It's been over a month now since I decided to remove all the automated rubbish from my social media feeds. My thinking behind this was that I felt I was contributing to the clutter and the white noise in people's newsfeeds. That I wasn't adding any value to their daily lives with automated quotes and other posts that I didn't feel were relevant or useful. In other words, I was trying to be more social.
My experiment was to remove all the incessant bombarding posts and replace them with news stories I'd actually read myself and to reach out and start actual conversations with people. In that respect, I think I've been successful as my personal experience has certainly been more rewarding and I've spoken to some fantastic people online as a result. I've also been using the free version of Klear (www.klear.com) to gauge how I'm relating to others. Whilst Klear doesn't give you a score per say like Klout does, it actually provides some excellent measurements and performance indicators.
So, for example, I can see that the number of posts per day have dropped by 50% to around 15 posts across all my channels per day. Posts which I can now confidently say are more personal and add value. It also tells me that each post gains an average of 21 responses, and that I've managed conversations with over 50 people in the last few weeks. Further analysis and demographics are available on Klear's paid plan, but the free version has already proved that by improving the quality of my posts, I'm being more social and connecting with more people which is everything you'd expect from someone who's business is Social Media.
Unfortunately, the same cannot be said of my Klout score. Which, whilst claiming to reward genuine interaction and engagement, is currently at an all time low of 64.93. Those of you that have been following my articles on the subject will already know my opinions around Klout at the moment. That it actually rewards noise, the louder you shout, the more posts you make, then the higher your score seems to be. And I know what I'm talking about, because I reached the elitist #Klout70 score by bombarding my followers with automated posts and white noise to get there. By doing the very opposite of what I tell my clients to do, which really didn't sit well with me.
So, to be Klear or to have Klout? That is the question. Most influencers will tell you that you simply must have a Klout score of 70 to be taken seriously in Social Media. They'll reason that it's the only measure we have, and somehow that validates it's algorithms and scoring. The problem is that all it does is score influencers against each other and encourage them to find ways to game the system so they can join the elite #Klout70 alumni. But here's the thing, Klout has made ripples in the industry recently after several leaderboards were published by Brand Republic which were intended to rank the Top 50 Social Media Marketers or Influencers. Now, whilst many on that leaderboard quite rightly deserved to be there and were people I know and respect, many others on the list fit into that category of 'automated broadcast bombardment' types.
Incidentally, I didn't feature on either leaderboard despite having a higher score than many on the list. So I contacted 10 of the top 50 at random to introduce myself and ask for their advice on how to improve my score. To date I haven't had a single reply from any of them, which doesn't strike me as being particularly sociable. So the decision as to which scoring system you trust is entirely up to you. Personally, I'd prefer to use Klear to benchmark against myself, constantly trying to improve how social I can be through genuine interaction. Or you can focus on churning out the same quotes and bombardment techniques that seem to be rewarded by Klout.
The choice, as they say, is yours.