The Klout Challenge

by Robin Scharpf, September 15, 2015

I do not believe your Klout score matters.  I’ve been coaching B2B executives to build social media skills and habits for seven years. My team at Profitecture has coached over 4,000 B2B professionals. To date, there are no instances where a Klout score positively or negatively affected a B2B professional’s success with social media.

But yet, Klout is still around. It launched in 2008 and Klout scores still appear on Twitter profiles when viewed in HootSuite. I no longer see scores on profiles viewed in Twitter, but then I haven’t looked too hard for them. You see, I believe influence and social authority grows from engaging in social media regularly and authentically.  Give advice that proves helpful, not self-serving, and you grow trust with your network. Trust is what matters. Trust is what gets you referrals, new business, and loyal customers.  Klout doesn’t measure trust.

What does Klout measure? This is what you’ll find on Klout’s website.

Klout Scores

Do I think any of these indicators are valuable? Sure, seeing your network grow and earning retweets and comments are helpful, especially when you are first getting started with social media.  They are indicators that you’re on the right path. They are rewards for regular participation and motivators to keep going.  That’s IF you’re not gaming the system, by, say, buying Twitter followers or asking for, rather than earning, retweets.

In an interview with WIRED, Matt Thomson, Klout’s VP of platform (2010-2013), said “People with formidable Klout will board planes earlier, get free access to VIP airport lounges, stay in better hotel rooms, and receive deep discounts from retail stores and flash-sale outlets.”

Who doesn’t want those perks?

So, I challenged my Profitecture teammates to experiment with Klout this week.  We’re going to see if and how we can raise our individual Klout scores, and if it matters.  I’m looking forward to our team’s weekly CrowdChat on Thursday, September 17 at 1pm ET to find out what they learned from the challenge. Feel free to join us, either as an observer or participant.  If you’re reading this after September 17, 2015, you can click the same link to read the CrowdChat transcript or tweet me at @robinscharpf.

About Robin Scharpf

Robin is a senior marketing manager with 20 years of marketing and client management experience. She applies her in-depth marketing background with an eye on results. Robin is a natural leader, creative thinker and enthusiastic problem solver. Prior to joining Profitecture, Robin spent 10 years with IBM’s Channel and Midsize Business Unit where she monitored and analyzed market trends, developed business plans and marketing strategies, managed its emerging market portfolio, led global execution of integrated communication plans, launched a client advisory board, and coached executives and business partners on social media participation and social authority. A University of Dayton alumna, she is a seasoned photographer and dreams of being a blues singer in her next life.