Klout's dilemma

by Joseph Akbrud


Earlier today Klout announced that they are now incorporating Google+ data into their Klout score calculations. For the uninitiated, Klout's goal is to measure an individuals online influence (on a scale of 1-100) by incorporating data from as many social networks as possible (Klout currently integrated 12 social networks in to their score and plans on adding 7 more).

Klout has been adding social networks on a regular basis arguing that the more networks they integrate the more accurately they can gauge a users influence. Sounds logical right? Yes and no.

While adding more social networks arguably makes your score more accurate from a broad sense the service lacks any real filtering, preventing brands and organizations from using the service efficiently. 

For example, as of this writing my Klout score holds steady at a solid 45. It also states that I am influential in "Tea" and "Boats". Logical dictates that a marketer can now take this data and use it to target me directly as an influential user in my particular area of expertise. Sounds great right? Unfortunately that is not the case.

Out of the 12 available social networks there is no way of differentiating what social network I am influential on.  Essentially you are told what I am influential in but not where I wield that influence.  You can view my Klout profile and see what social networks I have associated with my account but what can a marketer do with that information? Most organizations have little to no resources dedicated to social media and do not have the time to reach out to me on every social network that I am a part of.  I can have a high Klout score of because of twitter alone but what does that do for a brand launching a Facebook campaign?

By adding more and more social networks without clear filtering and transparency Klout is rapidly diminishing the value of a Klout Score and making themselves less relevant in the process.