On Small Business is introducing a new feature in which young entrepreneurs will answer common questions about small business owners’ social media needs. The following answers are provided by the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only nonprofit organization comprised of young entrepreneurs. The YEC promotes entrepreneurship as a solution to unemployment and underemployment and provides entrepreneurs with access to tools, mentorship, and resources that support each stage of their business’s development and growth.
Klout is a service that measures online influence by analyzing a person’s reach across social networks. Should you pay attention to your Klout score? Why or why not?
Rakia Reynolds, principal at Skai Blue Media : (Philadelphia, Pa.)
While we can see the appeal of Klout, we believe that growing concerned with one’s score dilutes the
organic relationship brands are attempting to build with their audiences on Twitter and Facebook. In our opinion, the jury is still out on Klout scores, and we never recommend our clients to align their brand with platforms beyond their control.
We do not encourage our clients to be concerned about Klout scores because we feel that meaningful, consistent and informative messaging is what is most important to their branding goals, not seemingly unfounded measurements of their “influence.” For our clients, their goals are to build an organic and significant relationship with their consumers and to establish themselves as “influencers” of their given brand.
The ever evolving social landscape of the Internet lends itself readily to algorithms attempting to monitor and make sense of all the chatter. Furthermore, while the concept of Klout seems useful for some, we can’t ignore what is at the heart of the service, which is to provide a linking platform for their advertisers to the people who are talking about them the most.
Lindsey Pollak, author of "Getting from College to Career" and LinkedIn global spokesperson: (New York, NY)
If you're interested in building your personal brand online (and anyone with career or entrepreneurial ambitions should be), then you should definitely pay attention to your Klout score. Reputation and visibility on social media can feel very intangible; Klout makes it tangible. I use my Klout score and the other data the site provides as a check to make sure that my social media usage reflects the priorities in my business.
For example, I primarily write and speak about career success, managing generational differences in the workplace and the professional use of social media. Klout tells me how I rank on these topics (and others), how my social media use compares to other people in my space and how many people really read my content. This helps me stay on track.
[The late management guru] Peter Drucker famously said, “What gets measured gets managed.” If you are managing your career or your own business, you must pay attention to Klout.
Tom Cannon, co-founder and CEO of BungoBox : (Orlando, Fla.)
I am not sure if you should pay attention to your Klout score, but you should pay close attention to Klout. With that said, I am guilty of reviewing my Klout score on a regular basis. Klout is intriguing to me because the algorithm seems to be based on how well you give / provide value to your network.
Simply broadcasting a bunch of useless information that falls on deaf ears is deemed irrelevant. This is very cool with regards to content and, in my opinion, trumps basic search on Google. I think Google has obviously recognized the importance of social influence and has been making substantial changes to its algorithm in order to capture what the audience feels is relevant.
It is getting harder and harder to wade through the massive amount of information on the Web. So naturally people are looking for experts on various topics and looking to those experts to filter information for them.
This is where Klout has a unique position. It identifies who is talking about what and how influential those people are on that topic. This is killer information for a marketer salesman or anyone wanting to meet the right people.
For example, with the search tools on Klout, I was easily able to identify influential angels and VCs. With this list, I can easily identify those I may want to work with, discover their investing style and begin to build relationships. For a marketer, this can be even more helpful in identifying an influencer for products or services. However, the marketer needs to form a genuine relationship with the influencer and the influencer/ expert must be genuine about his thoughts and recommendations or risk losing all credibility.