Is Klout a Good Judge of Your Social Media Influence?

social media toolsHave you used Klout? Can it really tell you how influential people are online? Can it be gamed? Read my review and decide for yourself.

What Is Klout?

Klout calls itself the “measurement for your overall online influence,” but what are they really trying to do? To understand Klout’s goal, you have to understand influence itself and the difficulty in measuring social media ROI. In the beginning, social media was measured in followers and fans, and for a time, life was good.

But with companies joining social media sites by the tens of thousands, everyone got followed and eventually tricks, software and spam accounts ran wild. Newcomers were able to create large ‘followings’ and social media service clients couldn’t tell who was legitimate, and who had purchased a great ‘friend adder’ software program.

If we can’t count on raw numbers to tell us who’s popular online, then what can we do? Enter Klout.

klout score

Klout.com has a new user interface… niiiiice!

How Does Klout Work?

Klout primarily uses Twitter and Facebook (with plans to integrate LinkedIn) along with over 35 different variables to determine your real social media reach. Klout groups your score into three different metrics: True Reach, Amplification Probability and Network Influence.

True Reach

True Reach aims to answer the question of whose audience is really engaged, and who just followed a bunch of spam accounts. Klout actually eliminates inactive and spam accounts from their algorithm and looks at how the rest of your audience reacts to content that you share in your Twitter and Facebook feeds. Additional metrics include how many people you’ve followed, and also how many lists you’ve been added to.

true reach

True Reach shows the size of your engaged audience, excluding inactive and spam accounts.

Amplification Probability

This metric is affected by what happens to your content after you send it out. Is it ignored? Is it retweeted? Do your messages start conversations, or are you just talking to yourself? In addition to the previous metrics, Klout also measures your outbound vs. inbound message frequency, giving preference to brands that are both in demand, and actively searching out conversations.

amplification

The Amplification Probability graph shows you how likely your content will be spread.

Network Influence

The Network Influence score is the online version of “How cool are your friends?” This metric lets you know how influential your engaged audience is, and determines if you’re influencing the ‘cool kids’ on the platform, or if you’re just inside an echo chamber of your own friends, who may not be very important (according to Klout).

This is where Klout gets a bit incestuous. Klout uses its own Klout score to decide if your network is influential. Think about this: How did Klout’s algorithm decide the first Klout score if part of the score is decided by others’ Klout scores? Is this a fatal flaw in the system? I’ll let you be the judge.

network

Network Influence measures the influence of those individuals who follow the original user.

Why Is Klout Important?

Klout is relevant simply because as marketers, we’re asked to measure things. Clients want to know ROI, managers want to know campaign reach, and so on. Klout is the closest (read: most popular) thing we have to a social media credit scoreTM (yep, I made that up).

Think about it. If you can’t tell your clients that looking at the number of followers or friends that they have on their profile is the way to know whether their social media strategy is working, then what can you do?

There are several metrics that are important, but there is no proverbial “one number to rule them all.” Klout is working feverishly to get us close to that one metric that gives a quick snapshot of how we’re doing online. Marketers will be happy, managers and C-Level executives will rejoice, and Klout will become the Experian of the web. The end…

Should You Ignore Klout?

Some of you don’t buy a word that I just typed in the previous paragraph, and I know why. Some of you already know the flaws in the Klout system. 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.

On another note, some of you have a problem with using one number to judge the effectiveness of an integrated digital marketing effort. There have been several occasions where people were labeled influential on subjects that they’ve never even tweeted about. Even my own Klout profile says that I am an influencer on the subject of “aviary.” Guess how many times I’ve ever talked about birds? Once. I tweeted that birds were stupid for swooping in front of cars on the road. Expert analysis indeed.

My Final Thoughts

It’s tough to judge Klout today, because it’s definitely a work in progress, but I totally get what they’re trying to do. The real question is, is it effective?

Unfortunately, you have to define the word effective for your brand. On one hand, Klout does give you a set of “golden rules” to live by online. Join the conversation, mingle with important people, make sure that you’re sending out valuable information and be there consistently. Who can argue against that? If you’re a brand that’s simply engaging with an audience and wants to know if you’re in the right ballpark, I don’t see Klout’s deficiencies as reasons to avoid the metric all together.

If you’re a brand that intends to use Klout to reach out to the influencers in a certain niche, then I would have to caution you against Klout. Their algorithm is good, but not great. Just as fast-food restaurants budget in a certain percentage of their inventory as a loss, you should expect that some people will have “slipped through the cracks” and landed on your influencer list by mistake. If that’s something that you can live with while Klout perfects their system, then go right ahead. If not, then you may want to wait a while.

Have you ever used Klout as a metric for your brand or for a client? Leave your comments in the box below.

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About the Author, Elijah Young

Elijah R. Young is the lead strategist and owner of Social Talk Live. He's also a business strategist who helps existing and new companies promote and grow their business. Other posts by »




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  • http://www.ranashahbaz.com/ Rana Shahbaz

    Definitely engagement is the key element every one should be measuring. Fewer engaged followers and fans are lot better than having thousands with out any engagement.

  • http://www.ranashahbaz.com/ Rana Shahbaz

    Definitely engagement is the key element every one should be measuring. Fewer engaged followers and fans are lot better than having thousands with out any engagement.

  • http://www.facebook.com/angela.hausman Angela Hausman

    I look at my Klout scores, but I’m not obsessive over them.  As you mentioned, there are flaws in the system and a lack of transparency.  But, until something better comes along, I think Klout is important.  

    But, what should firms do with Klout.  One avenue is to seek folks who have high Klout scores related to your brand (and hope Klout did a better job than with the birds).  You can engage these influentials in hopes they will spread the word about your brand.  This can backfire if their engaged audience feels they’ve sold out by mentioning your brand in exchange for something.  Also, likely highly influential folks are being courted by your competitors so an endorsement from them might turn into a tacit bidding war.

    Another way to use Klout is to just ignore it, instead focusing on engaging anyone who might be interested in your brand.  Face it, even if they only share with 1 other person, that 1 interaction may be bigger than courting a few influentials.

    Of course, I enjoy the swag offered to those with a high Klout score.

    Angela Hausman, PhD
    http://LetsBlogforMoney.org

  • http://www.facebook.com/angela.hausman Angela Hausman

    I look at my Klout scores, but I’m not obsessive over them.  As you mentioned, there are flaws in the system and a lack of transparency.  But, until something better comes along, I think Klout is important.  

    But, what should firms do with Klout.  One avenue is to seek folks who have high Klout scores related to your brand (and hope Klout did a better job than with the birds).  You can engage these influentials in hopes they will spread the word about your brand.  This can backfire if their engaged audience feels they’ve sold out by mentioning your brand in exchange for something.  Also, likely highly influential folks are being courted by your competitors so an endorsement from them might turn into a tacit bidding war.

    Another way to use Klout is to just ignore it, instead focusing on engaging anyone who might be interested in your brand.  Face it, even if they only share with 1 other person, that 1 interaction may be bigger than courting a few influentials.

    Of course, I enjoy the swag offered to those with a high Klout score.

    Angela Hausman, PhD
    http://LetsBlogforMoney.org

  • http://blog.fandura.com Elijah R. Young

    I’m with you 100% Rana.  Thanks for reading

  • http://blog.fandura.com Elijah R. Young

    I’m with you 100% Rana.  Thanks for reading

  • http://blog.fandura.com Elijah R. Young

    You know what’s funny Angela, a couple of friends used Klout’s new +K feature to add to my expertise on the aviary…which is not only funny, but a huge flaw in the system.  I’m writing a follow up post just talking about +K

    Thanks so much for reading, I think you make great points, especially about having the option to ignore it.

    Elijah

  • http://blog.fandura.com Elijah R. Young

    You know what’s funny Angela, a couple of friends used Klout’s new +K feature to add to my expertise on the aviary…which is not only funny, but a huge flaw in the system.  I’m writing a follow up post just talking about +K

    Thanks so much for reading, I think you make great points, especially about having the option to ignore it.

    Elijah

  • http://icrontic.com Brian

    You can buy Twitter followers and Facebook likes. From what I’ve seen, so far, you cannot buy a Klout point. That gives it a great deal of importance to me, especially when I have to explain to clients and those who “Want more followers” that those numbers are essentially useless.

  • http://nikkilittle.com/ Nikki Little

    This is one of the most comprehensive overviews of Klout that I’ve read, and I’m not just saying that because you included me in the article. ;)

    Nice job highlighting the benefits of Klout and why it’s still a work in progress. There is no one perfect or flawless way to measure online influence, but for the time being, I think what Klout has come up with is as good as it’s going to get.

  • http://nikkilittle.com/ Nikki Little

    This is one of the most comprehensive overviews of Klout that I’ve read, and I’m not just saying that because you included me in the article. ;)

    Nice job highlighting the benefits of Klout and why it’s still a work in progress. There is no one perfect or flawless way to measure online influence, but for the time being, I think what Klout has come up with is as good as it’s going to get.

  • http://blog.fandura.com Elijah R. Young

    At the very least, you have a “better” metric to give to your clients, and a single number they can track.  Klout is good for business.

    Thanks for reading Brian…

  • http://blog.fandura.com Elijah R. Young

    At the very least, you have a “better” metric to give to your clients, and a single number they can track.  Klout is good for business.

    Thanks for reading Brian…

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_DFKIROUCLX6E7FKCADA3LSDP3M Theresa

    Everybody wants and needs to know.

  • vegemitevix

    Thanks for this timely post! Just last night I was looking through my Klout analysis and though pleased to see that my score was up (YAY) I was perplexed to see that Klout had determined that I was influential about marmite. Problem is, my avatar and name of my blog is vegemite vix. Back to the drawing board Klout.

  • http://blog.fandura.com Elijah R. Young

    I would peg you for a marmite specialist ;)

    Thanks for reading.

  • http://blog.fandura.com Elijah R. Young

    I would peg you for a marmite specialist ;)

    Thanks for reading.

  • http://icrontic.com Brian

    Klout vs. PeerIndex: Go.

  • http://icrontic.com Brian

    Klout vs. PeerIndex: Go.

  • http://twitter.com/DebiAdam Debi Adam

    This is an excellent article.  I am new to @klout:twitter but I am interested in what’s considered a benchmark for good Social Media Engagement.  Love the fact that it’s a metric that you can’t buy – even though there are ways to get around stuff.

  • http://twitter.com/DebiAdam Debi Adam

    This is an excellent article.  I am new to @klout:twitter but I am interested in what’s considered a benchmark for good Social Media Engagement.  Love the fact that it’s a metric that you can’t buy – even though there are ways to get around stuff.

  • http://blog.fandura.com Elijah R. Young

    Interesting, I’ve never heard anyone else say that.  I long for the day where people are posting on freelancer.com for companies to “Raise their Klout score”…it’s coming soon, I promise.

    Thanks so much for reading

  • http://www.breezesocial.com Breeze Social

    Great read, Elijah! You hit the nail on the head with your evaluation: Good, but definitely a work in progress. It’s difficult to really get your arms around measuring a brand or organizations social media impact – especially in the early stages of development – but making a commitment to a service like Klout would, at the least, give your brand a consistent measuring stick as social media activity progresses. Now, who will be the other two social media reporting companies that make up your social media credit score ;) ?

    Breeze Social
    Social Media Marketing Simplified
    http://www.breezesocial.com 

  • http://twitter.com/DenboTaylor Dennis Taylor

    I’m with Brian, Klout V PeerIndex. As good as each other or just as bad?

  • http://twitter.com/DenboTaylor Dennis Taylor

    I’m with Brian, Klout V PeerIndex. As good as each other or just as bad?

  • http://blog.fandura.com Elijah R. Young

    Maybe Experian or Equifax will wake up and tie your social score to your credit score

    Wait…I think I just peed in fear

    *deletes comment*

    —- On Wed, 15 Jun 2011 09:12:31 -0500 Disqus <> wrote —-

  • http://blog.fandura.com Elijah R. Young

    Maybe Experian or Equifax will wake up and tie your social score to your credit score

    Wait…I think I just peed in fear

    *deletes comment*

    —- On Wed, 15 Jun 2011 09:12:31 -0500 Disqus <> wrote —-

  • http://blog.fandura.com Elijah R. Young

    Looked at Peer Index for a second and wasn’t moved one way or another. My blind favoritism says Klout b/c of the simplicity of use.

    Sent from mobile Elijah

  • http://blog.fandura.com Elijah R. Young

    Looked at Peer Index for a second and wasn’t moved one way or another. My blind favoritism says Klout b/c of the simplicity of use.

    Sent from mobile Elijah

  • http://www.marketingmy.co.uk/blog Katherine Salt

    It’s going to be interesting to see what Klout has in store.  I have already had my account integrated into Linkedin, not sure it’s fed through any impact yet though.  Am I right in thinking it doesn’t take into account any FB pages you manage?  So for individuals who have their own brand page they wouldn’t receive any Klout points?

  • MarketMeSuite

    I like Klout very much and our users find it a great resource. We are proud to have them integrated. Metrics are good – they may not be the be all and end all of success, but it’s nice to have a marker.
    ~Tammy, CEO @MarketMeSuite:twitter

  • MarketMeSuite

    I like Klout very much and our users find it a great resource. We are proud to have them integrated. Metrics are good – they may not be the be all and end all of success, but it’s nice to have a marker.
    ~Tammy, CEO @MarketMeSuite:twitter

  • MarketMeSuite

    Hi Brian, I like them both. I think they are actually different even though there are some fundamental similarities. Peer Index focuses more on influence in a particular sector, while Klout seems to be more the overall measure of influence.

  • MarketMeSuite

    Hi Brian, I like them both. I think they are actually different even though there are some fundamental similarities. Peer Index focuses more on influence in a particular sector, while Klout seems to be more the overall measure of influence.

  • http://blog.fandura.com Elijah R. Young

    That’s a huge hole I didn’t talk about. Fan pages need to be scored immediately. Thanks for bringing this up Katherine.

    Sent from mobile Elijah

  • http://blog.fandura.com Elijah R. Young

    That’s a huge hole I didn’t talk about. Fan pages need to be scored immediately. Thanks for bringing this up Katherine.

    Sent from mobile Elijah

  • http://jeffkorhan.com Jeff Korhan

    Good insights.  I blogged about this yesterday myself so I have been giving it some thought too, such as why Justin Bieber has a perfect Klout score of 100.  Since Klout measure your ability to “drive action” – that score may be valid, because the kid does sell records.
    Like you I’ve noticed some errant areas of expertise on my profile too, e.g. Reading, Pennsylvania. I’ve never been there, and don’t believe I’ve ever mentioned it either!Nevertheless, I believe Klout has some value.  I especially like its integration with Postling. Plus, while its still new, I think the LinkedIn integration will bring Klout to an arena where it will prove its worth.Jeff

  • http://jeffkorhan.com Jeff Korhan

    Good insights.  I blogged about this yesterday myself so I have been giving it some thought too, such as why Justin Bieber has a perfect Klout score of 100.  Since Klout measure your ability to “drive action” – that score may be valid, because the kid does sell records.
    Like you I’ve noticed some errant areas of expertise on my profile too, e.g. Reading, Pennsylvania. I’ve never been there, and don’t believe I’ve ever mentioned it either!Nevertheless, I believe Klout has some value.  I especially like its integration with Postling. Plus, while its still new, I think the LinkedIn integration will bring Klout to an arena where it will prove its worth.Jeff

  • PhilMershon

    I’ve used Klout to evaluate the reach of various people and noticed that it is easy to game. It’s also quite dependent on immediate activity as opposed to longer trends. So, my Klout score spiked dramatically during the recent Social Media Success Summit when I was tweeting quite a bit and received quite a few RTs. It would be nice if they could take a longer look at the influence a person has. I know they show a chart, but the score seems heavily weighted to recent activity.

  • http://twitter.com/mqtodd Michael Q Todd

    Have you noticed that nearly all the people who criticise Klout have low scores? I reckon it is a positivity meter. People are more likely to comment on FB posts and retweet tweets that are positive

  • http://twitter.com/mqtodd Michael Q Todd

    Have you noticed that nearly all the people who criticise Klout have low scores? I reckon it is a positivity meter. People are more likely to comment on FB posts and retweet tweets that are positive

  • http://twitter.com/mqtodd Michael Q Todd

    Haha I actually just thought of a very cool app. Blog posts would get ranked by Klout. Cream would rise to the top. How say you??

  • http://twitter.com/mqtodd Michael Q Todd

    Haha I actually just thought of a very cool app. Blog posts would get ranked by Klout. Cream would rise to the top. How say you??

  • http://twitter.com/snaps4life Sunanda Nair

    Great post. Klout can totally be gamed (what can’t be) but I think it may start becoming more and more important. I think it’s pretty easy once you actually go to  someone’s twitter account to verify if their klout score actually reflects what they do there.. With that being said I still don’t understand some of the stuff klout does like comments per post etc. in their break downs. It remains to be seen if  Klout will be a dominate form of measurement, but if it continually improves it will be hard to ignore. why?  because as stated in this article marketers need a way to measure things.  

  • http://twitter.com/snaps4life Sunanda Nair

    Great post. Klout can totally be gamed (what can’t be) but I think it may start becoming more and more important. I think it’s pretty easy once you actually go to  someone’s twitter account to verify if their klout score actually reflects what they do there.. With that being said I still don’t understand some of the stuff klout does like comments per post etc. in their break downs. It remains to be seen if  Klout will be a dominate form of measurement, but if it continually improves it will be hard to ignore. why?  because as stated in this article marketers need a way to measure things.  

  • http://www.techwork.dk Thomas

    Nice post. I have been using Klout for a couple of
    weeks and think that it is fun to watch my progress, but I don’t really know
    how useful it is. I really don’t take it to serious.

  • http://www.techwork.dk Thomas

    Nice post. I have been using Klout for a couple of
    weeks and think that it is fun to watch my progress, but I don’t really know
    how useful it is. I really don’t take it to serious.

  • http://www.slice-works.com Meredith Rabil

    Thankyou for writing this article. You highlighted some very important points. I think the biggest lesson to learn from all of this is that you can’t measure your social media success from a Klout score. Many people have commented that it’s hard to measure online success, and I totally agree. I think it is better to keep track of metrics using multiple tools because of the difficulty. And while I think metrics are important to help brands know what is working for their audiences and what isn’t, the key is still very much in how you plan to engage your audiences and build relationships.

  • http://www.slice-works.com Meredith Rabil

    Thankyou for writing this article. You highlighted some very important points. I think the biggest lesson to learn from all of this is that you can’t measure your social media success from a Klout score. Many people have commented that it’s hard to measure online success, and I totally agree. I think it is better to keep track of metrics using multiple tools because of the difficulty. And while I think metrics are important to help brands know what is working for their audiences and what isn’t, the key is still very much in how you plan to engage your audiences and build relationships.

  • http://blog.fandura.com Elijah R. Young

    I’m in 100%

    What about video blogs and podcasts?

  • http://blog.fandura.com Elijah R. Young

    I’m in 100%

    What about video blogs and podcasts?

  • http://blog.fandura.com Elijah R. Young

    Beibers Klout of 100 makes total sense, he moves his followers to action like none other. Totally excited about the new Linkedin integration.

  • http://blog.fandura.com Elijah R. Young

    Beibers Klout of 100 makes total sense, he moves his followers to action like none other. Totally excited about the new Linkedin integration.

  • http://blog.fandura.com Elijah R. Young

    Completely agree, but with the immediacy of social media, is there really a long tail of influence that effects brands on a significant level.  Should I get credit for interactions 6 months ago? I think it makes sene that the effect wears off over time, it seems natural, what do you think?

  • http://blog.fandura.com Elijah R. Young

    Completely agree, but with the immediacy of social media, is there really a long tail of influence that effects brands on a significant level.  Should I get credit for interactions 6 months ago? I think it makes sene that the effect wears off over time, it seems natural, what do you think?

  • http://blog.fandura.com Elijah R. Young

    You’ve got it.  It’s the best we’ve got right now

  • http://blog.fandura.com Elijah R. Young

    You’ve got it.  It’s the best we’ve got right now

  • http://blog.fandura.com Elijah R. Young

    If only bosses and execs weren’t so dead set on hard metrics, maybe we wouldn’t be going gaga over a tool like Klout…unfortunately business needs to be measured, so we just have to hope that it gets better over time.

  • http://blog.fandura.com Elijah R. Young

    If only bosses and execs weren’t so dead set on hard metrics, maybe we wouldn’t be going gaga over a tool like Klout…unfortunately business needs to be measured, so we just have to hope that it gets better over time.

  • http://blog.fandura.com Elijah R. Young

    I’ve decided to use the act of not taking anything serious and turned it into a career, I approve of this point of view :)

    Thanks for reading Thomas

  • http://blog.fandura.com Elijah R. Young

    I’ve decided to use the act of not taking anything serious and turned it into a career, I approve of this point of view :)

    Thanks for reading Thomas

  • http://blog.fandura.com Elijah R. Young

    Sorry Double post

  • http://blog.fandura.com Elijah R. Young

    Sorry Double post

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  • http://twitter.com/snaps4life Sunanda Nair

    I think I would agree with you. A large part of social media and particularly twitter is real time interaction. If you were really active 6 mos ago but in the last month have had no interactions clearly your level of engagement, as measured by klout, should be lowered. The integration of linkedin is interesting. Looking forward to see how that rolls out. 

  • http://twitter.com/snaps4life Sunanda Nair

    I think I would agree with you. A large part of social media and particularly twitter is real time interaction. If you were really active 6 mos ago but in the last month have had no interactions clearly your level of engagement, as measured by klout, should be lowered. The integration of linkedin is interesting. Looking forward to see how that rolls out. 

  • http://remarkablogger.com Michael Martine

    We can get tunnel vision with how we use social media: doing the same few things the same way. But that will not increase your Klout score. For me, Klout is a reminder to vary my routine. I need to remember to engage more, to retweet more than just the same people all the time, etc. These only make me better on social media and I think Klout is very valuable for that, even if the score itself may mean little in terms of “hard” metrics.

  • http://remarkablogger.com Michael Martine

    We can get tunnel vision with how we use social media: doing the same few things the same way. But that will not increase your Klout score. For me, Klout is a reminder to vary my routine. I need to remember to engage more, to retweet more than just the same people all the time, etc. These only make me better on social media and I think Klout is very valuable for that, even if the score itself may mean little in terms of “hard” metrics.

  • petercrowell

    All I know is, my score jumped 3 points literally overnight. I can’t help think Klout is kissing my keister in order to keep me interested. 134 followers and a 58 Klout score? Does that make sense?

  • petercrowell

    All I know is, my score jumped 3 points literally overnight. I can’t help think Klout is kissing my keister in order to keep me interested. 134 followers and a 58 Klout score? Does that make sense?

  • http://daviddoolin.com/ Dave Doolin

    “Don’t look now, but Klout can totally be gamed to get a high score.”

    Not surprised.

    Disclaimer: At the moment, I’m cycling back into technology mode, which influences my current behavior.

    What this means is I *totally* ignore Klout, Twitter, Facebook, *everything* other than repeatable results. Technology doesn’t care about authority, only about expertise, and I’ve found a very poor correlation between authority and expertise on the web. This includes technical sites such as StackOverflow. 

    I know I’m “against the current” a little bit here, but the code doesn’t write itself. And if someone’s code doesn’t run, their Klout score is irrelevant. This is a data point for anyone who understands where I’m coming from.

    Once I swing back into marketing mode, I’ll be paying a lot more attention to all of the above. These tools, even though they can be gamed, are still important and worth understanding. Worth mastering in the long term.

    Also, kudos to the Klout team. They are very cool people, and they’re taking on a really hard project. And doing a pretty good job too!

  • http://daviddoolin.com/ Dave Doolin

    “Don’t look now, but Klout can totally be gamed to get a high score.”

    Not surprised.

    Disclaimer: At the moment, I’m cycling back into technology mode, which influences my current behavior.

    What this means is I *totally* ignore Klout, Twitter, Facebook, *everything* other than repeatable results. Technology doesn’t care about authority, only about expertise, and I’ve found a very poor correlation between authority and expertise on the web. This includes technical sites such as StackOverflow. 

    I know I’m “against the current” a little bit here, but the code doesn’t write itself. And if someone’s code doesn’t run, their Klout score is irrelevant. This is a data point for anyone who understands where I’m coming from.

    Once I swing back into marketing mode, I’ll be paying a lot more attention to all of the above. These tools, even though they can be gamed, are still important and worth understanding. Worth mastering in the long term.

    Also, kudos to the Klout team. They are very cool people, and they’re taking on a really hard project. And doing a pretty good job too!

  • Melissa A. Rosati

    Last week, I signed up for Klout. It is interesting. However, it doesn’t measure tools like Blogtalk Radio or Meetup, which are two major tools for me. While I see it is pretty easy to game, I am going to let it run for a few weeks to see what happens. 

  • Melissa A. Rosati

    Last week, I signed up for Klout. It is interesting. However, it doesn’t measure tools like Blogtalk Radio or Meetup, which are two major tools for me. While I see it is pretty easy to game, I am going to let it run for a few weeks to see what happens. 

  • http://blog.fandura.com Elijah R. Young

    Yeah, it makes sense.  The thing people forget about Klout is that it measures your influence over YOUR audience, not over the social space as a whole.  So it’s feasible for you to have a 100 score over 5 people.

    They could totally be kissing your keister though…I wouldn’t put it past them j/k

    Thanks so much for reading Peter

    Elijah

  • http://blog.fandura.com Elijah R. Young

    Yeah, it makes sense.  The thing people forget about Klout is that it measures your influence over YOUR audience, not over the social space as a whole.  So it’s feasible for you to have a 100 score over 5 people.

    They could totally be kissing your keister though…I wouldn’t put it past them j/k

    Thanks so much for reading Peter

    Elijah

  • http://blog.fandura.com Elijah R. Young

    yeah, you are limited to the platforms that it measures, but slowly they are adding more platforms, so it may be just a matter of time.

  • http://blog.fandura.com Elijah R. Young

    yeah, you are limited to the platforms that it measures, but slowly they are adding more platforms, so it may be just a matter of time.

  • http://blog.fandura.com Elijah R. Young

    I’ve met the Klout crew twice, and they are totally cool people.  That alone should be enough o give them a fair shot, right?

  • http://blog.fandura.com Elijah R. Young

    I’ve met the Klout crew twice, and they are totally cool people.  That alone should be enough o give them a fair shot, right?

  • http://remarkablogger.com Michael Martine

    “And if someone’s code doesn’t run, their Klout score is irrelevant.”

    HA! So true. :)

  • http://remarkablogger.com Michael Martine

    “And if someone’s code doesn’t run, their Klout score is irrelevant.”

    HA! So true. :)

  • BeverlyMChi

    Thank you for this article Elijah. I literally received this in my email inbox right after signing up for Klout and receiving my dismal score. I thought I had a pretty solid network and we were all engaged but I guess I was wrong. I definitely have to amp it up if I want to be considered an influencer, this definitely doesn’t bode well for one’s self esteem eh. LOL

  • BeverlyMChi

    Thank you for this article Elijah. I literally received this in my email inbox right after signing up for Klout and receiving my dismal score. I thought I had a pretty solid network and we were all engaged but I guess I was wrong. I definitely have to amp it up if I want to be considered an influencer, this definitely doesn’t bode well for one’s self esteem eh. LOL

  • http://rjmetrics.com/ Tristan Handy

    Klout doesn’t do a good job of measuring Facebook influence. Facebook doesn’t provide the type of access to stream data that Klout would need, and so they can’t. And yet Facebook drives 24x the purchases that Twitter does (http://argylesocial.com/blog/2011/06/09/facebook-drives-purchasing-intent.html). If we’re marketers, we ultimately care about driving purchases more than influence. And if we’re using a metric that measures 1/25 (4%) of the picture, we’re doing our clients a disservice.

    Klout is trying to be an easy button. But the real answer is that there is no easy button. Do the work. Benchmark however and whatever metrics you want, but measure hard data and not composite scores. Shares, referrer traffic, and conversions/revenue are all better measures of success than a Klout score.

  • Michelle

    I don’t like the fact that they consider Facebook profiles.  I consider mine to be personal, so considering it makes no sense to me.  Facebook pages make a ton more sense.

  • http://www.soundshoremedia.com/ ejswensson

    Many have written that Kout is easy to game. How easy?

  • http://www.soundshoremedia.com/ ejswensson

    My score has been stable, 70 or 71, for over a year. It pegs me correctly on what I talk about on Twitter.

  • http://www.soundshoremedia.com/ ejswensson

    My score has been stable, 70 or 71, for over a year. It pegs me correctly on what I talk about on Twitter.

  • Danny Hanssel

    Good article…one thing…I clicked the link that said “Klout can totally be gamed” and found a great article…but it’s not tricks, it’s suggestions for how to manage your Twitter account better…all the suggestions are in the “organic” category, I think.  Gaming is stuff like paysites that get you droves of irrelevant followers. I’m always seeing people on Twitter (that are not celebrities) with thousands of followers and only a few tweets…sometimes none! You can’t get followers organically without tweeting regularly…these are the people that are gaming the system.

    Danny Hanssel

  • http://twitter.com/GroupSetUp GroupSetUp

    Elijah,

    Very well reasoned article.  As with any new industry, social media needs to find its feet and companies like Klout are taking concepts from other industries and mapping them here. 

    Is it a good thing?  Yes.   Is it the end game?  No.

    Soon we will have a range of metrics that we can present to companies and executive boards.  The concept of Klout is excellent, in particular Klout Style could be a useful tool for us all.

    PeerIndex also has its place.  Others will also join the party.

    With all such tools it is down to the interpreter to read them correctly and place them in the right context.  Refer to the work that @TwoSpeedWorld has done on behavioural analysis.

    So what do you do when you look at any statistics?  You remove the anomalies. 

    Of course people are gaming the tools at the moment.  The Klouts of this world are learning and they will adjust.  It’s like looking at a risk system, they need lots of data to finesse what they do.

    We will shortly develop a dashboard to draw from these systems and other metrics.  Won’t that be fun?

    Life would be so boring if we didn’t keep reinventing ourselves.

    Well done.

  • http://twitter.com/GroupSetUp GroupSetUp

    Elijah,

    Very well reasoned article.  As with any new industry, social media needs to find its feet and companies like Klout are taking concepts from other industries and mapping them here. 

    Is it a good thing?  Yes.   Is it the end game?  No.

    Soon we will have a range of metrics that we can present to companies and executive boards.  The concept of Klout is excellent, in particular Klout Style could be a useful tool for us all.

    PeerIndex also has its place.  Others will also join the party.

    With all such tools it is down to the interpreter to read them correctly and place them in the right context.  Refer to the work that @TwoSpeedWorld has done on behavioural analysis.

    So what do you do when you look at any statistics?  You remove the anomalies. 

    Of course people are gaming the tools at the moment.  The Klouts of this world are learning and they will adjust.  It’s like looking at a risk system, they need lots of data to finesse what they do.

    We will shortly develop a dashboard to draw from these systems and other metrics.  Won’t that be fun?

    Life would be so boring if we didn’t keep reinventing ourselves.

    Well done.

  • http://blog.fandura.com Elijah R. Young

    Oh. No. He. Di’int.

    I like to compare what Klout is trying to do with the credit bureaus.  In this comparison, the marketers would be the lenders, and the clients are the borrowers.  The Klout score is really just an easy way to summarize the entirety of the report to the end user.  To be honest, many businesses wont have the know how to understand or even care about the details of the metrics.  That’s why they hire specialists.

    Now marketers should know better, but for many small businesses it’s not realistic to give them sheets and sheets of data that needs to be tracked, but will rarely be understood. 

    Sure, Klout may be trying to be an easy button, but the button isn’t for you, it’s for your clients.  At least that’s how I see it.

    Now your Facebook comment is important, but the problem with blanket stats like the one you used is that there isn’t a blanket utilization of the platform, so the stat just ends up being, “depending on how you use it”.  If we’re marketers, we know that the platform isn’t what drives purchases, it’s the how a brand interacts with their customers on that platform, and many brands approach that issue in different ways.

    Tristan, thanks so much for reading, I really appreciate the comment, one of the best of the day.

    Elijah

  • http://blog.fandura.com Elijah R. Young

    well ‘gaming’ doesn’t have to have a negative connotation, like the word ‘manipulate’ but bad data is bad data nevertheless. The better the data we have, the better a metric it becomes.

    Elijah

  • http://blog.fandura.com Elijah R. Young

    well ‘gaming’ doesn’t have to have a negative connotation, like the word ‘manipulate’ but bad data is bad data nevertheless. The better the data we have, the better a metric it becomes.

    Elijah

  • http://blog.fandura.com Elijah R. Young

    I know you’re gonna let me get a peek at that dashboard right *wink*

    Thanks for reading :)

  • http://blog.fandura.com Elijah R. Young

    I know you’re gonna let me get a peek at that dashboard right *wink*

    Thanks for reading :)

  • http://rjmetrics.com/ Tristan Handy

    :) Appreciate it! 

    You’re right–I do appreciate the credit score appeal. I’m just looking forward to the point where it’s one metric among many that’s used to evaluate creditworthiness.

  • http://rjmetrics.com/ Tristan Handy

    :) Appreciate it! 

    You’re right–I do appreciate the credit score appeal. I’m just looking forward to the point where it’s one metric among many that’s used to evaluate creditworthiness.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/April-Smith-Decheine/606640241 April Smith Decheine

    I am totally just learning about Klout.  I am Influenza on three topics, one being “cars” Huh?  LOL My score is 42 I am rockin and rollin LOL

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/April-Smith-Decheine/606640241 April Smith Decheine

    I am totally just learning about Klout.  I am Influenza on three topics, one being “cars” Huh?  LOL My score is 42 I am rockin and rollin LOL

  • https://www.facebook.com/BestsellerWisdom Bonnie Brooks

    Elijah, I appreciate your article. Comprehensive and food for thought. 

    Does Klout have integrity from my perspective? Perhaps to some degree, but there are some very strange things that make me question it. It did peg me as an influencer for the Vancouver Canucks recently though I have no interest in hockey and have never tweeted about it. But hey, if anyone wants to know who’s going to win the Stanley Cup tonight, ask me!  :-)I have been watching and trying to make sense of how Klout works. One thing I observed recently was that some people move up very quickly through the Klout ranks by their constant tweeting and retweeting of “nothing” – e.g., on FF they include tweet after tweet listing everyone of their followers, then RT the same thing when those people RT their original tweets mentioning them. Hope you can make sense of what I’m trying to say. Basically anywhere from 1-5 pages of mentions and RTs of mentions that contribute nothing to a conversation on a given day. This doesn’t make sense to me. Well, maybe it does – they are influencing others to RT their list of names, so I guess that’s a form of influence. Also, I’m wondering what your take is on twittergrader and twitalyzer. Will you be doing posts on those in the future?

  • Danitalicious

    Really great article. I, too, took advantage of the option to link my LinkedIn profile to Klout yesterday. I haven’t seen a huge spike, but I’ve noticed that some of the topics I’m influential in have nothing to do with me – treasury? Um, not quite and I’ll freely admit that. So, while I’m still on the fence about it, I’m with Michael Martine, in that it does make me a little more mindful of what I should be doing. I should be engaging more with retweets & comments. I’ve only been using Klout for fun, but it will be interesting to see where it goes. It would be really great if we could integrate businesses – Facebook pages, Twitter profiles & LinkedIn Companies. Those are really the Klout scores I NEED to see.

  • websonline

    Quite Interesting to me for some one hearing for first time.

  • websonline

    Quite Interesting to me for some one hearing for first time.

  • http://www.secure-faxing.net Steve Hughes

    I agree with Michael.  Generally speaking the “haters” are not happy with their scores, and the “cheerleaders” are satisfied with their number.  Ok, we get it, it picks up some obscure topics you might have never tweeted about, but that will be flushed out with time.  It’s an infant, and look how much talk there is about it recently.  A lot more than Google +1.  It’s not going away, so embrace it and hug it tight.  It will get better, and become a very powerful tool for Marketing.  Don’t ignore it, you’ll be sorry.  Enjoy the day all!

  • http://www.secure-faxing.net Steve Hughes

    I agree with Michael.  Generally speaking the “haters” are not happy with their scores, and the “cheerleaders” are satisfied with their number.  Ok, we get it, it picks up some obscure topics you might have never tweeted about, but that will be flushed out with time.  It’s an infant, and look how much talk there is about it recently.  A lot more than Google +1.  It’s not going away, so embrace it and hug it tight.  It will get better, and become a very powerful tool for Marketing.  Don’t ignore it, you’ll be sorry.  Enjoy the day all!

  • http://www.jasonfox.me Jason Fox

    Klout is a cool tool.  My score is a low 42.  So if I say that it is not that important you could say, sour grapes.  It is useful for me in that helps me guide my Social Sharing efforts, and shows me where I am weak.  Though I, personally, would not necessarily give a marketing professional more credit because they had a high Klout score.  If I were so inclined I could work on raising my Klout artificially.

  • Robyn McIntyre

    Elijah, I agree with you and @facebook-100001232589864:disqus and the points you make. Every once in a while, I take a look at my Klout and Twittergrader scores and then go on about my business.When and if I use their metrics for reaching out to others will largely depend on how they evolve. That said, I’m really enjoying the new leather legal portfolio from a new law-centered TV show that I received through Klout Perks. ;-)  

  • http://twitter.com/GroupSetUp GroupSetUp

    Of course Elijah, it will be our pleasure.

    Till then, keep up the good work and enjoy :)

  • http://twitter.com/GroupSetUp GroupSetUp

    Of course Elijah, it will be our pleasure.

    Till then, keep up the good work and enjoy :)

  • http://rebeccaslosberg.com/ Rebecca Slosberg

    I love Klout, I find it useful, even if it’s for my own personal competitiveness to see it grow and stare at analytics. But I am with you April, They told me i was an expert on death!!!

    I assume its because I manage the marketing for a band called A Pale Horse Named Death, but that in no way makes me an expert on death, an expert on heavy metal and rock music maybe, so the new topics feature needs some tweaking!

  • Gerardo

    Klout is kool! But it is not perfect. I suppose it is like predicting the weather. Cheers, G&K http://VintageVictory.com London

  • Gerardo

    Klout is kool! But it is not perfect. I suppose it is like predicting the weather. Cheers, G&K http://VintageVictory.com London

  • René Power

    Thought provoking piece Elijah but I think you identified one of several flaws in the Klout process when you said it essentially bases itself on Twitter and Facebook. Any self respecting marketer or business owner knows that social media doesn’t start and stop with those two (or three if you include Linkedin) platforms.

    My other concern relates to high scores based on use / engagement. You get a higher score if you drop using email and conduct all your interaction through Twitter…or spam a whole lot of people. Either way not terribly reliable in my view. And/or if you have a whole load of followers. But do tweets from Kim Kardashian or Lady Gaga add any value to me, my business, my clients. Not really.

    Klout may well get somewhere in months and years to come but right now it lacks credibility. Kudos to them for giving it a stab though.

  • http://twitter.com/dioselev Dmitriy Ioselevich

    I think the value in Klout’s system is not in the actual number (it’s completely arbitrary), but in the differences between different people’s numbers. Every time I see someone with a higher Klout score I can look at their Twitter profile and, sure enough, they have a larger online presence and following than I do. The same applies to people with lower Klout scores.

    In ROI terms, the great thing about Klout is you can actually measure the effectiveness of a social media strategy by looking at the +/- of an organization/individual’s score over a defined period of time.

  • http://twitter.com/dioselev Dmitriy Ioselevich

    I think the value in Klout’s system is not in the actual number (it’s completely arbitrary), but in the differences between different people’s numbers. Every time I see someone with a higher Klout score I can look at their Twitter profile and, sure enough, they have a larger online presence and following than I do. The same applies to people with lower Klout scores.

    In ROI terms, the great thing about Klout is you can actually measure the effectiveness of a social media strategy by looking at the +/- of an organization/individual’s score over a defined period of time.

  • AnneEgros

    I think Klout is a good indicator to measure your own progresses and compare with people you know who are role models for you in term of content and how they engage their followers. If you know what you are doing on Twitter, selecting who you follow, topics and content you produce as well as interest you generate by people re-tweeting you, Klout score is a good tool to measure how engaging you are. Maybe the ” influence” and “topics” tools are not working well yet, although the new +K allowing peers to increase your score for specific topic might help in the future to identify experts.

  • AnneEgros

    I think Klout is a good indicator to measure your own progresses and compare with people you know who are role models for you in term of content and how they engage their followers. If you know what you are doing on Twitter, selecting who you follow, topics and content you produce as well as interest you generate by people re-tweeting you, Klout score is a good tool to measure how engaging you are. Maybe the ” influence” and “topics” tools are not working well yet, although the new +K allowing peers to increase your score for specific topic might help in the future to identify experts.

  • Don Bartholomew

    It also make make no sense whatsoever.  The actions Klout measures have to do with re-tweeting, etc.  It is not measuring the action most marketers want which is making the cash register ring.  It also is not measuring true influence – have we changed people’s attitudes, opinions, beliefs or behaviors.  So what exactly is Justin Bieber influencing?  I still believe the POTUS might just be a little more influential.

  • Don Bartholomew

    It also make make no sense whatsoever.  The actions Klout measures have to do with re-tweeting, etc.  It is not measuring the action most marketers want which is making the cash register ring.  It also is not measuring true influence – have we changed people’s attitudes, opinions, beliefs or behaviors.  So what exactly is Justin Bieber influencing?  I still believe the POTUS might just be a little more influential.

  • http://nateriggs.com/ nateriggs

    Really through post E, and I’m glad you featured Nikki. :)

    So LinkedIn was factored in today.  My score went up a bit. While I support Klout, I agree with Dmitriy in that it’s somewhat arbitrary.  
    That said, it’s also more of a measure of online presence - primarily Twitter – rather than actual online influence.  The more you use Twitter, Facebook and now LinkedIn, the more potential interactions you can have, the higher your K Score goes. Some of the metrics that make up the total score are very relevant – number of unique re-tweeters, for instance. I feel like that metric has some actual business application in that it identifies and quantifies potential brand ambassadors.

    But seriously, stop using twitter for a week and watch your score plummet. It will. Likewise, every time Klout makes a change to their systems, scores go all over the board for about a week, thus messing up the accuracy of the week-over-week growth of your presence.

    Also – what about blogs? I feel like a widely read blog yields more influence than any social network. Yes, that’s a debatable opinion, but it has some merit.  

    And, don’t forget that influence comes in many different forms. The same folks who can put out a tweet and get 50 people to show up to happy hour, might not be able to influence the decision makers in a business through their content.  So what then classifies various “types” of online influence?

    Still, Klout is a good benchmark (for now anyway). Will be interesting to see where all this goes.

    Since I think a few folks mentioned the post in comments above, here - http://nateriggs.com/2010/12/08/improve-klout-score-tips

  • http://nateriggs.com/ nateriggs

    Really through post E, and I’m glad you featured Nikki. :)

    So LinkedIn was factored in today.  My score went up a bit. While I support Klout, I agree with Dmitriy in that it’s somewhat arbitrary.  
    That said, it’s also more of a measure of online presence - primarily Twitter – rather than actual online influence.  The more you use Twitter, Facebook and now LinkedIn, the more potential interactions you can have, the higher your K Score goes. Some of the metrics that make up the total score are very relevant – number of unique re-tweeters, for instance. I feel like that metric has some actual business application in that it identifies and quantifies potential brand ambassadors.

    But seriously, stop using twitter for a week and watch your score plummet. It will. Likewise, every time Klout makes a change to their systems, scores go all over the board for about a week, thus messing up the accuracy of the week-over-week growth of your presence.

    Also – what about blogs? I feel like a widely read blog yields more influence than any social network. Yes, that’s a debatable opinion, but it has some merit.  

    And, don’t forget that influence comes in many different forms. The same folks who can put out a tweet and get 50 people to show up to happy hour, might not be able to influence the decision makers in a business through their content.  So what then classifies various “types” of online influence?

    Still, Klout is a good benchmark (for now anyway). Will be interesting to see where all this goes.

    Since I think a few folks mentioned the post in comments above, here - http://nateriggs.com/2010/12/08/improve-klout-score-tips

  • Dave Kearns

    Spot on review, I agree 100%. If memory serves, the LinkedIN add on is ready to roll as of this morning, or late last night ;) I haven’t tried to game Klout, unless I’m paid to do so, no time for that. Klout is telling me, what I already knew, for the most part. Klout tells me this: I have but a few hundred fans/followers, but I have a lot of unique likers and posters and comments, related to things I consider myself to be knowledgeable with. I have “repeat” fans coming back. There was one off key metric that I was dumbfounded with, and I’ll just have to live with it or figure it out..game it..play with it. I feel that the ideal customer/fan is a repeat customer/fan that was referred via a friend through SM. Years ago, I remember how happy I was to have over 2000 hits a month to my website, but was not so happy to see I only sold 3 of this and 2 of that. But those 2000 hits got me ad revenue from other sources, was not my goal to become a flag pole for others, but it put coin in my pocket, so what ya gonna do? Since then I have moved on to more SEO and SM. 

  • Dave Kearns

    Spot on review, I agree 100%. If memory serves, the LinkedIN add on is ready to roll as of this morning, or late last night ;) I haven’t tried to game Klout, unless I’m paid to do so, no time for that. Klout is telling me, what I already knew, for the most part. Klout tells me this: I have but a few hundred fans/followers, but I have a lot of unique likers and posters and comments, related to things I consider myself to be knowledgeable with. I have “repeat” fans coming back. There was one off key metric that I was dumbfounded with, and I’ll just have to live with it or figure it out..game it..play with it. I feel that the ideal customer/fan is a repeat customer/fan that was referred via a friend through SM. Years ago, I remember how happy I was to have over 2000 hits a month to my website, but was not so happy to see I only sold 3 of this and 2 of that. But those 2000 hits got me ad revenue from other sources, was not my goal to become a flag pole for others, but it put coin in my pocket, so what ya gonna do? Since then I have moved on to more SEO and SM. 

  • http://remarkablogger.com Michael Martine

    That is a great point about blogs. Are they not also social media now? Have
    been for some time.

  • http://remarkablogger.com Michael Martine

    That is a great point about blogs. Are they not also social media now? Have
    been for some time.

  • http://www.philbowyer.com/ Phil Bowyer

    Everybody likes to focus on numbers, but social media isn’t about numbers it’s about people. Klout doesn’t measure how you interact with your audience, it measures how you interact with your followers, which isn’t necessarily the same.

    I know a bunch of writers who all talk with each other on Twitter. They have a great community, and because of this interaction their Klout score is high, but the thing is, they aren’t talking to their audience. Knowing what their Klout score isn’t selling them any books, in fact it lulls them into a false sense thinking their social media efforts are paying off and “people are listening”.

    If you are talking and listening to people anyway (on all platforms, not just the 2 that klout supports), then you  already know all you need to. 

    Don’t focus on the numbers, focus on the people behind the numbers and you’ll win. 

  • http://www.philbowyer.com/ Phil Bowyer

    Everybody likes to focus on numbers, but social media isn’t about numbers it’s about people. Klout doesn’t measure how you interact with your audience, it measures how you interact with your followers, which isn’t necessarily the same.

    I know a bunch of writers who all talk with each other on Twitter. They have a great community, and because of this interaction their Klout score is high, but the thing is, they aren’t talking to their audience. Knowing what their Klout score isn’t selling them any books, in fact it lulls them into a false sense thinking their social media efforts are paying off and “people are listening”.

    If you are talking and listening to people anyway (on all platforms, not just the 2 that klout supports), then you  already know all you need to. 

    Don’t focus on the numbers, focus on the people behind the numbers and you’ll win. 

  • bid_blog

    It won’t mean anything until your klout translates directly to $$$ klout.

  • bid_blog

    It won’t mean anything until your klout translates directly to $$$ klout.

  • http://twitter.com/ShannonEvansSM Shannon Evans

    This is a GREAT point. I couldn’t agree with you more. Klout gets a lot of flack, but I think you are right on the spot for it’s better than buying followers.

  • http://twitter.com/ShannonEvansSM Shannon Evans

    This is a GREAT point. I couldn’t agree with you more. Klout gets a lot of flack, but I think you are right on the spot for it’s better than buying followers.

  • linetou

    Agreed, and what does it mean for a brand when someone is influencing for let’s say parenting. It  doesn’t mean influence for your brand even if moms are your target.  What a brand needs to know is who are influencers for their specific brand.

  • Amanda

    I have a question – Klout only measures the score based on an individuals Facebook profile. If you have one profile and 5 company pages, the score will inevitably be inaccurate as you can’t connect your page to Klout. How then do we measure social influence based on company page or perhaps more accurately, brand?

  • Terreece Clarke

    Oh Elijah, don’t be coy. You love birds. :0)

  • Chenmin2001

    golden rules apply many aspect,so klont algorithm can be a good tools if it can find which one is brand advocates

  • Basil C. Puglisi

    I think the author rushed this article:

    “Don’t look now, but Klout can totally be gamed to get a high score.”

    As an author it helps if you both read and understand what your reading, in this case
    it looks like you stating that the person in the article “gamed” the
    system, but the article talks about increasing his score 25-30pts and he did it
    a way that is engagement. I think you did a good job on most of what you wrote here, but when someone like me comes along and reads this, the details are important. In this case it was an epic fail because you missed the entire point of Klout, clearly struggle with the definition of the word engagement and cited some else’s work and completely misconstrued the article.

    Your data also does not give any thought to the new LinkedIn plugin or the K+ which is user generated influence. I would not have released this without giving it a modern up to date review.

    Sorry if this is rough but in the digital age transparency is absolute!

    Sources:
    Jan 19, 2011 http://digitalbrandmarketing.com/2011/01/19/social-brand-visibility-klout/
    June 14, 2011 http://digitalbrandmarketing.com/2011/06/14/linkedin-and-klout-join-the-social-button-revolution/
    June 15, 2011 http://digitalbrandmarketing.com/2011/06/15/klout-measures-your-clout-on-linkedin-social-business-network/

  • http://ultimateinternetimage.com/inbound-marketing-week-in-review/nbound-marketing-week-in-review-a-hard-look-at-social-media-klout/ John P. J. Zajaros, Sr., Ph.D.

    I fired at Klout some time back and for good reason. There definitely appears to be a paradigm shift underway at Klout. While the jury is still out on the “new” Klout beta, I am afraid they are playing to the audience instead of offering solid data that is based on real and replicable statistical analysis. We shall see!

  • http://dempseymarketing.com/about-robert-dempsey/ Robert Dempsey

    The key in your post is that Klout can be gamed. With the entry of applications like Triberr and TwitterFeed or other associations like retweet clubs, these scores become meaningless as your content will spread, semi-naturally, thereby making you appear more influential.

    I have yet to use these scores myself or be asked about the score. There are many other metrics you can use to determine who the right people to connect with on social media. The best is to actually talk with the person or at the very least visit their website, look at number of comments/retweets/shares etc., and go from there.

  • http://jochemkoole.nl Jochem Koole

    I fear tools like Klout will falsely lead marketeers and companies into the believe that their social media effort can be measured easily.

    Rather than using a tool, it’s important to set your social media goals (making them Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely) and measure them in results, tactical, and capacity, as Kanter describes in her post on Social Media Today (http://socialmediatoday.com/kanter/301934/25-smart-social-media-objectives).

  • http://cindyking.biz/ Cindy King

    Good point Jochem!  But I think most seasoned marketers get this. It’s the people who don’t have a business background and real marketing expertise that might be mislead.

  • http://cindyking.biz/ Cindy King

    Robert, I’ve only looked at my Klout score 2 or 3 times since it’s been out and I never spend more than a few minutes looking at it.  Because the first thing I noticed were the other people that showed up next to me on the dashboard. And I know that a couple of these people spend time on Triberr and in similar social gaming techniques and that’s why their scores are what they are.  So it’s true, the value here is relatively small for me. 

    But I do find it interesting to note how certain “competitors” spend (in my opinion) lots of time gaming the system and it makes me wonder what else they’re doing. (Are there opportunities for me to seize while they’re spending all this time gaming a system? And why are they spending so much time gaming the system in the first place?) 

    If you spend time truly marketing your business and build social interactions with real clients and potential customers this means something. But if you spend too much of your time beefing up your social numbers with others doing the exact same thing, it really doesn’t have the same value, does it?  Unfortunately you still can’t tell the difference between the two on any of these tools. They can all be “gamed”.

    I think most real businesses get this and they also know what their competitors are doing: whether their marketing time is spent marketing their business or not.

    I personally don’t mind cool little tools like Klout because they can give you little insights and if you know what you are doing, know what your competitors are up to and understand your industry, then you’ll figure out where to place this information.

  • http://twitter.com/AnniBricca Anni Bricca

    Hmmm I have been very outspoken about Klout, in my blog, in tweets and in article replies – and I don’t have a low Klout score, in fact it just went up another 4 points to 64. Though I suspect they despise me for speaking out and could easily make it go down since their ‘About’ section says their founder determines ‘who is and who isn’t influential’. Very interesting.

       My blog, which is listed in my Twitter profile, outlines my very real concerns and how I feel about it. I am not alone. You can’t say you’re the ‘Industry Standard’ if you’re still tinkering with getting it right and allowing users to game the system.  As I predicted, there are whole FB communities associated with EAv and beyond gaming it. It’s wrong and I have left groups doing it.

      They may want to be the ‘Industry Standard’ but they cannot claim to be the ‘Industry Standard’ while they’re figuring out how to do it. Having major companies relying on these scores and terms of influence is absolutely insane and this was well before they started adding ‘Pick ME!’ buttons. I remain appalled. I do realize your company has a reason to promote/support them, but for me, I’m a principle girl and it’s the principle of the thing:  It ain’t right – not yet!

  • http://www.facebook.com/roberto.cumaraswamy Roberto Cumaraswamy

    Hey Elijah, 

    very timely article for me personally as i’m having a massive debate with my CEO on the value of KLOUT. He thinks its a pile of rubbish! Well i paraphrase liberally…he actually feels that its incomplete and not a true reflection of an individual’s true influence in the real world. Thus not worth using as yet.

    Yes, its far from perfect. I ran my KLOUT score yesterday for the first time and got a whopping rating of 1, but within 12 hours, without making any further posts, i got a notification saying that as i was one of the first few to tie in LinkedIn, my score was bumped up to 21! Instant influence – yay!

    However, as i keep trying to tell him, its the best measure available out there right now. Just because something is not perfect does not mean it has no value. You just need to use it with a good dose of common sense. Certainly beats using Fan numbers as a gauge of influence.

    Finally, i don’t buy this argument of KLOUT not being a true measure of influence in the real world. Duh! Ofcourse not – that will never be able to be truly measured across a large group of people of all walks of life. But it does, everything else being equal, allow you to decide who has the most potential in helping you achieve your goal of spreading your message.

    Now…i just need to figure out how to get another bonus 20 insta-points….

  • http://johnzajaros.com/ JohnZajaros

    Careful! It is not the only tool and I would suggest it is not even close to being best measuring stick available to us. I think Klout is relying on a point Gary V made and Copyblogger echoed about most social media experts! And if those numbers are true, numbers clearly shot from the hip or pulled from somewhere else? Gary V looks right about a lot of things related to social media! There is a very crude saying about statisticians and your CEO would probably love it…if he hasn’t heard it already! The real issue with this sort of data manipulation, some call it massaging, is that unless it can be tested by others independently and replicated? It is pseudoscience and useless as a measure for accurately assigning influence! Or? As my grandmother used to say, “It’s poppycock!” Yup, she did indeed. 

    The real problem is that there is so much money being poured into (read: thrown at) social media right now; and, a ton of that money is being spent by people who haven’t a clue, trying to measure something that may not be directly measurable in a nice, neat, tie a bow around it way! Sacrilegious? Perhaps! But there have been a lot of heretics running around the world professing all kinds of things over the last few hundred years…and some were actually right! Columbus (so he thought he was in India – he was only off by a few miles), the Wright Brothers (nutty for Dayton and North Carolina), Marie Curie (didn’t have to worry as much about power outages – some said she had a glow about her), Al Gore (did he invent the Internet or Global Warming – tough one – talk about metrics), Sam Walton (Big Box stores reformatted merchandising - and destroyed a few small town businesses along the way), Henry Ford (I have 3 colors: black, black, black), Galileo (his head was still spinning – or was it the planets?), Darwin (talk about a conundrum – to publish or perish taken to the Nth degree). Just to name a few of the lesser known figures who have proposed outlandish, some would say heretical notions, mind you! Scary stuff, huh kids?! I know! But it’s 4:44am and I have been researching this whole social media measurement thing for quite some time now…and it’s all voodoo economics! Or was it trickle down? Yes, it is late!

  • http://twitter.com/chris5marsh Chris Marsh

    I’ve used Klout for a while – I don’t revolve my online life around it, but it is a useful snapshot of how my social media profile is rising (or falling!). The important thing is that  because it is a comparative measure, you can at least see general trends – Klout at least compares like for like across time.

    But yes, every system that comes out with a final number has to have a process, and whether Klout has the definitive method of scoring remains to be seen.

    In our office it has sparked Klout wars, with people vying to top each other’s Klout score!

  • http://www.aaroneden.com/ Aaron Eden

    I think in the end, it will all end up to the number of customers/sales you will have out of engaging with followers.  I love the new look of Klout and I’ve been checking it out from time to time just to remind me how my conversation style is.  It’s not easy to get people engaged, especially when you don’t have something valuable they want to share or respond to.  This is why I’m an avid participant of popular twitter chats like #blogchat, #innochat, #brandchat and the likes.

  • http://digitaldomination.com/ Steve Fitzpatrick

    I think you’ve also got to look at cross media promotion which is more difficult to measure engagement just via one social interface.

  • eDigitalAus

    Any examples of successful social media influencing campaign that targets existing customers to get them buy more often, more product or premium product?. Thanks
    Escobar Digital

  • http://itst.net/ Sascha A. Carlin

    Regarding Klout and its system: Does anyone know what the lists one can create are useful for? I couldn’t find any information about this feature on the Klout site.

  • https://www.facebook.com/BestsellerWisdom Bonnie Brooks

    I agree with your point about blogs, Nate. And the idea that influence comes in many different forms. Absolutely, there is a difference in the type of influence people have – come to happy hour, everyone vs here’s a new idea on strategic direction for your business that could impact ROI  - which stream would you rather be reading? Now on to reading your shameless promotion…. see the influence you’re having on me by your blog post comments.  :-)

  • http://twitter.com/therichbrooks therichbrooks

    Great article, Elijah.

    Of course Klout can be gamed; any automated service can be. These type of tools (I’m including all “graders” here, especially the ones from HubSpot) can be helpful in giving us a general understanding of how we’re doing, but the longer they’re around, the more people will learn to hack the system.

    Sure, I like to check tools like Klout to “see how I’m doing,” but it reminds me of wikipedia: it’s a great place to start your research but I’d check other sources before handing in my final paper.

  • http://www.alecdifrawi.com/ Alec Difrawi

    I hope the emphasis and on engagement will show companies that simply reaching out isn’t enough. Social media is social. You need to start a conversation.

  • http://www.3hatscommunications.com/blog/ Davina K. Brewer

    Short answer to your question: No. Glad that Nikki and others have mentioned that Klout is a work in progress; it is.. and as a SM credit score (nice one) there is plenty of room for improvement. Can you ignore it? No, it’s one of the ‘standard’ measure but just like credit scores.. you check them all to see what is the same AND what’s different. I’ve read of people’s scores going up when they were on vacation and not online; my own alleged influencers have never tweeted with me, I don’t RT them. 

    The gaming aspect is a big factor and while the add on of LinkedIn is valid, you have the cross-posting or syncing issue as some people post everything to both networks. IMO that’s not a smart move, different audiences. Someone mentioned that it’s a lot of people talking to each other, not necessarily their audiences which is a valid point. The networks aren’t the only places there are audiences and interaction online, which is to say I don’t think blogging is quite dead again yet. My biggest contention with Klout is still Facebook. For me (and many others) different audiences doesn’t come close to describing it; I don’t give a rodent’s posterior about my ‘influence’ on FB as it’s not where I conduct my professional life online so it’s not linked to my Klout profile. For what it’s worth.

  • http://jochemkoole.nl Jochem Koole

    Unfortunately, you’d be surprised how many businesses (at least here in The Netherlands) still think of social media as a magical trick that requires almost no effort and provides instant success. I feel, the use of social media for any company requires a decent plan and strategy. Hopefully, we’ll get this idea across some time soon. For the company’s sake, that is.

  • http://nateriggs.com/ nateriggs

    Hey – I do have a friend who is building an entire business on tweeting to get people to show up to happy hour.  Any type of influence can have value if you think through who can benefit from it. :)

    Thanks for the props! :)

  • Melissa A. Rosati

    Good point, Elijah, thanks.

  • http://www.directresponse.net David Polykoff

    This is definitely going to be a huge work in progress.
    The idea is out there.  Now they just have to knock it out of the ballpark.
    I don’t think the klout score will have much affect now.  But soon to be a big player.

  • TimOtis

    I agree with David that it’s a huge work in progress. I’m also not wild about the +K influencer endorsement, because, as Elijah pointed out, suddenly he can get a “+1″ for aviary. And this supposed “influence” is really just semantics for the fact that someone is really good at building relationships — and through that, can be determined an influencer. I wrote a rant about the many things wrong with Klout, but sadly I failed to include the fact that Klout uses its influence rating to scale everything else. Here’s my post if anyone’s interested: http://timotis.tumblr.com/post/6274336537/why-klout-should-be-renamed-tout

  • http://outsmartdisease.com Hashimotos

    I see spam accounts with a klout over 1000 and zero followers on Twitter all the time. It looks like the klout numbers can be somehow manipulated

  • http://www.marketingm8.co.uk Peter L Masters MCIM

    Hi Elijah and thanks for a great look at Klout!

    Lots of great and very different opinions from lots of different people, always a great sign of a quality topic!Klout may have some minor issues but I think it’s good and getting better every day. We also have PeerIndex which is very similar and I might get shouted down for this, but I think Empire Avenue is a great indication of an individuals involvement with social media.  Empire Avenue considers connectivity and usage BIG time and an individuals involvement is easy to see!I have Klout, PeerIndex and Ed Orcutt’s Hoverme Hovercard connected to my Twitter feed and I love it when I see ‘social media gurus’ with a Klout score of 22 when my 13 year old daughter has a Klout score around 30. Klout helps you see who you are dealing with and assists in making judgement calls!   There’s a good YouTube interview with Klout CEO Joe Fernandez that people might enjoy and it shows that these guys have a genuine interest in improving the great service they offer. I do agree with Cindy King’s comments that some people do put lots of effort into attaining good Klout scores and little else, but as Brian says, you can’t buy Klout points like you can Tweets and Facebook LIKES. I must also add that I read on a blog that people in the USA are being hired based on their Klout scores, how true is this?? Great article, thanks very much, Peter

  • http://www.marketingm8.co.uk Peter L Masters MCIM

    Sorry Hashimotos, but Klout scores are only measured between 1-100, check out ‘Understanding the influence metric’ on Klout and read their blog, that might help you. (Hope you don’t mind me adding this Elijah?)   

  • Gary Lee

    The one thing I’ll add to the comments here is that it’s critical for marketing professionals to look at any form of “influencer” scores through the lens of topical relevancy and a voice’s influence and authority within a particular market segment or community.   For instance, a person (aka voice) may be highly influential and authoritative within the community and market segment for “mobile phone applications”, and have NO perceived authority and voice within other market segments like “parenting”, “heart disease”, automobiles and “ceramic kitties”.  Each person can and will have scores (or no scores) for each market segment we look at depending on whether they are active in these segments or not.  The same person writing on mobile phone apps may also have a strong and respected voice on tablets, WiFi and other technologies, but no voice on ceramic kitties.

    To properly find the most influential voices, one has to look first within the market segments one cares about, and find the voices actively talking and having an impact within these communities.   Yes, there are some times when one just wants the “loudest voice” to raise awareness on an issue like disaster relief, and in those instances one just wants the voices with the largest social graphs to engage with.   But in almost all other instances, it’s critical to find the voices which are pertinent to the market being addressed.

    In our company, we get this.  And we’ve designed our tools to look deep within markets based on keyword analysis to find the influential voices and then compare them to others.   We feel this is a much more robust way of measuring influence than Klout.   We invite you to learn more by going to www,mblast.com/mpact.

    Gary Lee
    CEO, mBLAST

  • http://blog.fandura.com Elijah R. Young

    never let it affect you that much Miss Beverly.  It’s an imperfect metric, you could be doing everything right!

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  • http://twitter.com/MichaelACousin Michael A. Cousin

    Klout is one tool to use to measure the effectiveness of social programs. We look at it and other factors in our measuring and reporting for our clients. They have a good thing and I hope it keeps getting better as it goes on. 

  • http://twitter.com/unilyzer Unilyzer

    Can someone tell me why I should care about my Klout score? Will it impact my daily life in a meaningful way?  Seems like this is just a “look-at-me”, vanity, popularity contest. Who and how do you cash in on a high Klout Score?  Seems that those who are already popular off-line, by default become popular online?  And those who take the time to increase their Klout score are locked into perpetual maintenance of that score.  So where is the payoff for users?  The payoff for the company may come in the form of an IPO or some other liquidity event, but what does it do for the user?  Anyone?

  • http://www.sixdegreescontent.com/ Courtney Ramirez

    It’s going to be really interesting to see how Klout develops, especially with the recent publicity. I predict that it’s going to have the same type of surge that Twitter experienced, although a lot more rapidly since it’s a tool rather than a new platform. it will be up to them to keep people involved, engaged and relying on it. I see they’ve already borrowed a bit from other successful social media tools – I just got my old school badge for being an early adopter. Adding in the fun element might make it more popular for certain users – but I’m definitely keeping an eye on the relevancy and whether the scores are accurate.

  • http://www.sixdegreescontent.com/ Courtney Ramirez

    If you’re trying to approach a particular influencer within a certain market, I can see it having applications. for example, if your company launches a product that would be great for a market, contacting an influencer by searching in Klout for those keywords could be helpful.

  • pierreloic

    Thanks for the post, Elijah.

    For brand managers and communication professionals who have been in the business of scrapping the web (on Google, Twitter, LinkedIn) searching for ‘influencers’, Klout offers a great complementary tool for them to get a feel for someone’s clout.

    Trouble starts when marketers see Klout as Gospel and its top users as the web’s uber-influencers who can climb mountains bare hand and propel brands to new heights. Those marketers are in for a disappointing experience, leading to the wrong conclusion: influencer outreach doesn’t work (see http://brandsavant.com/the-limits-of-online-influence/).

    The problem is not that influencer outreach doesn’t work but that Klout doesn’t help marketers find the influencers they need because it’s missing the most important ingredient that defines influence: relevance.

    +K (aka crowdsourcing the tagging of Klout profiles) is an attempt at addressing this issue but, as you’ve already experienced, it’s so easy to game that its success is questionable.

    The answer to measure contextual influence (which is the only way it should ever be assessed) ought to be algorithmic to reach a scale that makes it much harder to game. This is the path we’ve taken…

    @pierreloic / http://www.traackr.com

  • http://thestrategicmama.com/ Vanita Cyril

    I recently pitched to two local potential clients about making their websites marketable. One asked for my klout score and hubspot blog score and the other asked for my klout, peerindex, google analytics and hubspot website score. It’s becoming a requirement to land a project on my end. here’s the thing though, now with the newly added feature of +k, it seems it can be rigged. my Klout score of 62 will mean nothing soon enough with people handing +k out to friends just because they’re friends.

  • stupidcatdesign

    The thing that we tend to forget is Twitter’s own published information concerning their API – this is the very API that Klout and other clients use to rely on in order to collect data to measure against.  Twitter does not record retweets done through clients using the API. Therefore, the measurement is flawed. If you or someone retweeting you uses TweetDeck, Hootsuite, or other client, it is not recorded by Twitter for your account. The Klout score means absolutely nothing.  It is a made up number based on a flawed calculation. In fact, Klout used to publish your current number of followers. They stopped doing this because it exposed exactly what I am saying here. The number rarely matched your actual number of followers due to API problems with Twitter. There is no clout with Klout. It is a marketing scheme – we need to stop buying into it. There is no tool that can be counted on for accuracy for measuring your influence as the Twitter API is throttled and riddled with issues.  Therefore, the only accurate accounting would be if Twitter offered a measurement tool themselves.  It’s their data – they could report on it accurately. Trust no one but Twitter!

  • http://www.facebook.com/roberto.cumaraswamy Roberto Cumaraswamy

    Hi John,

    thanks for your feedback. BTW: Who is Gary V?

    Have been reading though some of the comments here, and one recurring theme that i would have to agree to is that of RELEVANCE. Nobody, except perhaps for celebrities, is influential on every topic. Everyone has a field of expertise that they get known for and people rely on them for their views and comments in that field.

    However, i believe there is also such a thing as ‘derived’ influence. This is where an individual perceives another voice (person) to have influence on a subject based on other factors related to that voice, e.g. their popularity. This can especially apply when either a) the subject is a subjective common-culture subject (e.g. movies, books, games, etc) or b) the searching individual does not have any knowledge as to who the real experts are on a particular subject.

    For example, if i were wondering what a particular game or movie is like and i decided to consult the social media space, it is quite likely that i would be more influenced by a popular friend or aquaintance i had, who had lots of people responding/re-tweeting their comments, than a lesser known but highly knowlegeable expert in the subject (who i might not even see in my network).

    So is the social reach and visibility (i.e. the likelihood of their comments appearing in your network) not also a good indicator of ‘influence’?

    One final thought: what really is ’influence’, especially in the social media space when it comes to being used for marketing? Is it about someone providing a relevant, credible and well-researched opinion or is it about somene being able to spread a particular pov/statement over as large an engaged audience as possible?

    As a brand, if i wanted to promote my latest product, would i reap more benefits by engaging an expert in my product’s field who had a following of 10x (x can be whatever you deem as a measure of reach) or an a popular socialite or blogger with a following of 1000x?

    I guess the answer would be based on what the brand deemed the objective or benefit to be…

    Thoughts?

  • http://www.facebook.com/roberto.cumaraswamy Roberto Cumaraswamy

     Have been reading though some of the comments here, and one recurring theme that i would have to agree to is that of RELEVANCE. Nobody, except perhaps for celebrities, is influential on every topic. Everyone has a field of expertise that they get known for and people rely on them for their views and comments in that field.

    However, i believe there is also such a thing as ‘derived’ influence. This is where an individual perceives another voice (person) to have influence on a subject based on other factors related to that voice, e.g. their popularity. This can especially apply when either a) the subject is a subjective common-culture subject (e.g. movies, books, games, etc) or b) the searching individual does not have any knowledge as to who the real experts are on a particular subject.

    For example, if i were wondering what a particular game or movie is like and i decided to consult the social media space, it is quite likely that i would be more influenced by a popular friend or aquaintance i had, who had lots of people responding/re-tweeting their comments, than a lesser known but highly knowlegeable expert in the subject (who i might not even see in my network).

    So is the social reach and visibility (i.e. the likelihood of their comments appearing in your network) not also a good indicator of ‘influence’?

    One final thought: what really is ‘influence’, especially in the social media space when it comes to being used for marketing? Is it about someone providing a relevant, credible and well-researched opinion or is it about somene being able to spread a particular pov/statement over as large an engaged audience as possible?

    As a brand, if i wanted to promote my latest product, would i reap more benefits by engaging an expert in my product’s field who had a following of 10x (x can be whatever you deem as a measure of reach) or an a popular socialite or blogger with a following of 1000x?

    I guess the answer would be based on what the brand deemed the objective or benefit to be…

    Thoughts?

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  • http://www.alphacomputer.ca/wpactc Jeff Brown

    Great article Elijah. I just did on blog post on Klout on June 17th talking about Saul Colt’s thoughts on Klout, influence and audience: http://alphacomputer.ca/wpactc/2011/06/is-saul-colt-right-about-klout/ Klout has its draw backs, but it will be one of the tools that will show you when you are really motivating change and truly influencing. We have to use numbers carefully. I believe Klout is moving in the right direction and can only get better. Can it really measure influence, or only audience; only time will tell. ~Jeff

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_CVQNFRYUTIFAAC7FB4K3MACZDE Lucky

    Dude, it’s bad enough we have to do SEO on our websites and worry about how they’re ranking. Now we’re gonna be expected to do it for our own personalities? Reading about Klout just made me kill my Twitter account (I killed my FB account years ago). So enjoy the freebies, suckers. Because in this life you’re either a producer or you’re a disposable uniqueID…and if you sign up for this horse**** you’ve basically declared to everybody your life isn’t worth squat =)

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  • http://www.thirtyonecreative.com 31 Creative

    We’re interested to see where Klout will move from here… giving +K’s seems a little gimmicky. Awesome post Mr. Young, puts mine to shame! http://ow.ly/5xGHV

  • http://twitter.com/AiDBusiness Advertising in Depth

    Your article has presented some of the data that drives Klout. Clearly, they have developed a measure that says SOMETHING about ones impact in the social media that no one else seems to have been able to do. While they have a long way to go towards perfecting their system, who has a good alternative? I haven’t found one. PeerIndex is somewhat of a mystery, and Tweet Grader (Hubspot) doesn’t appear to be very discriminating. Does anyone know of others?
    From the number of comments that your article has generated, there appears to be a lot of interest in some valid measure of social media influence.

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  • http://www.thenerdynurse.com/ The Nerdy Nurse

    I totally love me some klout even thought it thinks I’m influential about cats… don’t even own one. 
    cant for the life of me think of when I would ever tweet about them

  • http://taylor--and-associates.com Allen Taylor

    You can buy Klout points. You could pay someone to give you +K. As Elijah noted, some friends gave him +K for his one tweet on birds. That tells me that +K could be bought and sold like a commodity.

  • http://taylor-and-associates.com Allen Taylor

    I am only slightly impressed with Klout. I’m not sure it’s useful in its current format. It seems to be overly weighted toward Twitter, which is odd because Facebook is the most trafficked website online. Klout allows you to manually enter other Twitterers who influence you, but you can’t manually add the Facebook friends who influence you.

    You can read my blog post “My Beef With Klout” to see what else I don’t like about it.

  • http://icrontic.com Brian

    I don’t put +K in the same realm as the actual Klout metric. +K shows topics. I don’t pay much attention to it, because they’re so fast and loose with it (you can give anyone +K in anything; people use it as trolling/jokes)

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  • http://roniweiss.com/ Roni Weiss

    I check my Klout every morning. It means a bit, but the hope is that they’ll get to the point where it means a lot more.

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  • http://www.delishibusiness.com Arwen Taylor

    I joined Klout today to see what all the fuss was about. I’m not impressed so far. Plus it says I’m an expert on Macbooks and computers. The only reason I tweeted about these subjects was because my computer got a virus and I was venting. Some expert!

    I agree the site has potential but needs a lot of work.

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  • http://twitter.com/socialPolly Alex Pollock

    Great quote that I saw a few weeks back about online influence. 
    It was based around whether the number of followers determined how influential you were, and some one who was very interested by Klout and its measurements said something along the lines of:”Having 5000 followers each with 50 followers, doesn’t make me influential… but having 50 followers each with 5000 followers means I’m clearly doing something right!”Very apt.

  • http://twitter.com/donald555 donald ukponu

    Klout is very challenging .If Klout want to achieve it Klout firm needs to include all the social networking to get a better picture what is all about, fans might be engaging well in other social sites than other.Just recently Klout added new social sites to their portfolio.That is good and current achievement.Klout is doing well.Brav to Klout company.Donald

  • donald576

    Klout is a good judgment of social networking measurement.I check my Klout everyday.Klout should add all the social sites for better judgment.Currently, they added few, The judgment of fans varies with Klout.Well Klout.

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  • 4dFairlane

    I have a Klout True Reach of 4K, with a high concentration super-users with high Klout score. I just connected with someone with a True Reach of 300. That person has a higher Klout score than mine. Until Klout starts linking a LOT more networks it’s simply not credible, or not credible enough. It is interesting, however, as ONE indicator of #socialcapital. XeeMe connects pretty much every network and IMV provides a much more accurate view of social “clout.”

  • http://www.guillembaches.com Guillem Baches

    Jeez my reach is around 11K. I’m a great influencer!

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  • http://twitter.com/SwissNetInc SwissNet, Inc.

    And what about the newest changes in metrics?

  • http://twitter.com/ReidMcC Reid

    Since the link you list about Klout being gameable lists almost entirely tips that improve your and your follower’s Twitter experience, I don’t think that’s particularly a problem!

  • http://twitter.com/outside_shadows Jason Presley

    +K is a popularity contest.  People will give +K to a celeb simply because they like them even though they are not influenced by anything they say.  A true social impact score should be void of any other influence other then who you interact with and who interacts with you.  That will show true Klout!

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  • Guest

    We are new to the whole social media landscape and are learning constantly. So we feel a great need for a tool that can somehow tell us how we are progressing. Klout, (though it may not be perfect) gives a decent idea about that. So we wouldnt ignore it for sure. As far as accuracy is concerned, even google analytics isnt all that accurate so I guess Klout is really helping us by giving at least some metrics about the otherwise ambiguous Social Media

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  • vperrante

  • vperrante

    The original post by by Elijah Young was dated June 15, 2011. LOTS of things change in a year or so these days. I applaud Klout for taking the initiative to develop a tool to aggregate, interpret and measure the madness that’s happening on the web.  If Klout had a few bugs in its early stages of development that should be considered real-time R&D.  Until those who knock Klout come up with a better (or an alternate) way to measure online influence, I suggest they pipe down and let the Klout guys work out the bugs before feeding them to the twitter birds.

  • Dan Purvis

    I
    could talk all day about Social Influence and the failings of the free
    tools. Klout grates me because it boasts that it is the “Standard for
    Influence” with its users at its core. We’re not at its core – we’re
    merely digital playthings for its affiliate marketing programme. Here’s
    the post I wrote on it recently – fair play to PeerIndex CEO, Azeem, in
    posting a quick comment on my piece. http://digitalmusings.net/does-social-influence-really-matter/

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  • John #TeamFollowBack

    As far as klout is concerned, it isn’t reliable. A whole load of retweets etc from my last 90 days have not been included in my measurement – it is at least transparent about what has been, but the score will never be accurate if large chunks of the raw matter that goes to make it up is missing. There is another system, called Kred, and I have checked back and found it to be a precise measurement of what has been going on the last 90 days, no problem whatever.

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