I remember when Klout came on the scene around 2008, I was a fan and made contact with the developers. I was impressed with their responsiveness to feedback, efforts to improve the platform, and desire to provide top notch statistics. I guess I didn't expect them to go the way of GetGlue, XeeMe and so many other start ups that seem to throw feedback out the window once the big bucks start rolling in a couple of years later. I'm not judging anyone's intentions, it happens often in business whether intentional or based on a lack of experience in establishing culture and values.
Now that the machine has been created and funded I am constantly trying to ease my audience members minds about the relativity of their Klout score. I am not suggesting that anyone who is using Klout should jump ship. There are some excellent perks and it is a fun way to grow your audience, engage with followers and reward colleagues for great collaboration.
Note the section in bold. This is a key statement to indicate that Klout can not possibly rank all people on the Internet, or all influencers for that matter. It simply analyzes the people who use Klout, which is a very slim portion of online influencers (400 mil) and an even slimmer portion of influencers around the world.
A second issue with getting too caught up in Klout, is the utter ridiculousness of some of it's users. If you have been around social media for any length of time, you may have noticed the small cells that develop around start up companies and projects. Usually called a BETA tester group, brand ambassadors, founding partners, etc. This all means that the company cleverly collected a group of socially engaging influencers who are willing to test, share, and give feedback about the project. The problem with this is that some of the "influencers" are questionable. Being an influencer is not unfortunately synonymous with being trustworthy. Hitler after all was an influencer. Many of these folks don't have a clue about growing an audience organically, attraction marketing or establishing a sphere of influence. In ground time, as in brick and mortar businesses, it has always been known among smart leaders that these are the ways to truly grow a brand, sales, or following. You do this by being good to your customers, employees and community. Then you educate them as to the proper way to share your great services. If done this way within Klout we could trust the scores. But instead what we have is the BETA testers and ambassadors trading +ks. This is what people call "gaming the system" and it happens quite often.
If what I've mentioned so far isn't enough to ease your stress about your Klout score, how about the fact that Twitter, and Facebook which are the main sites used by Klout to determine your influence are completely flawed. If I click LIKE five times on your Facebook page and none of them show up because of a glitch, you have just lost Klout points. This happens to me on a weekly basis when I stop by to show some love in my newsfeed, so I wonder how many others experience this as well. I never think about the magnitude of it until I here some random person complaining about it. Twitter on the other hand decides (or is glitchy) when I can retweet a friends post by not allowing me to see all recent posts. If you use any of the follower tracking sites you also know that followers show up and disappear on a daily basis causing you to unfollow people who have not unfollowed you. All reasons to not get too caught up in whether people LIKE or follow you, and even more of a reason not to get too worked up over your Klout score not quite being what you think it should be.
If you are running a business, of course you need to track your efforts, content, engagement and response. But if you are truly doing this for accuracy, you will not get caught up in one site. There are several and as long as you keep a balanced approach to reviewing the data you will be able to gauge your online activity. I use them all, because I like to stay on top of what's trending and I need to know who's doing good and who's not. I have favorable scores across all sites mainly because I've been at it so long. Who doesn't love a great influence score? But you still have to engage and get feedback directly from your audience to determine how influential you really are within your target market. Please read my previous articles on social influence (listed below) to see what other sites I recommend for tracking and sharing social influence and feedback.