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Your Klout Score Is Meaningless

Some social media people have an obsession with the numbers – Klout scores, rankings, number of followers, etc. While I have major respect for those services and your scores on them, what are you gaining from your high marks? If it is just the high marks and nothing more, I’m not sure you’re accomplishing anything. And number of followers is not nearly as relevant as your standing in the community, the effectiveness of your charitable efforts, the depth of the friendships you’re creating, and your ability to use your newly-created personal brand to get real stuff done in your personal and work life. How did I get so many followers? Step 1: not caring so much about that.


  1. CraigDanger says:

    100% Agree. I cringe every time I see someone getting “+K.” It’s like a “Good Housekeeping” badge. Really?

    • People give me this K+ stuff, and I am certainly not saying I don’t appreciate it. But I am saying that obsession with rankings is unhealthy

      • Chris, I know very many more people than I am electronically connected to. I am in an age group that has access both to the techno-literati and the actual literati. There are folks in age groups north of my own that will never have the “presence” k measures, but their influence truly outsizes most kiddies with 1500 fans chatting about music no one will remember next year. My own presence is in both worlds; in my business I normally need to fly under radar. I think several people can have pop culture scores that send them into the stratosphere, but also think pop culture snarls too much talent that could be focused on solving actual problems. k might measure “clout” with this bubble gum consideration but walking next to folks in New York City who truly control the way things are or have a precocious mathematical talent with untold opportunities, there’s simply no comparison. go on with your meaningless +k. Next year your country will be bankrupt under raving lunatic politicians, while the chinese navy will be patrolling your harbors, meanwhile we are hypnotized by lady gaga’s madonna-rip off lyrics and racking up a k+ hi score. I don’t care about a k score and don’t respect it.

        • Hey let’s go easy on Lady Gaga. lol kidding, let her have it. Starbucks buddy, you are obviously caffeinated this morning, and you hit the nail on the head

        • For me (social at big nonprofit) I don’t care about Klout. If its scoring system were transparent, that would be one thing – but it’s not, so it’s just a meaningless number. I *will* say that it does provide a useful spam filtering tool – if I’m sorting through a column of mentions in Hootsuite, filtering out super low Klout scores gets a lot of the junk out. That’s it. 

      • Rankings are one thing, but I think +K endorsements help.  Because they’re not tied to any specific metrics, they provide meaningful feedback from a larger community who is actually familiar with you and your work…

  2. Quanti

    • most interesting…..

      • ^^ keyboard has a mind of its own. what i meant to say…

        Quantitative is better-suited for financial analysis, where everyone speaks in acronyms and ratios. I agree that engagement, reach and influence are much more difficult to quantify and are easier to look at in terms of quality of connections. Number of followers might look impressive on first glance, but how many of those followers are truly leveraged and learned from? Maybe 5%?

        Maybe there should be a “I +K’ed your Mom” shirt to add your arsenal. 

  3. Unfortunately, we still live in a time where the majority of people measure success and worth with numbers. Many of the people I know in the social media space are always looking for that next big client or that next awesome job. The clients and potential employers being sought out don’t always have the time or resources to properly brush up on who these people are, so they turn to things like Klout, Twitter followers, and other forms of “social influence” (notice the quotes) to do the work for them. Though I don’t agree that these numbers should be used to judge someone’s worth before getting to know them, that’s what seems to be happening.

    • Well said, the investment of time is probably a big factor in demand for these measurements, even if they don’t provide enough context to represent real people.  Of course as long as marketers are under pressure to demonstrate some ROI, metrics and “influence tools” like these will continue to proliferate.

  4. For any individual, small business, or rogue marketer, checking those numbers is a pointless waste of time unless you’re bored. The only people who would care about them at all are those who are working for someone else and need a simple way to validate their worth to an organization.

  5. To me, Klout is like Angry Birds or my wife’s favorite obsession, Farmville. It’s a game. It’s fun to give +K to your friends and have them give you a little now and again, but I really don’t view it as anything more serious than that. Good point, though, Chris, about turning those points into something meaningful to your business. Until that time comes, it will remain a game. The people taking it seriously at this point are deluding themselves into thinking it’s something more important than it currently is.

  6. I love your perspective and I agree. When someone introduces themselves to me and one of the first things they tell me is their Klout score, my brain shuts off. But @MattHurst:disqus has a point when he mentions that these kinds of tools show you have an ongoing involvement in various social spaces… IF social is something that’s important to you.

    Community in real form is also incredibly important for ourselves, our families and where we live. Thanks so much for sharing your perspective. I certainly plan to share it with others (in a digital format).

  7. But…but…I’m finally influential about shoes! 😉

  8. And I’m so taking back the +K I gave you for Bacon. 

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