What is Klout and is it really useful?

is klout really useful


What is Klout?

Klout is a website that supposedly measures the influence you have on social media. It was launched in September 2009, and modestly refers to itself as 'the standard for influence'. It has been met with very mixed opinions. A lot of people have jumped on the bandwagon and now have become hooked on the idea of boosting their Klout score up each day. Others label Klout as an inaccurate form of measurement which is about as much use as a chocolate teapot. So to get to the bottom of whether it is really useful, we have split the arguments into positive and negatives...

Positives - Important & Useful

Klout measures your influence on social media in the following ways:

  • 'True Reach' - A measure of the size of your engaged audience, excluding inactive and spam accounts.
  • 'Amplification Probability' - A measure of how likely your content is to be shared.
  • 'Network Influence' - A measure of how influential the people who follow you are.
On paper, that seems like a relatively appropriate list of criteria for measuring your social media influence. It is also important to note the true difficulty of actually measuring accurately how influential someone is on social media. The measure of social media success has long been a topic of debate, one that continues regardless of Klout's presence.It is undeniable that they have deciphered a pretty good algorithm for defining social media influence - but is it enough?
What is good about Klout is that it is presented beautifully and simply, and in the industry of marketing, people want measurements. They want to be able to see success and failures in front of them, so that they can learn and evolve continuously.

Negatives - Inaccurate & Pointless

The website has encountered a lot of criticism, and unfortunately it would seem that most of it is justified. There is a strong argument that it doesn't really offer a fair representation of a person's influence on social media, and that it just encourages people who want to 'level up' - as if they are in a game. Here are the reasons that suggest that Klout is an inaccurate and perhaps pointless tool:

  • It is easy to 'cheat the system' - and get yourself a high score. Go to Google and search 'how to cheat Klout' - and see how long it takes you to get through all the tricks. How can we take scores seriously if people can just cheat themselves to a higher score.
  • It is often inaccurate with it's information on you; claiming you are an expert of something you mentioned once perchance.
  • Klout takes absolutely no notice of your offline activities. You could be a world famous A-List star who models the latest ranges of Armani suits on billboards, but if you don't have a Twitter account, then Klout thinks you don't exist.
  • There is absolutely no evidence that supports that these people with high influence, are actually influencing anyone. In fact, as an article on Technology Spectator points out, experts suggest that real influence is created by easily influenced people, influencing other easily influenced people.  Wow, that's a lot of influence.
  • Experts show that influence isn't as simple as people with high influence telling people with no influence to buy things. In reality, influence is far more complicated and can involve lots of different people of varying influence levels.

The Final Word 

Klout have made a good effort at measuring social influence, but in reality it is basically a tool for narcissistic attention seekers who want to hit that perfect hundred. We wouldn't suggest paying too much attention to your Klout score, or anybody else's for that matter. Focus on getting actual results - trust us that when you get there you won't need clarification of your success from a website.

Editor - 

Kane is the Managing Director of Giraffe Social Media. His primary focus is Finance and Operations Management, that's when he isn't watching clips from The Office on YouTube anyway. Google+ Profile

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