweeted by Justin Bieber.
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