Klout Changes Affect Millions – What You Need To Know

Did you notice?  Of course you did. Millions of people’s Klout scores were affected by the recent changes to their scoring algorithm. The majority affected saw a decline in the overall score they previously garnered through the site. My score dropped by 11 points. OMG, the sky is falling!!!!

Now, hold on here. Take a deep breath and relax. My take on it is this…  Anything that improves the overall measurement of ones effectiveness and influence in the social graph is a great thing. Having no third party measurement tools is not an option, nor is ignoring tools that are out there. Some kind of independent measurement, scoring is crucial to being effective in social media marketing.

But listen to me carefully here. It’s NOT the number increase or decrease that is important here. What’s important with the score is what that number can tell you and how you can make changes to your activity. Not changes that improve your score for score’s sake, but rather changes that improve your results and ROI.

My Klout score is important to me about as much as wearing the right attire to a business meeting, or that the outside of my office looks nice. It is often first impressions that make a huge difference. What should be most important to YOU is what are you doing within social media to impact others positively and obtain an appropriate return on your time and resource investment with the medium.

Based on all the changes made to the Klout algorithm, the one most important to me every day is True Reach. Mine went from 9k to 17,000. THAT is the number I care most about. How many people am I actually reaching and engaging with. The significant changes to the scoring platform seem to measure influence now more on how many people with more influence than you engage with you. This is perfect for many, not for me. Our users and clients are peers, like social media marketers, agencies and consultants. Therefore, most will not have more influence than I do and I am ok with that.

Honestly, if my Klout score is a 5, but our social media accounts drive the appropriate level of users and subscribers to our technology, then I am happy with that. You need to keep your eye on the proper measurement items and not the superfluous ones like your score. Measure your effectiveness based on return and goal achievement, and pay attention to your Klout score as a helpful way to make improvements that impact those goals.

As many of you have gotten used to from me, I tend to just go ahead and tell it like it is. So today is no different. Stop whining and complaining. Klout says they made improvements to their system to better reflect influence, so that is what’s important. Accuracy should trump your ego in business always!

Robert M. Caruso
@fondalo
Founder/CEO – Bundle Post

36 Comments

Filed under Klout, Social Media, Social Media Management, Social Media Marketing, Social Media ROI, Uncategorized

36 responses to “Klout Changes Affect Millions – What You Need To Know

  1. Ditto to what you’ve mentioned. I need to admit that seeing my Klout drop was not fun, however, it shows where I need to improve. For one, I need to start creating new content (hence, why I am writing a blog post up now). Over the last few days, my Klout was sky rocketing just because I was on multiple networks. Until I start interacting more with others, I shouldn’t see my Klout gaining a point every couple days

  2. The most important take away from this for me is “It’s NOT the number increase or decrease that is important here. What’s important with the score is what that number can tell you and how you can make changes to your activity.” Thank you Robert for putting it all into this perspective for me :)

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  4. Good reality check, must admit my heart raced a bit!

  5. Seeing my Klout score drop 15 points certainly gave me pause. I love getting KloutPerks, but in the end it’s not about numbers, it’s about the people I connect with. They’re the reason I love being on Twitter and Facebook. I loved them before and I’ll love them long after Klout!

  6. Rober great post, but can you explain to me how the spammer profiles got stay at score of 77 and increase their true reach more then double? Klout failed and is clear now for all Klout is all about popularity and has nothing to do with Influence. It a game, they should just get under the umbrella of Zynga.

    • TheOneCrystal

      I agree with you – it’s ridiculous. They should not be having “MAJOR” swings in score at this point. Tweaks? Yes. 5 pt swings I could even see; but to have a HUGE 10-20 point dip? What you, Klout, just told me is that your social scoring to-date was completely off-base… inaccurate. So, why should I trust it the 2nd time around, or in their case… 3+??

      Sorry, swing and a miss with me.

    • Popularity contest is right. By favoring Facebook, about having your friends “like” what you’re doing with you life instead of Twitter where people actually share content, they’ve made it into high school.

  7. Excellent post. This puts today’s events in the right perspective. “Accuracy should trump your ego in business always!” <–perfect.

  8. Robert… nice piece. Thank you.

    ?: How do you measure the direct affect of your socmed “influence” measurement, e.g. Reach as one quantified parameter, with your personal company’s ROI and monthly cash flow – the other quantified parameter.

    Re: “…Not changes that improve your score for score’s sake, but rather changes that improve your results and ROI.”

  9. Like your take, you dug into the positive, mine was more a look at the poor choice for their own brand and how some like PeerIndex could win big on this move by klout.

    http://digitalbrandmarketing.com/2011/10/26/klout-puts-its-users-in-a-frenzy-could-peer-index-and-empire-ave-gain-ground-opinion/

  10. Here is the issue for me- millions of people make the decision on whether to follow me or interact with me based at least partially on my Klout score. That doesn’t make it right. However, right or wrong, I have to deal with the reality of the situation, not how I wish the situation was.

    My Kout score drove right off a cliff- from 75 to 53- a 22 point drop. That means I’ve gone from a potentially interesting person to follow to “not so much” at best. That impacts my potential to market my business.

    Therefore, while I could argue whether the change is appropriate or not, it does in fact mean something. And for me personally, it does not mean something good for my ability to promote my business.

    Just sayin’…

    • That’s the sad thing, that there are individuals who base their decisions on who to follow on something as pointless as Klout. Personally, I never look at people’s Klout scores – I choose the people I follow based on shared interests, interesting tweets and those that are prepared to interact and not simply bombard me with sales messages or tweet “at” me.

  11. My favorite two takeaways from this:

    1. Not changes that improve your score for score’s sake, but rather changes that improve your results and ROI.
    2. Accuracy should trump your ego in business always!

    Having said that, Klout is one of the benchmarks to trend your overall reach. I had been trending downward for the last few weeks, and then had this “step-drop”. Throughout that time, I’ve made an even more concerted effort to not only curate news content, but to blog, tweet original content…retweet…leave encouraging and *what I consider* insightful comments (thus I’m really looking forward to Disqus and Livefyre getting added to Klout).

    I would still leave those comments because I believe in encouraging others (and love the banter). However, I’d be crazy if I didn’t admit that I’m also looking forward to the Klout bump since we know that is one of the simpler ways you will be judged “sight unseen” by prospective clients. I am assuming most clients use Klout as the 1st gate, and *then* they read your content to see if you are for real and provide value. I’ve heard that a common threshold is Klout=60 for social media and marketing positions. I dropped down to a 55! Will these same organizations readjust their thresholds, or do we need to become even closer to a true 24/7 to re-establish ourselves ;)?

  12. I like your take on the new Klout adjustments – it’s nice to stay positive. Surprisingly enough, I just checked my score and it actually went up from a couple days ago, though it’s still in the high 40′s.

  13. All I can think of is that the new x & y factors are Facebook and Linked In weightings. Meaning Twitter stats got nerfed and they weighted more on LI and FB. Both of which are my older networks but newer to Klout. I went up 8 pts.

  14. From a technology perspective, I am suprised they do not apply the changes to a test database with data that mirrors a recent snapshot of the Klout user base and data. I just seems as though they are applying code to the production databases and then BOOM! They also seem to have cluster issues quite often. Just some observations. Perhaps it is a way to get free hype from their marketing grand plan.

  15. Thanks for this post Robert. Appreciate your perspective. My score also dropped 11 points but true reach doubled. Honestly though, I was writing a section of forthcoming book on social media and highlighting the fact that everything changes quickly. Twitter, Facebook, Google were discussed, when bam, there came the Klout changes. Fits in nicely, especially since earlier I had discussed scores and chasing numbers.

  16. This actually reminds me of the reaction Blizzard gets when they tweak the character skills in Warcraft. Each patch some get “Nerfed” others become stronger in areas. It is a huge gripe session but one thing Blizzard does is publish patch notes giving guidance to what changed.

    I think Klout needs to start saying things like “We tweaked the Linked in weightings as comments in group posts were not reflecting properly in people’s Klout.’ Reason being is that people seem to be focused only on Twitter and Klout is branching out…perhaps too fast. Thoughts?

  17. This morning when I saw the huge drop in my Klout score I was a bit upset but once I looked into the overall concept and the outreach I then understood that this is telling me that I should be focusing on engagement more and working on specific areas of my social media to better grow my numbers and engagement.

  18. Pingback: Apo-Klout-lypse Now | Leaders West Social Media Topics | @leaderswest

  19. Who cares. Really? If I have to measure my influence or anything else in business it’s how happy my clients are and my business’ bottome line.

    • Well big picture, very true Sam. However, having no 3rd party measurement doesn’t make much sense either. Social media is very public activity and therefore something beyond number of friends/followers is really important for others to gauge what you are doing and whether you are real or not. IMHO

  20. Pingback: the matter with metrics | theory.cribchronicles.com

  21. Thanks for being so rational on this subject. Just a heads up, I included your post in my blog. You can view it here: http://wp.me/p1eous-8a

    Thanks,

    Eric D Wheeler
    Blog: http://wheelerblogs.com
    Twitter: @eric_wheeler

  22. Great post Robert. “The significant changes to the scoring platform seem to measure influence now more on how many people with more influence than you engage with you. This is perfect for many, not for me. Our users and clients are peers, like social media marketers, agencies and consultants. Therefore, most will not have more influence than I do and I am ok with that.”

    Your point makes one thing clear we all have to realize, and remember. No scoring is perfect; it is always biased according to whoever decides what’s important in the score.

    The important thing, as you state, is engagement. Are you improving your brand? Are you adding value to whatever it is you provide?

    Klout is a guide, based upon the Klout team’s opinions and assumptions. The Nielsen ratings are a guide, Klout is a guide. Changes, as Joe Hernandez has stated, will be one thing we can all count on. And that’s a good thing.

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