There’s a lot of buzz about lately about Klout and Klout scores.
One thing that folks struggle with in social media is trying to determine who they’re actually reaching. (We’ve written about this as it applies to businesses and ROI here, here and here.) Klout is a site which promises “measurement for your overall online influence”. We’ve looked into it because… well, that’s what we do. And to be honest, we remain unconvinced.
Why? Well, in simplest terms, Klout can be scammed.
As Niall Harbison writes at Business Insider:
Gaming Klout couldn’t be easier and there are even plenty of people writing blog posts about it already. I’m sure Klout will get better over time but at the end of the day it is a number and numbers can always be gamed.
Elijah Young at Social Media Examiner says much the same:
Don’t look now, but Klout can totally be gamed to get a high score. For as hard as they worked to make the system, it’s pretty easy to break.
So we haven’t been leading you towards Klout because, although we all want to know the numbers, such knowledge is useless if it’s inaccurate. (And we can say from experience that some scores we’ve seen on Klout for familiar accounts are far enough from reality to be almost funny.)
So why bring it up?
Because some of your customers are using Klout. And, as we keep telling you, customer engagement is what it’s all about. (Also, because Mashable reports that Involver has figured out a way to link Klout scoring with Facebook for marketing purposes, which may signal the beginning of a new social media trend.)
So if you’ve been hearing the buzz yourself and wondering if Klout is something your business needs, we’d have to say… Meh. Something so easy to “game” just isn’t reliable as a business tool.
BUT, if the trend does continue and you can add Klout into your social media program for your customers’ fun and enjoyment (read: to engage them!) it could turn out to be worthwhile.
We’ll keep an eye on it (because that’s what we do) and keep you posted.