Klout’s new algorithm came, saw and shook the world for many Social Media professionals. Over the past few weeks, the blogosphere has been saturated with anti-Klout articles. People scoured the interweb (I love that word) for every possible story, sourcing any and all material that discredits Klout by highlighting even the smallest chink in their armor.
Klout is the same company it was six months ago. Yes, there have been a few changes, but as a whole it is the EXACT same company offering the EXACT same service. Why the string of recent backlash? From privacy, to linking of accounts, to incorrect topics of influence (all things people have complained about), these problems existed since they rolled out the beta version. While I will concede that people were talking about these issues long ago, the flood of negative sentiment only came after the new algorithm went live. Coincidence? I think not.
What I am about to say will upset many people who read this. Plainly stated, I don’t care. Your score dropped because you were gaming the system. You concentrated on “following” just to get a “re-follow.” You obsessed with the numbers, and not the influence you have over your network. You know the people with 65k followers that follow 65k back? Do you wonder how they possibly could ever interact with that many people? They can’t, and Klout (rightfully so) made changes to the scoring systems to reflect just that.
I believe that many of the people who’s Klout score dropped were using one of the many automated follow tools, or a very popular manual one like Refollow. Tools like Refollow are valuable, and I do not want to take away from its usefulness, but with power comes responsibility. There were waves of you, falling over each other, stacking follows on top of follows and multiplying the numbers. You were following and being followed not based on the merit of your tweets, but because the person following you would be able to track whether or not you followed them back.
This was not a community built on engagement, leadership or influence, but a community built of returning a follow with a follow. It was a community built on spam accounts, people looking to build a brand, and those obsessed with justifying their position as a “Social Media professional” with large numbers of followers. It was a house of cards, blown away by Klout’s algorithm.
Across the board, in every industry, people are constantly searching for an easy way to the top. There isn’t one. For those of you with a Klout score that rubbed shoulders with Barrack Obama’s (until a few weeks ago), you are finding this out the hard way. If you have a followship of 300k but only influence 15k, you have built your Social Media empire in reverse. You have erected a beautiful wall with no support or foundation.
Klout measures the influence of your message. When your message is not influential to your OWN network of followers, why on Earth should it matter how many people follow you, re-tweet you, or @-mention you?
For those of you who take your falling score personally (most of you won’t admit that you do), I would suggest that you stop growing an unengaged followship and interact with the people that follow you. I would also suggest that you un-follow the dead weight, even if it means a decrease in those who follow you. In the end, you do not want a follower based on whether or not you follow them. Trust me.
Andy Engages on several Social Media campaigns. His success as a manager earned the distinction of “Rising Star in Social Media” from Finger Candy Media. His blogs appear on Social Media Today, USAToday.com, DallasMorningNews.com and FuseTV. Andy focuses on Project Management and client relations for Speak Social. Our campaigns include various moving parts; there is little time to determine who is out of the loop. Andy keeps the Speak Socialteam moving at the speed of Social.