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Panic About Your Klout Score Is Just Plain Silly

Hi everyone! Are you on Klout? Well, you probably are but you just don’t know it yet. They have profiles of just about everyone so when you log in using either your Twitter or Facebook accounts, you’ll see your score. Mine fluctuates. You can see my current score in the upper right corner of my blog.

Now one of my Branding Challenge tasks is all about Klout. I’m not going to teach it to you today – if you want to learn that, you can grab my first 7 PDFs of the challenge here and get my entire tutorial on Klout.

Yesterday, they implemented a system of scoring that had many users scores diving and some soaring and some barely changing. My dipped a couple of points but is back up today.

But MAN…you should see the people ready to jump out of a window about this! I’ll link to the 1,000+ comments Klout had to babysit here, but seriously, don’t even spend much time there.

I totally understand how these people feel because I once felt that way whenever I was using Squidoo and I was so dedicated and addicted and they’d initiate a change and my lensrank would fall and OH BOY did they get an earful from ME!

How ridiculous.

I look back now and laugh about that. If you ARE using Klout, please understand that it should be used as a TOOL for you to remember to stay engaged. It should never be a bragging rights status.

I saw people saying they wouldn’t be able to find a job now that their Klout score has dropped. REALLY? If that’s ALL you bring to the table, you’ve got bigger problems, buddy. I saw people stamping their feet ad saying they were LEAVING Klout because of this new algorithm. LOL! Okay, don’t let the door hit ya on the way out.

One thing I read was so hilarious to me. Some lady was talking about how her last Tweet was shared 2,467,643 times (I’m being sarcastic and over-boosting it here, but the point is she was bragging about the # of RTs she had).  She said her blog has an ENORMOUS amount of traffic. She said her G+ stream is blowing up she’s so popular, but her KLOUT score dropped!

Um…can someone please explain to this lady that it’s the engagement she HAS that’s important, and not a number on a third party site? She has all this going for her and she’s in sheer panic/anger mode over what number a site gave her?

She should just keep doing what she’s doing if she’s so popular and not worry about this. IE: I have no way to link my blog here because they only link the actual WordPress site, not independent blogs. But I’m not over there screaming when my Klout score drops because I KNOW what my reach is.  It doesn’t measure the emails of gratitude I get from you guys, or your comments here.

This is where the problem is.

People are hung up on bragging rights, period!

Use these sites as TOOLS…like a monkey using a stick to get ants or something. Use what it can deliver for you to help you to cater to your customers. For instance, I don’t need a lensrank on Squidoo to validate my effectiveness as a lensmaster.

I don’t need a Klout score to validate my appeal as a marketer.

What I CAN use Squidoo for is a platform to give me one more spot in Google’s top serps (meaning one link is my blog, the second spot is a lens, etc).

What I can use Klout for is to track my level of engagement to SOME degree, not all. I can see when someone gives me +K for something. (Boy, that’s called relationship building – I will go thank that person and connect more to them). I can see which topics my target audience attaches to my name, etc.  I can log into Klout as a reminder to myself to give and share more with my customers in a way that makes THEM want to share MY name with others.

I saw so much anger and petty panic it was disturbing. I was there once. SO glad I’m not now. Hope YOU won’t be, either. Klout rocks – if you know how to rock it. And it’s not at ALL about gaming the system.

Look at how many comments people made about “trying to increase their Klout score.” That is NOT what it’s about. It’s about doing and saying THINGS that people LOVE so much that they spread the word and you HAPPEN to increase your Klout score.

I will tell you this. If I’m engaged with my audience (which I am), I have an active following (which I do), and I convert higher than most other marketers percentage-wise (which I do), then I’m not changing a THING to increase my number on Klout. I will continue using it as a kick in the pants to keep doing what I’m doing and maybe if I log in one day and realize my score has plummeted over the past 30 days, I’ll think to myself, “Hmm, have I not been sharing much lately? I’ll go check.” And if it turns out that people aren’t retweeting or sharing my stuff because I’ve turned spammy, it might wake me up.

Alternatively, if I start giving away a report or something and I see my engagement soar, it could tell me, “Hey! People are eating up this giving nature of yours – keep at it!” And I will repeat those steps.

So step away from the window. All is well. I don’t care if you’re a 10 or an 80.

Tiff

29 Responses to “Panic About Your Klout Score Is Just Plain Silly”

  • Sally K says:

    Thanks for this Tiffany!

    It’s always helpful to get a reminder to keep the eye on the ball. The *real* one, not a distracting shiny object.

  • Good Lordy, some of the comments on that Klout blog will do more harm to that person’s real clout than a made up Klout Rank. :-)

    Good advice and I agree, just silly.

    By the way, there was a guy on TV this morning, he’s branded himself as a branding expert. :-) He had some good points. I just ordered his book on Amazon, “You Are the Brand” by Dr. Steve Adubato. Not sure if you’ve heard of him but just in case people are interested.

    Alan

  • I think when WE realize WE ARE our brand, then things will get easier. WE have to believe in our brand. When I slip in this area… I realize while I could be my own best example, I can also be my own worst example and advocate!

    BTW, what is Klout?

    Roz Fruchtman

  • Pat Busch says:

    Ha. This makes me laugh that people are so worried about “WINNING”…

    Thanks for the reminder to use it as a tool. When it’s new, it’s kind of fun to watch it go up. Not good to get too attached to the score.

  • Nathan says:

    Would you believe that I’ve never actually tweeted in my whole life? I’ve always seen it as being really contrived and I’ve really struggled to start using social media. I like G+ but I seem to spend ages on there and not getting on with anything else! :-)

    I had never heard of Klout before you mentioned it, Tiff, and now I keep hearing it everywhere! I think that some people are really taking it too seriously; some people are really fretting about their Klout score. Mine’s probably 0.

    What really made me take notice to all of this kind of thing was the way that your number of +1s on G now makes a difference to your ranking in the SERPS. I find that a little scary but it looks as though I’m going to have to be dragged kicking and screaming into the 21st century.

    I either want to embrace it all fully…or go and live in a cave up in the hills. :-)

  • Alice Coaxum says:

    Hi Tiffany,

    Wow, some of these people were tripping big time. One person talked about how they connected with people and forced them-self to use G+ to make their score bigger. Umm shouldn’t you be doing those things anyway because that is the way you want to get yourself known, build relationships and thus build your business.

    People are focusing on this number the way some go overboard about their numbers on the scale when dealing with their weight. It’s a tool not the be all or end all. If you are doing everything right you have nothing to worry about.

  • Ray says:

    Oh the horror! My Klout score sucks and I’m going to jump out of the ground floor window in my family room :)LOL!

    IMO if you’re (not meaning you Tiff :)) that worried about your online social influence, it’s time to take a break from your computer or smartphone, go outside and get a real life. Get some perspective. Seriously.

    Ray

  • Edie says:

    I second Rays comment – some people need to get a life. I was pleased to see I even had a score LOL!

    It’s interesting that they say my score is one thing (10 when I first arrived), but the overall total is bouncing around in the 20′s. In one area I’m only a 1. Must mean those around me are pulling me up – is that right?

    Anyway, this post cracked me up. Well, gotta get back to my real life. Since my office is actually a little underground, I have to jump up to get out the window. Life is rough sometimes!

  • If I were to try to pay attention to the social media and stay on there all the time, I wouldn’t be getting the bead patterns out to my customers that they are crying for. I wouldn’t get anything done. I have gotten hooked on facebook and twitter and didn’t get anything else done. I try to make time for them when I can now; but I don’t let them take over my life anymore.

    By the way my score is in the 20′s and they told me I had influence over one of the gurus and should get her to join. LOL I loved that one.

    Marilyn

    • Tiffany says:

      Yes there has to be a balance Marilyn! At the same time, don’t ignore them because it helps you grow your business. LOL about the gurus :)

  • Debi J says:

    I’m with Edie…I’m a 10 (don’t think I’ve EVER been a 10) LOL so I’m thrilled! I don’t know that my Klout score will make a difference unless I have traffic, but the 10 reminds me to keep moving forward to GET traffic. I could be an 80 if I tweet enough maybe but if no one sees what I’m doing outside of Tweetsville, then what?

    Worst case? I’ve got a heated pool I can go jump into! :)

    Debi J

    • Tiffany says:

      Yeah don’t worry about what number it gets to, worry about changes you see – actually don’t worry at all, just glance and give some reflection and move on. LOL

  • Kater says:

    WTheck is Klout?

    I presume it is the latest in social media.

    Does anyone else feel like they are on a string chasing around all this social media stuff?

    Kater

    • Tiffany says:

      Actually it’s not social media itself in my opinion – it’s a measure of social media. So to me, it’s like a tool, like a keyword tool, only this one gauges influence on social networks for you :)

  • Mekhola says:

    Was consciously avoiding the inane, so my social media activity is somewhat like Nathan’s – no Twitter account, a twice-a-month Facebook check-in, and never heard of Klout till you mentioned it. Have yet to start G+, tho’ i have several gmail accounts.

    But you’ve opened my eyes to the possibilities – so now I’ll have to get down to it.

    Why doesn’t some whizkid start a site with a cpanel of all social media buttons so one can just login once and attend to them all?

    • Tiffany says:

      That’s a good idea and I’m sure there’s probably something like that around. I just have one web 2.0 folder on my Chrome browser and go through them.

  • Pete Moring says:

    Hi Tiff, I always thought Klout was one of those Spammy sites anyway – Always sending me E-mails about one thing or another :-(

    I just checked my score after reading this – I’m at a lowly 27 :-)

    Am I worried? …. Do I look it? ;-)

    I can’t believe people get so wound up about these things when there’s Big Brother Evictions to worry about :-)

    Cheers – Pete.

  • John Collins says:

    Hi Tiff

    Klout is a toy, I mean tool. My score dropped a few points. But I’m still using it. However I did unfollow Klout on Twitter so I know Klout’s own influence score dropped a few points.

    “I saw people saying they wouldn’t be able to find a job now that their Klout score has dropped. REALLY?” Yep, really. I’ve seen employment ads that say “Must have a Klout score of at least…” lol.

    • Tiffany says:

      lol good revenge John :) I can’t believe there are jobs requiring Klout. How funny!

      • John Collins says:

        Hi Tiff

        Out of curiosity I have checked out jobs related to social media and those are the ones using Klout as proof a person has social skills. I’ve seen it in job descriptions for small companies to major corporations. I can’t believe they have so much trust in a service like Klout to decide if they are going to hire.

        But when you read the rest of the job description it makes sense. You can tell they haven’t got a clue about social media and they’re writing job specs about something they know nothing about.

        I think they must get their ideas from the news or watching a movie or ask some tech school or computer science college student. Then they throw in some non-social media duties using human resources speak to sound impressive When in fact, they sound like they don’t know. That is if you are a person on the knowing side. Not the kind of bait you want to use if you are really looking to hire an expert.

        One morning I was watching a local news show and they brought on a guest to talk about social media. He was the head honcho at a well known local university. I won’t stay the name but the initials are U of P. lol Well I started the morning with a good laugh listening to this guy try to sound knowledgeable and keep a straight face at the same time. If this is the kind of stuff they teach no wonder they are turning out the type of graduates they are.

        I’ve seen the the same thing with SEO. I’ve talked to quite a few grads that think they know something about SEO. They know a few buzz words and they seem very confident in their skills but to be honest they know very little and most of it’s wrong. A few times I was tempted to offer some insight into the real world of SEO but they were so sure they were the expert I just let them think they were. They all seem to have an arrogance about them. I was hoping to find confidence with a willing to learn but found arrogance instead. They have the best training, they were taught everything and they can do it all. So I keep my mouth shut. Somewhere along the line they are going to have a rude awakening.

        So many schools taking money to teach something they don’t understand. I wonder how many other things they are teaching they don’t know anything about.

        But getting real about Klout there are probably thousands of sites like Klout and they have access to the same statistics and some give you a lot more info than Klout. Klout is constantly changing how they calculate a persons influence and I’m sure it will change again. It’s cool to play with and get a baseline but I wouldn’t bet the farm on it being an exact science. Heck, they can’t even spell clout :)

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