Do You Have Klout?Anita Kirkbride
“What’s your Klout score?” It’s latest version of the cheesy pick-up line. Social media lovers have been talking about Klout.com for a while, but the app is actually still in beta. It’s surprising how “important” one’s Klout score has become to some social media factions already. So important that people are already developing “grey hat” techniques for manipulating scores.
What is Klout?
Here’s what Klout.com says about themselves:
The Klout Score measures influence based on your ability to drive action. Every time you create content or engage you influence others. The Klout Score uses data from social networks in order to measure:
- True Reach: How many people you influence
- Amplification: How much you influence them
- Network Impact: The influence of your network
Quality vs. Quantity
Recently in Halifax, Nova Scotia a social media consultant has been trying to manipulate Klout scores and follower ratios of his clients using questionable Twitter techniques. These accounts, follow a pile of accounts and then about a week later unfollow the accounts. Next week, they follow us all again and the cycle continues. Right after unfollowing a large number of accounts they would have a more desirable follower ratio, which improves the Klout score.
I feel bad for these business owners. The social media agency is annoying many potential customers in the Halifax area in an attempt to improve the clients’ Klout scores. The social media manager is focusing on quantity. It makes more sense to me to find people who are actually interested in following a business and are located nearby. Quantity is not the most important aspect of social media ROI, but many are still using numbers to win over clients because it’s easier than true engagement with customers.
Easy vs. Hard
That’s right. Focusing on Klout scores and follower ratios is the easy way out. A quick search on Google will point out programs, apps and accounts to help you build your following—if you don’t care who the followers are and where they are located. These “grey hat” methods take much less effort than actually getting to know your followers, engaging with them, asking & answering questions and building a following organically.
If your social media advisor is suggesting these tactics for your business you need to ask yourself some important questions. Is it more valuable to have 4,000 followers from who-knows-where, or to have 1000 followers who are actually interested in what you have to say and might actually live in your city? What will give you a better ROI—numbers or engagement? Are you going to be the “volume” discount player or the “quality over quantity” player? Is your ego more important than your bottom line?
My services certainly can reach way outside of Halifax, Nova Scotia. As a social media manager my work is mainly done over the internet, so as long as you and I can connect via e-mail, social networks and Skype, I can help you with your accounts. Even so, I can see that it’s more important to build a local following that will convert to sales. I’ve been an active Twitter user for over a year now. That’s long enough to accrue 10,000 followers or more if I wanted to employ certain techniques. I have about 1000 followers today. Most of them are located within a hundred miles of Halifax, Nova Scotia. That’s my bread & butter…where the majority of my business will stem from. I have no desire to have 10,000 followers from India or Malaysia right now because I’m not likely to do business there. The only thing that would do is stroke my ego, but it would be artificial. I’m not interested in artificial. I don’t believe my clients are either.