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Your Klout Score is Killing YOU

Posted on the 31 October 2011 by Alizasherman @alizasherman

Stock-stuffedanimalwinI've been tweeting little digs lately about Klout questioning its importance and relevance...

Don't look @klout today. Instead see what your followers/friends are saying/doing & give REAL kudos. #zendigital

I find @klout to be like the Kool-aid that none of us should be drinking but some of us do. I personally find it silly.

Wow, my @klout score went from 72 to 60 with the new changes. Quite the ego buster. ;)

Why is everyone so caught up in their Klout scores? Why does anyone think Klout scores matter or actually mean anything important?

Geoff Livingston talked about the importance of actually being in the dialogues, in the communities you want to build through social media if you are looking to have success and be "influential." Plus he noted that real influencers in the offline world we live in are not using social media to be influential. See: Wasting Time on Klout and Influence Metrics.

What any of us who gives Klout any real creedence seems to forget is that Klout, the company, is just like any other company looking for their business model, looking to make money for their investors, and looking to siphon off some of the millions now being spent on the new shiny object of marketing called social media. You can't fault them for trying.

But you can't call Klout's mystery algorithms and scoring anything more than a novelty, a fun experiment, a game. And guess what? You get some cool perks by playing their game, too! Woo Hoo!

Klout isn't any more measuring your success using social media or your influence over others any more than Foursquare is making you the actual mayor of anything. But we keep checking into places because its fun, because we get perks, and because we can compete with our friends to have the most points. Checking in on Foursquare doesn't make us a better customer of the businesses where we check in and it doesn't make our experiences at the places where we check in any more meaningful. It's just a game we like to play.

Let's all step back a moment and remember: Klout is a GAME. It isn't really helping you become more proficient at using social media tools. It isn't connecting you to others in meaningful ways. It isn't changing your world in any way. It really isn't measuring actual influence on anyone.

If you have to measure, you'll get much more accurate results by tracking the activity (clickthroughs, conversions, retweets) on the links you provide in Twitter or by the actions taken when you post something to your friends, family and followers. That is, if they are genuinely interested in what you are saying and doing and take action on their own accord.

It is far more concrete to say that when you tweet something, you get retweeted 50 times, you get 1,000 clickthroughs and 300 people signed up for your offer than "I have a Klout score of 70." We don't even know what that Klout score REALLY means and Klout will never reveal that as they laugh their way to the bank.

No measurement tool out there will ever be able to gauge you real influence or capture the nuances of human interactions. And by the way, why are we so hung up on being influential? No wonder we pay attention to Klout. It is an EGO game!

Boy, Klout has got us there. We all want to be considered important and influential. We all want to matter.

Guess what? You matter. To someone out there.

So get on with your life and work and do meaningful things. Stop giving creedence to some arbitrary scoring game like Klout that oversimplifies HOW we matter in this world and in social media.

Do really good work from the heart, add value, be kind to others, and you get an "A" in my book.

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