Last week, Klout made changes to the algorithm that they had been using to calculate scores. For anyone who is unfamiliar with Klout and their scores, basically, Klout is a company that attempts to measure “influence across the social web”. That’s a pretty tall order and there has always been a lot of skepticism to whether this can actually be done and if it is done, how accurate it is.
Can Klout Really Measure our Influence on Social Media?
Back in August, I wrote the post “Can Klout Really Measure our Influence on Social Media?” where I shared my strategy for participating in the Klout scoring “game” and I asked for your opinions. A lot of readers took the time to share their thoughts. At the time, I was scoring high as being influential on “American Idol” and Janet Callaway was scoring high in “lizards”. Both of us had written one blog article on those topics. The articles gained popularity and hence we were then proclaimed as being influential in those topics. Since both of those topics are far from our areas of expertise, we shared a laugh over it and moved on.
As you’d expect, the comments on that post included multiple viewpoints. Some people took the stand that Klout is worthless and they chose to not participate. Others thought that there was potential for a tool like this. However they felt, people commented (making this one of my most popular posts yet) and the comment section does make interesting reading.
Should Klout Be Part of Your Social Media Strategy?
Back in August, my personal take on Klout was to incorporate it into my strategy for Twitter. My thinking was that since Twitter was already driving the majority of my referral traffic to my blog, why not just add giving “+Ks” into the mix. After all, it doesn’t take that much time and I could recognize other bloggers while building awareness of my own Twitter ID/brand at the same time. I also committed to making a conscious effort to use the hashtags #socialmedia, #socialnetworks and #strategy in an attempt to control the topics that I was supposedly influential in.
The good news is that I have connected with several more bloggers on Twitter. (By “connecting”, I don’t mean just following them. We have taken the time to visit each others’ blogs and try to offer support in our own areas.) Additionally, my topics of influence on Klout now include social media, social media networks and social media strategy.
Okay, I’m sure several people are shrugging their shoulders and thinking to themselves, “So what?” At least in part, I agree. Who does care what my klout score is? I for one don’t care about the actual score. What I do care about is my new Twitter connections and the fact that I’m building awareness on Twitter which results in driving traffic to my blog which ultimately led to two new clients in the past month.
How Did the Algroithm Changes that Klout Made Affect You?
So what is going on with your scores? Do you know anyone who saw their Klout score go up? My score dropped about 20 points. (My best guess since I’m not totally sure what it was before the changes. Again, I don’t care what my actual score is.) What happened to your score or don’t you know or care?
What prompted me to write this article is the fact that a lot of people are upset over this. The backlash has even resulted in a Twitter movement resulting in the hashtag #OccupyKlout and someone has registered the @OccupyKlout name. Who’s benefitting from this though? Is there a chance that the company itself is behind this movement? It certainly is building brand awareness.
Are You Abandoning Klout or Sticking With It?
Before I turn this over to you, I want to share an article with you. “This Is Why I Disabled My Klout Account” by Robert Dempsey offers insight into what has been going on behind the scenes. Robert’s “Exhibit A” is an email from Klout to someone who questioned the drop in their score and his “Exhibit B” is a comment that the Marketing Manager of Klout left on a blog post. Robert’s conclusions are that we are being penalized if the people that we’re interacting with aren’t top influencers. (Please read Robert’s post yourself since I’m paraphrasing at best.)
Another reason for reading Robert’s article is that he goes on to outline the steps to opt out of Klout and asks us to join him. Personally, I’m going to hang in there a bit longer but I may decide to join him. For now, I’m going to continue giving +Ks to bloggers who I feel are doing a good job by adding value. Some of them are top influencers according to Klout and some aren’t. I don’t really care. I am also going to be sure to not credit @klout in my tweets. Since they don’t feel that I’m influential, they shouldn’t miss them.
What’s your take? Did your score rise or fall? Do you have a strategy for using Klout? Are you joining the movement against them or opting out? What are your real feelings about Klout? Over to you . . .