Klout – Does The Score Matter?

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I have come to an epiphany none of us have really grown up and the reason Social Media has exploded, is simply because we as adults, still keep score!

I would love to tell you that I was inspired to write this blog, because I had the same reaction to the Sox home opener yesterday as I did the first time I watched “Field of Dreams“.  Memories of childhood and family in my head, Americana and all the blue sky BS that still to this day overwhelms me when I watch that movie.  But no, that wasn’t it at all.  This revelation hit me as I was introduced to Klout last week and have been going back 10 times a day to check my score even though it only updates once per day.

About once a week I get together with Greg Hill, radio show morning  host on WAAF here in Boston, community leader and a twitter beast!  When we get together we start talking about twitter followers, new things I have read or found out about and cutting edge stuff and simple practicalities in the world of social media and communication that Greg has discovered. @GregHillWAAF has over 14,300 twitter followers and I, @BillAlfano just crossed the 535 mark.  I am ok and rationalize it because Greg is a celebrity, he tweets back and forth with celebs, icons and news makers. I am a marketing guy that tries to disseminate as much useful social media info as I can both manually and with the help of my best friend Buffer.  Then we started looking at Klout.  Klout keeps social media score on a fairly even playing field.

No Trophies For Everyone

My generation keeps score, I firmly DO NOT believe every child should receive a trophy.  There are winners and losers and the lessons that come with that simple truth are the most important lessons in life you will ever learn.  We are creating a generation of entitled, lazy, no work ethic kids, that will get destroyed in the real world because they are not motivated or working towards the win.  Yes, I am sure I sound barbaric with these thought.  But let’s be serious, when is the last time you succeeded by not caring about the result?  By winning and losing you know what you need to work on, what you need to practice and what things are simply out of your reach.  YES, spoiler alert everything is not achievable by everyone. But no matter what we keep score!

Social Media Scoring So Far

This is an easy one.  For me it started by how many friends I had on MySpace compared to the people around me.  Friends on Facebook another lunch table conversation.  How many people am I LinkedIn to, how many people follow my blog, how many people I both follow and follow me on Twitter, how many people’s circles I am in on Google+, then there is all the other terminology with Instagram, Foursquare, etc, etc.  But tell me how many times have one of the social media topics been discussed without someone saying “oh Twitter how many followers do you have”, or when you start to follow someone new after you creep their pictures don’t you look at how many friends they have?

My Klout Revelation

I am still not sure really what Klout does, how long it has been around or why that damn score seems to be the most important thing I look at every morning before I have a cup of coffee.  I can tell you this, the day I signed up, my initial Klout score was a 38.  Not only does Klout give you a number but also a social class – I was listed as a socializer. There are dabblers, socializers, networkers, specialists, pundits, etc.  So I started looking at other people, their scores seemed to range from 30 to 80.  Most of the people or in Klout terms “influencers” that I saw myself most like were in the 45-60 range.  So I immediately set a goal that I wanted to get a score of 50 within a month.  Went home that night connected all my accounts, woke up the next day and had a score of 53 and I was a “Specialist” – YAY for me!  This is where I wanted to be!  But wait that seemed too easy, now I want to get over 60, but I don’t know how to do it or why it matters to me AND most importantly what it will do for me.

So, What Is Klout?

  • Klout has been around since 2008 and is all about “Influence”
  • According to Klout’s website “Klout measures influence online using data from your social networks. Anywhere you have an online presence, you have the opportunity to influence people by creating or sharing content that inspires actions such as likes, retweets, comments and more. The more engagement your posts receive, the more influential you are. Klout uses this information to provide you a Klout Score that measures your overall influence.”
  • Klout score, also from Klout “We measure your influence based on your ability to drive action in social networks. We process this data on a daily basis to give you an updated Klout Score each morning.”

Does My Klout Score Matter and How Do I Increase the Score?

Here is some good reading, some like it, some don’t.  Either way you should check it out and check your score!

Ok, “on the real” you shouldn’t join Klout JUST to increase your score and pulverize your friends, but it is very interesting that an algorithm was put into place to see your influence on social media.  What’s your score?

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Reality TV and Social Media

Remember when reality tv was the Real World and Social Media was passing out valentine’s in your 3rd grade classroom? Well things have changed, ok they have blown up! Reality TV has everything and there is a social media site for everyone. So how do they match up to each other?

Top 10 Extreme Reality TV Shows ans their Social Media Counterpart:

  1. Finding Bigfoot (Animal Planet) = LinkedIn, we want it to be amazing, we want it to create leads and ROI and help us find jobs, just like we want Bobo to find a Bigfoot in the backwoods but all we get are some wood knocks and let down
  2. Jersey Shore (MTV) = Facebook, we all know it was WAY better before everyone else found out about it but because it is such a beautiful mess we still spend an inordinate amount of time on the site, posting, liking, sharing and of course fist-pumping
  3. Hillbilly Handfishin’ (Animal Planet) =Foursquare, when you check in you feel good as well as involved but you have no idea why you did, just like the blank smile you have on your face when you watch the tv show, but seriously you are watching a show about people catching fish by putting their hands in that fish’s mouth
  4. Hoarders (A&E) = MySpace, we are appalled by it and by people who still use it – just let it go, do you really need 93 cats? Do you really need your MySpace page? BUT it is still getting numbers so what am I missing?
  5. Real Housewives (Bravo) =flickr, who cares – fun to look at sometimes but absolutely no purpose, it is time you will never get back
  6. Top Chef (Bravo) = Google+ has a ton of hype and marketing around it but when people want to watch cooking shows they go to the Food Network and watch one of the many proven shows there, kind of the way people usually go to Facebook
  7. Swamp People (History Channel) = Klout, what can I say Klout is a site that judges analytics and influencers, we all know the only reason to watch Swamp people is to judge yourself against the “swamp” people and make yourself feel better
  8. Keeping Up with the Kardashians (E!) = Twitter, where did it come from, how did it get so big and what do we really learn in 140 characters
  9. Say Yes To The Dress (TLC) = Instagram, just like the TV show does with brides to be, Instagram can take average or even ugly pics and with a tuck here and a click there those pictures look amazing and you want to show all your friends
  10. The Rachel Zoe Project (Bravo) = Pinterest, only women get it and they get it in a huge way – Pinterest is the break away hit of 2012 that people, or should I say women are still only finding out about