Please Don’t Quit Klout. Or At Least Don’t Announce It.

by Jason Falls |

Pardon the rant today, but if I see another melodramatic blog post about how you’re quitting Klout and canceling your account, I think I might vomit. Doing so not only confirms your ego was so huge that you thought your Klout score mattered in the first place, but trumps that because you’re admitting you’re quitting Klout because, after your score went down, you decided it didn’t matter as much. Poor baby!

Here’s the rub: Klout started with one data point – Twitter followers and reach. As it added more data points, some people’s scores went down and other’s went up. As more and more data points were added to the algorithm, almost everyone’s score went down (at least at some point) because we don’t all have awesome influence across every network (mine sucks on Friendster).

Image representing Klout as depicted in CrunchBase
Image via CrunchBase

Even if their engineers did tinker with the algorithm, Klout was never meant to be the know-all, end-all to influence, no matter what Joe Fernandez (or Klout’s PR firm) tells you. (Though he probably wouldn’t claim that, anyway.) It was a consumer facing bell and whistle to get public buzz about the company that does its actual business behind the scenes working with brands to incorporate social data into their customer databases so they can make more informed decisions about customers including their social influence as a piece of relevant data. They’re focused on revenue and business. You’re focused on a big white number on a red square.

In short, your Klout score has never been more than an ego trip for you. If you counted on it, invested time in it, tried to understand it (or game it), that’s not a bad thing, but please recognize that it was all about your ego and your precious standing in your little world of believing you’re more important than you probably are.

Klout is one data point in measuring influence. There are hundreds of others that actually incorporate more important data, not just the amount of social networking followers. It’s probably the most overrated piece of social data in the history of social data. That doesn’t mean it’s not useful, only that it’s not as important as anyone makes it out to be.

And canceling your Klout account means nothing other than you were upset your score went down. The algorithm changes attacked your sense of self-worth and you can’t face another day being a 37 rather than a 42.

Guess what? 99.9 percent of the people you really care about in the world don’t measure you with a number. Neither do most people who have half a brain. So why be a 0.1 per center? Ignore the score.

But removing your account means that other people who are sensibly using Klout for influencer prioritization and qualification will be left with less data, making their work potentially less effective.

But you wouldn’t understand that, would you? It’s not about them … Klout is all about you.

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About the Author

Jason Falls

Jason Falls is a leading thinker, speaker and strategist in the world of digital marketing and is co-author of two books, No Bullshit Social Media: The All-Business, No-Hype Guide To Social Media Marketing and The Rebel's Guide To Email Marketing. By day, he leads digital strategy for Elasticity, one of the world's most innovative digital marketing and public relations firms. Follow him on Twitter (@JasonFalls).