It’s Not Me, It’s You, Klout

Measuring a blogger’s influence can be tricky. Along with your basic statistics, there is Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google + and all the other social media platforms waiting to be added into the “influencer” pot. Enter Klout, the start-up that measures users social media relevance and influence through algorithms. Sounds fancy and fail-proof, right?

Wrong. I recently entered my social media accounts into Klout and guess what? It stated that I was an influencer in blueberries and bacon. Say what?

The problem with Klout lies in its inability to actually see its users. To actually understand them. Sure, it can mathematically create an equation that somehow summarizes you as social media user, but what about me as a person? I rarely eat meat and blueberries so how did I become an influencer?! I probably talk about shoes that are blueberry-colored but that is as close as it gets.

According to Klout, it “measures influence online using data from your social networks. Anywhere you have an online presence, you have the opportunity to influence people by creating or sharing content that inspires actions such as likes, retweets, comments and more.” The key word in understanding Klout is data. Everything you say and everything you like equals into your Klout score. It’s all about numbers and less about you as a blogger.

Yes, Klout can be a fun tool, especially for those who want to see potential marketing opportunities or get insight into their social media profiles. But do I use my Klout score for anything? nope. Do brands ask what my Klout score is before working with me? Nope.

Sorry Klout, I think that I have a better idea of what I’m all about, not a computer that breaks me down into an algorithm.

ps: no blueberries or bacon were consumed while writing this post.

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13 Responses

  1. Eva

    I really appreciate that you write about the Klout experience honestly instead of publishing another article maximizing Klout’s relevance when it obviously has its flaws. No need to obsess over your score. 🙂

  2. madeleine gallay

    ah, the clout algorithms and topics

    I use it as a tool to gauge at a glance what’s moving on twitter, etc and immediately ‘X’ out the unusual categories.

    Just a tool, but they have raised a major round of money which means that they can perhaps become more refined.

    It’s an interesting idea, very old-school and one in a basket with other statistics and ideas.

  3. MJ

    I AGREE!!!! Ever since they “fixed” the alogorithim, my score has been plummeting ever since completely taking me out of the running for their perks and things. I’m over Klout at this point.

  4. Samantha

    I hadn’t really heard of this (shock horror!) until reading this article. I went and had a play with it but I am really not sure if I see the point at all. It didn’t place my score in a context or tell me what it meant really so i don’t think I will be making much use of it in the future. Thanks for the article though, good to know what is happening out there!

  5. Moe

    One of mine was “Nissan” I thought this was hilarious since I drive a Hyundai and before that a Toyota. I don’t recall ever talking about Nissan.

    My score dropped with the change over as well but it has been progressively going up with interaction. I’m more concerned about my PR rank than my Klout at this point.

  6. Ondo Lady

    I was all over Klout when they first emerged and always went on there to look at my score and compare it to others. However, since they adjusted the algorithms and my scores went crashing down I have lost interest. As far as I am concerned they have lost credibility. What was wrong with their system in the first place that it needed fixing and why did it take so long to rectify? Kind of like doing a class for 10 months and being given A grades and then one day your tutor says you were wrongly assessed and now your average score is a C. What are you to believe? Nonsense!! As for the topics? They are a load of waffle.

  7. Shannyn

    I agree- when my score went down, that was one thing, but now I find that it ONLY goes down. It doesn’t matter how many new people I connect and converse with, if I stop tweeting a smidge I lose points fast…it has only gone up ONCE and by one point, totally ridiculous.

    It’s almost like I’m now punished for having a life and not tweeting nonstop for a day or two.

  8. Mads

    I’m one of the few whose Klout score went up but it now says I am influential about McDonalds (never written about them, never will) and other random topics. I check my score the few times they email me but don’t see it as important in my day to day social media life.