Unsettling Question about #Klout

Recently, the social media metric company Klout caused a furor by changing their analytic to redistribute  scoring weight more evenly  across all of the platforms they track. This caused folks who are heavy Twitter users like myself to see significant score drops. Okay, I don’t particularly like the results of this change but can at least understand it. However, there’s  a far more unsettling question about Klout that has come to my attention.

Be Social & get punished?

My good friend Jure KLEPIC posted an article that  should ALARM SM pro’s, Brands & PR Reps alike. In this post Jure includes an email from a Klout staffer that suggests that his networking Klout score may have dropped because he had engagement from “less influential people on those days than on other days”  If this is true , the implications are huge, both for Social media professionals and brands that base any part of their hiring decisions on Klout scores.

Social Climbing  & how it can hurt your Brand

It would be naive to not expect some gaming of any system that measures social worth to slant in our favor.However if you are a Company or PR rep looking to talk directly with more potential consumers, how will you feel if you find out that the SM professional you just hired is really a social Climber who looks at people’s Klout scores using  a FireFox add on  to help them decide whether or not to respond to someone, that people who could become customers of yours are potentially being alienated by being excluded from the conversation? How would you feel as a social media pro to learn that a brand passed you over in favor of working with someone who engages primarily based on Klout Score?

Social Media metrics need to factor inclusion

Social Media professionals  should be judged by their ability to engage with people from all walks of life. Helping others, reaching out & sparking conversations based on an ethic of inclusion, should be the criteria  true reach metric measures are based on.


Full disclosure: I have enjoyed the Klout Perks program & am a member of the Klout Squad. I also hope to hear  that this Unsettling question about Klout isn’t true, that in fact our metrics will rise as we reach out & engage with others, that we will in fact be rewarded & not punished for being social.

What do you think?