I stopped checking my Klout score/profile about a year ago because I simply can’t understand how the score is calculated. Plus, my score seems to always stay in a range of 74-78 when I do check it, so I stopped looking. I got an email from Klout about a week ago telling me that my score had just gone up, so of course I clicked to check it. It seems my score had been 74, but had suddenly jumped up to 78. No explanation why, and a quick scan of my scoring history shows this had happened often. A couple of days later I get a second email from Klout telling me my score had again gone up. Whoa, it might be 80 now, I think! I click over and it shows that my score has gone ‘up’ to 78. It seems that right after Klout sent me the first email saying my score had gone up to 78. that the next day it fell back down to 74, then a day or so later it bounced back up to 78.
With no explanation for why any of that happened.
Klout was social media’s ‘it’ company a couple of years ago. The promise was that Klout would accurately measure your level of influence online. The promise for brands was that it would allow them to connect with true influencers. The promise for users was that it would let brands that created products that you are influential and passionate about connect with you and give you free stuff.
It’s now almost 2014 and we are still waiting for Klout to fulfill on its promises on either the brand or user end. Despite promise and claims to the contrary, Klout has never effectively measured online influence for the average user. Instead it attempts to measure online activity, and correlate influence to that level of activity. A shaky conclusion to draw at best.
As a Klout user, Klout says my score is 78. IOW, Klout thinks I am pretty influential. So as such, Klout needs to understand that I won’t promote its service to other people (that Klout says I have influence over) until the service is relevant to me.
Klout can become relevant to me by seeing that I get Perks that are relevant to me. The last Perk I received was, I kid you not, a Kobe Bryant poster. I have left 80K tweets on Twitter since 2007, and I would be shocked if a combined 0.000001% of my tweets were about Kobe, the Lakers, and the NBA.
That’s the last Perk I got. The last Perk I wanted was to see my last 3-day Enterprise car rental be bumped up to a full week based on my high Klout score. Or to see my coach ticket get upgraded to first class, for the same reason.
That would have been relevant to me. That would have led to me positively promoting Klout as well as the brands that leveraged the service to connect with me. Unlike Kobe and the NBA, I am constantly tweeting about travel. I am constantly tweeting about driving or flying to an event or for client work. How Klout can’t see my ‘influence’ on those topics and connect me with travel brands but can see that I am influential about Kobe Bryant is a complete mystery to me.
If Klout wants to become relevant to me it needs to do two things:
1 – Accurately identify products/people/ideas I am not only influential about but passionate about as well
2 – Tie perks to those products.
That’s it. Until then, my Klout score is just another social media number that bounces up and down that I have no seeming control over or understanding of.