Build a Better Brand Platform: 30 Day Challenge (Day 24)

24 Sep

I haven’t really diverged too many times from the MNINB Platform Building Challenge. This is one of those times that I feel like discussing something  completely different (for the record,  MNINB Day 24 was a #hashtag party so you really aren’t missing anything radical by playing my game instead).

Let’s talk Klout . It is a site that claims to be “The Standard for Influence” and is a measure of a person’s worth in the social media arena. It calculates a score for each user in a range from 0-100 and can vary according to your activity and engagement in social media. As of this writing (9/23/12) my Klout Score is a 60. In comparison Barrack Obama has a 99 and Justin Beiber a 92 (previously the only user to have a perfect 100).

Does Klout matter?

Does Klout Matter?

My answer is “Maybe”.

I’ll be honest that I have no idea if your Klout score has any value beyond its use in online marketing. Is there any real-world relation from your Klout score to your influence beyond the bounds of the internet (or really Twitter where it seems most prevalent).

If the events in this Wired post “What Your Klout Score Really Means” are accurate then it would really seem to mean something in some arenas such as within some public relations companies (and maybe that goes for publishing companies). Las Vegas casinos and customer service agents for major companies are using your Klout score to determine the perks you are eligible for and upgrades to service that you qualify for.

With that stated, when I mention Klout score in my real world interactions all but the most social media savvy give me dumb looks and even once I explain they seem skeptical. That does leave the possibility that those in the know about Klout are ahead of the curve. As a measurement of your platform’s overall health there doesn’t seem to be an alternative yet. It is absolutely possible that Klout will be seen as the real standard measure of a writer’s internet platform at some time in the near future. Today’s challenge…

Calculate your Klout score.

Once you have your Klout score then share it here in comments. Where did you fall? Is it what you expected? Higher or lower? What do you think you could do to improve the score? Are you utilizing all of the social media measures that Klout uses to determine your score?  How do you feel about your score and the possibility that in the near future job recruiters, interviewers, and all kinds of companies may use this score to measure your power of influence (and as a writer possibly your “marketability”)?

The possibility that something as nebulous as “influence” is beginning to be measured and scored is something that leaves some firmly skeptical and others scrambling to improve their value in the online community.

Where do I fall on Klout?

I am firmly in the middle. I am very aware that from a marketing stand-point being able to grade an individual’s influence would seem very beneficial. Breaking your trendsetters out from the followers and knowing who to focus your marketing dollars on would be something that lots of companies (yes, even publishers) would see as immediately valuable.

However, can an algorithm of any sort capture that elusive quality of influence ? I am not 100% convinced. There are still those who hold incredible influence in the world without an online presence. Warren Buffett, the Oracle of Omaha has a measly 48 as his Klout score. So maybe  clout (of which Mr. Buffett has much) is not what is being measured by Klout.

We wouldn’t have dedicated a month to building an online platform if we saw no value in the idea that our online interaction has some effect on our ability to influence an audience to respect us as an authority and to seek more of our thoughts and opinions. So if you are in the skeptical camp then know that you are not alone but also know that there are literal buttloads ( a precise scientific measurement) of money being spent to determine how to measure online influence and how that measurement equals an ROI in real world money.

It is not too hard to imagine a world in which our Klout score could have as much value as a credit score in the real world. They are just numbers but our world is measured in all sorts of numbers, grades and scores. Playing the devil’s advocate, I say that it wouldn’t hurt to pay at least some attention to this score.

Klout Hater?

I feel this stick figures pain. I would also like to opt out of a lot of other unfair measurements of my worth as an individual. Until credit scores and all of those mysterious algorithms that insurance agents use to determine your premiums allow you to merely opt out then it might not hurt to have some idea what your Klout score is. You can disregard you high school GPA, or your FICO score, or your Klout score, but important decision-makers in your life might not be ignoring it.

Klout Scores of the Rich and Famous

Barrack Obama  (POTUS) 99

Mitt Romney (Republican Nominee) 91

Neil Gaiman ( Neverwhere Author) 89

Wil Wheaton (Wesley Crusher on Star Trek) 89

Anne Rice ( Interview with The Vampire Author) 83

Wayne Coyne (The Flaming Lips) 82

Writer’s Digest (Writer’s Digest) 69

Robert Lee Brewer (My Name Is Not Bob blogger) 52

Play with the search bar on Klout and determine the score of your favorite celebrities (or even fellow bloggers, Le Clown).

I am not sure how much weight this score carries yet (but if only for the novelty of it), I prescribe that you keep some idea of what Klout score is attached to your platform.  It might not turn up in a real world situation but then again…it isn’t an impossibility that it might someday. It might never be anything but a way to stroke our own ego but then again the number is beginning to matter to advertisers, marketers, and maybe one day it will to publishers as well. I’m skeptical but judicious enough that I decided that keeping my score reasonable couldn’t hurt either.

So What’s Yours?

Please leave your score in the comments. It would have been interesting to know where you started and where you are now. If you know that information share it in the comments. I have a hunch that your score steadily increased if not radically jumped. Mine went from a 39 to a 60 where it seems comfortable at the moment (with a slow gradual growth) and I admit to fiddling with things in an attempt to effect my score and see how the algorithm is weighted. The most I could determine is the more engaged you are with others and they are with you the higher your score.  So with that said..

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As always your comments are appreciated.

Excelsior. Peace Out.

One Response to “Build a Better Brand Platform: 30 Day Challenge (Day 24)”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Build a Better Brand Platform: 30 Day Challenge (Day 25) « Very Novel - September 25, 2012

    [...] now return to our regularly scheduled programming. After a short away and a look into Klout with Day 24, we are back on the MNINB Platform Building Challenge as Mr. Brewer designed it. His Day 25 task [...]

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