Klout: I hate you, but I need you

What is your Klout score?
Mine was 55+ before they reconfigured their algorithm and now it’s more like 48-49.
Jerks.

Conscientious Confusion's Klout score

Klout.com is a company that compiles and monitors the interactions you have in all the social media channels in which you participate. When you are online, Klout is watching to see how many times you tweet, how often you update Facebook, how often you post on your blogs, when you use Instagram… Not only that, but it’s measuring how many people comment on your blog/Facebook/Instagram/Flickr and how many people @ you back on Twitter. Also, the content of your tweets and updates matter: you have to have a certain ratio of links that you are sharing in each medium, not just talking randomly. And the people who follow you in each social media channel need to re-share those links fairly regularly for your score to be good and stay that way (proving that you are “influential”).

In order for your score to stay high and steady, you can’t go more than a few hours without updating multiple channels. Whenever I go more than 3 hours without Tweeting, updating my Facebook page(s), using Instagram, or publishing a blog post, my freaking Klout goes down. You can imagine what happened this weekend when my husband got sick and I was taking care of 3 people rather than 2 for a few days. For some reason the kids don’t like it when I am using my iPhone to check Twitter/Facebook/Google Reader instead of playing with them. Go figure.

Why should I care about Klout? Why should anyone care?

According to all the “how to monetize your blog” panels I attended at BlogHer 2011 this past year, the largest PR companies realize that Klout is flawed and not necessarily a good measure of how truly influential a blogger is when it comes to public relations campaigns or selling advertising. For example, Klout was convinced for a while that I was influential about zombies and spelling. Ok, zombies I understand, but spelling?! I do not recall ever tweeting or blogging about spelling.

However, when you have a blog as small as mine, you aren’t working with the “big guys” who realize Klout isn’t the best measure of a blogger’s importance as a partner. I work with much smaller companies, including my part-time employer in my social media job. To smaller companies, Klout does matter. In fact, my employer requires us to attempt to achieve and maintain a certain level of Klout for all the clients we handle. So take all the updating and maintaining I have to do for my own personal Klout on my blog and social media accounts, and multiply it times 3 for the 2 other clients I handle. This is why I have trouble with work-life balance sometimes.

I would just like to take this time to acknowledge that I do understand why I must play by Klout’s rules for the time being. But Klout is also the cloud that hangs over my head and lurks in the back of my mind any time I am having carefree offline time. If I am having fun outside, I know that while I am out of 3G or Wifi range, my Klout and my clients’ Klout is dropping, dropping…

Klout, I hate you sometimes. I kind of can’t wait until your reign is over and I can go back to my real life.

3 thoughts on “Klout: I hate you, but I need you”

  1. I’m terrible about Klout. It’s just one more thing. ANd to be honest, I don’t get it. I signed up for it because I get that it’s expected. But I have no idea how it works. Your post actually filled me in a bit. But that’s all I know…

  2. I have heard you talking a lot about Klout and really had no clue (surprise, surprise) about what it really was.  Thanks for breaking it down a little bit!  

    I am stressed FOR you.  I hate having stuff hanging over my head and this sounds like a bit of a nightmare.  I couldn’t handle it. 

    I personally love your blog and have been influenced by a lot of it!  So, take that, Klout!

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