It’s difficult to run a successful consumer-oriented business without having a social media presence. Our new, interconnected world encourages customers to interact directly with brands, and brands that don’t talk back can lose customers who don’t feel like they’re truly involved in the operation.
As businesses and individuals try to build their presence, social media start ups were developed solely to describe how successful people and businesses are utilizing these tools. It’s a little bit confusing when you think about it. In order to know how good you are at social media, you need another social media program to explain and analyze your social media.
Klout is one of these companies, and their goal is to provide an objective score using an incredibly complex algorithm that allows users to understand how effective their social media efforts are at reaching the public.
The only problem? The information doesn’t mean anything.
A Klout score, which is supposedly a scientifically generated number between 1-100, gets higher as your presence on the Internet becomes more substantial. There are hundreds if not thousands of different ways to use social media, however, and a Klout score measures amount of activity. A spammer who retweets links to similar products over and over can be considered more influential than someone who has fewer followers but actually engages with people. No one is paying any attention to what the first account is doing, but at least a handful of people know and can verify that the second person actually exists.
Relationships Before Numbers
Brands that do well on social media build relationships, they don’t just overwhelmingly toss information against a wall to see if any of it sticks. Klout counts everything that hits the wall. Actual success focuses on what is born from the attempt.
A What Score?
More than that, if you stop people on the street and ask them what their Klout scores are, they may stare at you blankly and run away because they have no idea what you’re talking about. Klout only means something to people who use Klout. The ones who utilize the service and want to enjoy the benefits will work to expand their influence because they want the (often limited) perks. Everyone else is just plugging along for the sake of building their brand.
Social Media Isn’t The Only Influence
Furthermore, a Klout score only measures social media impact and leaves out the fact that some of the most powerful people in the world don’t spend time on social media. Success and influence can’t be determined solely from messages sent to the Internet. The people who are truly succeeding online don’t have a whole lot of time to worry about their Klout score. Your time and effort is better spent at starting a blog and using it as a vehicle for content, social and email marketing to drive traffic and revenue.
Use Tools For The Right Reasons
If you’re going to use social media to try and build your brand, do it for the sake of getting your name out there and growing your business. When it stops being about actual success and becomes about quantifying that success by someone else’s inapplicable standard, you may find that you have amazing Klout without any customers.