When clients ask us for the “Klout” figure of a potential influencer, it always gives me a pause. The term ‘influencer’ has evolved beyond a blogger or Twitterati. Certain influencers might have a low ranking Klout score, simply because of the way the accounts are created. Their domain expertise can be ranked differently on Klout and in real life.
Klout currently considers Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, WordPress, LinkedIn, Blogger, Tumblr and YouTube.
Often, the person has to permit Klout to access these platforms for an accurate score, and a simple Google search will tell you how simple it is to manipulate these scores.
We did a simple search. We took the profile of one of our interns, who had a Klout Score of 16. Only the Facebook profile was connected. We connected Instagram, Linkedin, WordPress Blog, Google+ page and changed the Facebook profile to one of the pages. The Klout Score went up to 28. Just adding the profiles, that’s it.
Social Media is dynamic. It is no longer viable to count ‘Influencers’ across categories. Each category has their own set of influencers, and Klout Score is no longer an accurate description of their social media influencer.
Most people are comfortable when they can quantify their expenses – be it for public relations or social media. Unfortunately, in public relations it is close to impossible to measure ROI accurately. PR is a long-term cumulative impact… which cannot really be condensed into numbers. With social media & digital marketing, it is easier to measure the reach, if nothing else.
With Influencer Marketing, the accountability starts before the campaign. Most clients ask for an indicator of the influencer’s reach. This is one of the reasons Klout Score became very important.
So while we might want to still list Klout Scores in the campaign planning stage, it might be wise to take their overall influence in each platform into account before finalizing the list.
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