Klout Score

Klout Score

It seems that the popularity of Klout has fluctuated over the last few months and sentiments are strong on both sides as to whether it is important or not. Most have already heard of the young man who was interviewed for a vice president position in a marketing agency located in Toronto but lost the job to another man who had a higher Klout score. What does a Klout score mean? What is it and how important is it? And should any of us really care?

Klout is an online measurement tool which determines how influential a person is online. It assigns values to various online activities and determines values based on a person’s participation in different social networks such as Twitter, Foursquare, Facebook and LinkedIn. Based on the amount of activity displayed you are given a numerical score. The average score right now is 40.

Who Uses Klout?

There are several different places where Klout is used such as public relations professionals, marketers, and some customer service teams.  Most of these use Klout along with other tools used to measure personal influence to determine those who are considered to be highly influential. There are some public relations firms which are incorporating Klout scores into their planning for crisis management; and human resource departments are starting to use a candidate’s personal influence score in as part of their hiring process. Tools such as Klout are somewhat useful to find those who are more influential online, especially in the various social media networks. Klout can also be used by web marketing firms as it will contract with various brands to run campaigns which target influencers. These campaigns offer Klout Perks like prizes to encourage online sharing by word of mouth. These perks will vary depending on the objective of the web marketer and user demographics.

Praise and Criticism for Klout

Many speak very highly of Klout and see it as a premier tool used to measure online influence. Some of the brands which have had successful campaigns using Klout include some popular names such as Nike, Subway, Fox, Audi, Disney and Virgin America.  But there have also been some pertinent questions raised as the young company has had some privacy issues, false profiles, marketing to minors and lots of secrecy about how algorithms are used to create a Klout score. The system is also very easily manipulated. This raises some questions as to the validity of Klout scores. Some also wonder how a score can change from day to day based on the amount of social network activity. Just last year there were thousands who deleted their Klout profiles in protest.

Does Klout Really Matter?

Klout is most likely here to stay; and they are making efforts to change to meet the demands of the new market. The number of online influence measurement tools is growing and Klout is just one of them. There are others such as TunkRank, Tweetlevel, Kred and MIBast. It is a growing field and it can be useful for professionals in public relations or marketing. It is also very important to be able to identify influencers for your business and clients; as well as to build relationships with those who can influence your business. But it is also important to know the difference between contextual influence and personal influence.

Does Google Care about Klout?

What influence, if any does Klout have on SEO? It is possible to use Klout for simple link building campaigns. A short time ago, Klout released a new grouping called, “Topics.” This groups together some of the high ranking accounts and those which have high influencing social media accounts into various topics. This makes it a little easier to find those who fit your target audience and it could be a pretty quick way to find some link baits, or influential guest bloggers which could be very beneficial to SEO. It may also be another social media platform that evolves into a way to find and develop connections and contacts.