When Klout changed its algorithm a few weeks ago (the so-called “Kloutapocalypse”, I’m still laughing out loud about that one), it was like Armageddon was upon us. The end of the world. Even Bruce Willis could not save us. The numerous, vehement and even violent reactions we all read on our timelines, news feeds and other locations made me either want to cry or laugh (I chose to laugh and almost ruptured my spleen doing so). I mean, come on. Yeah, your Klout score dropped a few points and it’s more complicated now to raise it back up again. So what? It’s not the end of the world. Quite the contrary!
Okay I admit, even though it has nothing to do with the “why” and “what” of the changes, their “how” is still a bit foggy to me. When I’m very engaged and actively mentioned or retweeted, my Klout score drops. But when I’m offline – because, yes, even social media marketers have a life offline, sometimes – and my social media activity is kept to a minimum with some automated tweets and no interaction, it goes higher. Go figure!
Still, even though I have no idea how the new Klout algorithm works, I saw and still see this change as a positive one – yes, even though I lost 20 points (I was at almost 70 points and all of a sudden I find myself struggling to keep myself above 50). Why? Because I think it is a change for the better, and I’m not the only one. In short, for many, including me, this change makes the Klout score much more credible and much more accurate. My “Twitter buddy” and MarketMeSuite CEO Tammy Fennell wrote a great article on the topic which I fully and completely agree with Since I can’t do any better than her, I encourage you to read her article.
At this point and before I go any further, let me just say that I know I’m probably treading on thin ice again (but if you are a regular reader of my posts, you know how much I enjoy doing it) and that this article reflects my personal opinion only.
It is true that Klout should perhaps have communicated better. And it is true that it would be great if their new algorithm was simple to understand, like Facebook’s EdgeRank is. However, this is actually quite secondary in the point I want to make.
And so, now to get to the point: when I read reactions like “Bah! I deleted my Klout profile, this is all bull****!!!!!”, I first wonder what Klout could possibly have done to people for them to love it so much that the minute it changes, they hate it with such rage and passion (and how they did it, I’m dead serious: awakening passion like this takes a true marketing genius, doesn’t it?).
I also have to fight the urge to post a reply: “Dude, do you really think Klout is biting their nails and crying, “Oh Nooooo, Mr X left us!”. Be reasonable. You can “delete” all you want, Klout does not care, for one very simple reason: you’re not deleting your profile. You’re just deactivating it – opting-out. Everyone who has Twitter has Klout. Everyone. This is even the Klout slogan you see when you go to their homepage “Everybody has Klout”. Duh. You’re on Twitter, you’re automatically indexed on Klout, even if you have not opted-in, even if you don’t know it, even if you don’t want it. You automatically have a Klout score, and your topics of influence are automatically calculated. Anyone. Even bots. Anyone.
Klout has been working this way from day one, and if you have been there since before they made the changes, you know it. You’re burying your head in the sand, because if you’re so angry about the changes, it means you used to be a Klout fan.
Which brings me to the main point of this article. This Klout specificity of indexing absolutely everyone makes it truly unique. It makes Klout a directory of people to follow or not to follow. People to connect with or not. It’s such a powerful networking tool! Through Klout, you can identify the influencers in your industry, in your topics of interests, in your clients’ industries… in just a couple clicks. All you have to do then is to connect with these people on Twitter, LinkedIn, etc., connect with their connections, and so on and so forth.
Ultimately, isn’t that what social media and social networking is all about? Or am I stupid and naive to think that since the word “social” is in social networking, it means it’s about the others and not about you?
So stop being self-centered, stop your navel-gazing, stop obsessing about your Klout score, stop crying because you “worked so hard to raise your Klout score”. You missed the point. Stop making it about you and only you.
Stop that stupid “revolution” of “Oh God, I hate Klout, how could they do this to me, I’m going to protest and delete my profile” because Klout could not care less. You think you are depriving Klout of your presence? The truth is, you are only doing yourself wrong by depriving yourself of a great, easy-to-use and powerful networking tool that can give you access to industry leaders and influencers.
Start focusing on other people’s Klout topics and scores, because there are potential partners, potential clients, potential buddies, potential service providers – potential business and personal opportunities out th ere.
And isn’t that the ultimate goal, the true reason why we, all of us, are using social media?