Klout and Social Media

Since I’ve been speaking publicly about social media and meeting prospective clients, I’m asked many times what my Klout Score is and what do I think of Klout?

I probably shocked more than a few folks when I said I didn’t know my Klout Score and didn’t really care.

But, I keep getting asked and I’m a curious soul so I started looking more closely at Klout.

(Don’t worry, if you think I’m suddenly going to roll over and love Klout then you don’t know me very well and you’re in for a surprise.)

Klout launched in 2008 and is now based in San Francisco.  (No surprise there.)  

Klout purports to be able to measure one’s social media influence by their proprietary algorithm.  They claim to factor over 400 variables into this calculation.

All one’s so called “influence” is calculated in one number which cannot exceed 100.

40 is considered to be an average score.

Klout can apparently be used by brands, businesses, or individuals.  There is also a feature called “perks” that entitles are “exclusive rewards for content creators.”

Now myself, I’ve always been leery of overly simplified calculations.

The question I keep asking myself is Klout really worth the effort?

With over 400 variables in the calculation is it really possible to influence your Klout Score?

(In fact, one enterprising PhD candidate reverse engineered the Klout algorithm and purports that the number of followers is sufficient to explain 95% of the variance in Klout Scores!)

To me, my Klout Score is like my body’s temperature.  As long as I’m at 98.6° F, I’m good.  If I do all the right things, like diet, exercise, get enough sleep, and not fall under buses then I should be what passes for normal.  (I’m talking about my body’s temperature, friends and family may have another opinion about the rest of me.)

But, when I’m not at 98.6° F then what?

Invariably, after a day or two, I go see a doctor who in turn has to arrange for a battery of tests.

Other than the obvious what can I do about my temperature?

Not a lot!

And, that’s how I feel about my Klout score.

As long as I keep doing what I’d being doing otherwise then I’m fine.

Neither my temperature or my Klout Score have anything to do with my respective well beings and can’t do a lot for me when they vary.

Klout’s use of the word “influence” is misleading in my opinion.

Having a large number of followers or the simple act of sharing a story does not translate into being “influential.”

Our followers may only be following us out of morbid curiosity or to try and sell us more followers on  Twitter!

My views on Twitter are reserved for now.

I can’t include my own self-hosted blog but Blogger and WordPress.com can be included.  Pinterest is not an available network on Klout despite its rapid adoption by many.

These are major misses in my mind and call into question the validity of any Klout Scores.  A solid social media program would provide more benefit and actionable data.

For now, I’ve opened an account and I’ll see what happens.

In the meantime, I think I’m going to worry more about my blood pressure than my Klout Score!

That’s it for now!

In the meantime, thank you for following and reading my blog!

I look forward to any and all comments that you may have.  I will reply to any comments made to this blog post as promptly as I can.


I do this for a living and if I can be of any assistance to either you or your organization, please feel free to call on me.  Our initial discussion will be of no charge to you.

I can also be reached at conpsweeney@someddi.com.

My Twitter handle is @conpsweeney.

Stay well!


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