Klout was first established in San Fransisco in Sept 2009, it’s main aim is to measure users activity on social media. It evaluates how interactive people are on certain social media sites including: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, google+ and many others. It generates a score between 1-100 on how influential users are on social media sites. (socialexcerpts.com)
The score is broken down into 3 sections; True reach, amplified score and a network score in order to generate a final Klout score. It is based on the number of friends/ followers you have on different sites, the amount of posts, comments, tweets you create and how many people retweet, comment, ‘like’ your posts. Companies then pay Klout to get in contact with users with high social influence and then offer them perks/ freebies in order to try and generate social buzz around their company. (technology-digital.com)
It may seem like a great idea but there have been many mixed reviews regarding Klout; here is a summary of some of the pros and cons:
+) There are so many social media sites around these days that it is hard to keep track of all of them, so Klout is a good way to summarize users who have a large influence and to target them specifically.
+) It is more timely and efficient for companies to target people with high social involvement and with specific interests rather than spending so much time updating numerous social media sites on a regular basis.
-) Many ethical problems including; disclosing information about minors, the ‘perks’ can be seen as bribes and unethical, many people were put off by the site due to low Klout scores and felt they were being graded on their social media performance when it was meant to be fun.
-) It can cause negative association with the company if people feel like they are being bribed or if they weren’t satisfied with the product/ service.
Overall, Klout has a very clever business model that has many advantages for companies, however there are still a lot of negative feelings towards some of the ethical sides related to their process. In order for them to continue to build and be successful I think they need to address some of these issues and expand to more social media sites as it is fairly limited to Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+, however they do have plans to expand to Youtube, Yelp, Posterous and many other sites.
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Filed under: Social Media Marketing