The Pros and Cons of Klout Score for Businesses!

10 Sep

Just as we have varying objectives for using social media for our business, there are many different ways in which we can use Klout scores to support our social media marketing activities. For instance, if you’re an emerging brand or business looking for a way of getting a general idea of how “influential” you and your brand might be, then Klout may just be what you need to see how you might be affecting people online. Aside from gauging your influence and tracking your results, the following features may also be of use to you:

▪                Recent Buzz: current topics being talked about in your network that you may want to share

▪                Influential Topics: topics you are most probably influential in based on what you talk about online

▪                Influencers List: list of people in your network that you influence who just might be the brand advocates you’ve been looking for

Measuring your weight online is seemingly a good idea, but many critics have bashed Klout for many different reasons, including supposedly pulling numbers out of thin air. Many also question the score’s usability and if influence can even be measured at all. Although an explanation has been posted on their blog, Klout allegedly refuses to disclose how exactly the calculation goes, and what process they go through to calculate scores. Of course, divulging the algorithm, just like making Google’s search algorithm public, could allow the system to become easily “gamed.”

Aside from these potential transparency issues, Klout has also been criticized about privacy issues, specifically about pulling in information of minors and Facebook users with accounts set to “Private” just because they commented on a public post. If this worries you and you suddenly wish to delete your account, their opt-out function is not that easily accessible and is at the bottom of, ironically, their privacy policy page, which people think to be just a little too “hidden”. CEO Joe Fernandez may have apologized for these issues, but in spite of this, there are still many who continue to delete their Klout accounts.

Should you or shouldn’t you use Klout?  In the end, it’s up to you to decide, but should you go ahead with it, remember to take everything with a grain of salt. Any single metric will only give you a hazy idea of how you’re doing online, so it would be best to have other means of monitoring your social media metrics and use your score to complement your findings.  Klout, however, is definitely here to stay, as its recent announcement of new funding would indicate, so as brands and marketers, we have to continuously adapt with the tools that exist, and utilize the good aspects and filter out the bad that any “score” provides us.

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