Why Your Klout Score Doesn’t Matter (Much)


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Last night’s #pr20chat was on the subject of integrating offline marketing tactics with those being used online. More to the point, ensuring “real world” tactics are still playing a large part in the strategy for your organization or client(s).

I’ve been wanting to write about Klout for a week or so now, and why I think Klout is a good starting point for a lot of things, but in the end doesn’t mean anything. This all started for me with the infamous Wired article a few weeks ago where an executive’s job interview essentially ended after his Klout score was deemed too low. After much wailing and gnashing of teeth, posts were written about how much Klout sucks and how it is making those in the PR and marketing industries lazy.

It seems there’s only two sides to be had. Either Klout is the savior we’ve all been waiting for in measuring influence or it’s a meaningless game. The truth is that it’s somewhere in between. Online influence is an important topic. Who is talking about your brand and shaping opinions about it is VERY important. That doesn’t mean that offline influence has taken a back seat and don’t mean anything though.

Speaking at conferences, writing a book, teaching a college class, client referrals, none of these are measured on Klout. Does that make them meaningless? Certainly not. Klout is pioneering a segment of PR and marketing that is critical as the digital realm becomes more important. This isn’t something that is going to be hashed out overnight, or even in the span of a few years.

That picture you see is my Klout score. It was at a 62 a few weeks ago, but has dipped as my job and personal life have demanded more attention. As I’ve spent time on several major projects, enjoying my wife’s pregnancy, searching for a new house, and the Game of Thrones series (I’m reading the books first), my time spent in the social media sphere has diminished. I have a hard time believing that I’m not influencing the world around me, and yes. I know exactly how arrogant that sounds.

Influence doesn’t mean everyone around me bends to my thoughts, feelings, and beliefs. It means that others around me think I’m valuable in some way. Klout is heading in the right direction. Just don’t think it’s a non-stop flight to measurement paradise.

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