My Klout shame
My Klout experience is representative of many. You initially check your score out of curiosity, notice your peers are largely scoring better than you and vow to increase. This is the first stage, normally illustrated by increased frequency (because now, status is at stake – I MUST have a better score than my peers). From there it goes on...
As a business development tool, you’d think some evil troika of Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn created it.
So more re-tweets, more content, more responding to hashtags… before you know if you are re-tweeting 80% of FastCo Design on a daily basis and getting into online conversations, feeling giddy that each reply or re-tweet is building your score. But that isn’t enough…. Its never enough. Klout always wants more.
Then, before you know it, you are trying to find the cutest picture you can of your 2 year old to put on Facebook, safe in the knowledge all of your family and friends will like or comment. (Kids and pets are a guaranteed winner when you need a bounce in your score). That’s right, friends. Astroturfing your own social media score. The shame.
Of course, I joke (apart from the kids pictures – that actually happened…) but it does raise 2 interesting points.
1) The power of stratifying experiences: For a long time people have sought to reward interaction with ‘things’ – from the classic ‘teas-made’ to money off vouchers – the formula is a hangover from a bygone time. Today people can be motivated much more effectively through status than stuff. How can brands embrace that more? Why can’t your store card be more about community than ‘10% off days’ as a way of encouraging engagement?
2) The power of context: Things like Klout are an interesting way of evaluating someone’s social media usage, but without any level of context it loses much of its value. So, when looking at your ‘influencers’ think about context as much as volume. Frequency does not equal quality.
As for me… I am in self-imposed rehab. It will be a long road but I will make it through this. From today I’m all about quality, not volume (provided I don’t drop below 40, of course).