Near the beginning, the author says: "Klout is a simple online influence analysis platform which gauges, pretty accurately, how much influence you have in the online world within your niche field of specialism." (Note the use of the word 'accurately'.)
So I thought I'd check out a couple of big names in internet marketing and see what their scores were. Mine is 51, so I would expect them to be in the high 90s. But instead of that, I found that Derek Gehl has a score of 47 and Armand Morin has a score of 57.
According to Klout, I am only six points behind Armand Morin (multimillionaire, universally respected internet marketing teacher - and probably one of the most successful internet marketers on the planet) when gauged for my influence "in the online world within my niche field" which is, of course, internet marketing.
Now Derek Gehl is perhaps not as well known as Armand Morin but he's certainly a very successful internet marketer and teacher of internet marketing. So what have I done to earn a place four points AHEAD of him on Klout.
Well, if you look at the Klout website it will tell you that scores are assessed according to the number of:
- Mentions, likes, comments, subscribers, wall posts, and friends on Facebook
- Retweets, mentions, list memberships, followers, and replies on Twitter
- Comments, +1's, and reshares on Google+
- Connections, recommenders and comments on Linkedin
- Tips done on foursquare.
- +K received on Klout
- Page importance, inlinks to outlinks ratio and number of inlinks on Wikipedia
Now, the Wikipedia references, fair enough. If you're well known and influential you are likely to have a larger presence on Wikipedia. But, as for the rest, it's just a measure of how busy you are in social media. If you don't use it, or use it to a limited extent, like Armand and Derek, then you're not going to achieve a high score even if, like them, you're a world-class teacher. So can Klout really claim to be an accurate gauge of influence online? Well, not in the area of internet marketing. Because, if you're a top marketer and you teach numerous people every year how to do it, you ARE influential online whether you use social media or not.
Perhaps in other fields - gardening or antiques or the theatre, say - the Klout score would be more accurate because the internet is not an integral part of these fields. But as far as internet marketing goes, I think we need to take the scores with a pinch of salt.