Your Customers Don’t Care About Your Clout.. err.. Klout

twitterIf you’re on Twitter, or you’ve been managing social media accounts for any length of time, you might have heard of Klout. Klout is a social media measuring tool that, when it first came out, was used by many as a legitimate way to measure how influential someone was on Twitter. As time went on, Klout was used a little less and a little less. Now it is still used by many, but I just don’t put much stock into it anymore, especially after what I’ve been seeing on Twitter more and more from people whom are supposedly influential, according to this Klout tool.

Social Media Basics; Being REAL

One of the most important social media basics advice I can give anyone choosing to use Twitter as a part of their social media marketing campaigns is to be real! Be yourself. If all you do is automate all of your tweets and you never actively engage on the platform with anyone, all you are is a robot and your twitter feed is ultimately useless to your followers. If you are a news aggregate, okay, but if you aren’t why are you trying to be one?

It’s great to use your Twitter feed to post about the latest news in your industry or to post about interesting facts and articles relating to your line of work, but be sure you are trying to talk to your customers or even your vendors. Getting some conversations going will work a lot faster in earning you an online reputation than simply automating an RSS feed to your Twitter. It doesn’t work.

Social Media and Clout.. err.. Kloutklout

Clout is defined by Merriam-Webster as “the power to influence or control situations”, in our case, social media. Like I said, when Klout first came out, it measured, essentially, how successful someone was on Twitter. It assigned a number, 1-100, to each account based on its own algorithm. As time has passed, Klout began measuring more than just Twitter, but as far as I’ve ever seen, most people only really pay attention to their Klout “score” on Twitter (I could be wrong).

However, as with most measurements, this “score” can be gamed.

Don’t Rely on Your Klout

Although I used to actually rely on a “good” Klout score to figure out who was a safe Twitter follow, I simply can’t do that anymore, and I’ll let you know why; people are gaming that system. (No surprise).

Here’s what I’ve been noticing for a long time now; people are simply retweeting ANYTHING where their Twitter handle is mentioned. If you say “Hi @SoandSo! How was lunch at that new place?”, @SoandSo would retweet it, or share it with their followers. By doing this, they are actually able to raise their Klout score because it is effectively using your handle again, like they are talking to you/someone and sharing something you shared first. It might seem obvious, but this is NOT engagement.

So, What Now?

If you really want to earn influence on Twitter, or any platform, here’s the first thing you need to know as a part of social media basics: you need to TALK to people and talk about your interests. If you were relying on Klout score to determine who to follow online, let me suggest you simply take a real look at the account you are looking to follow or unfollow. It takes some time, but by and large, it is the most sure-fire way to figure out if someone is really a robot, or a real person, worth talking to!

Need some help? Let me know! R3 Social Media would love to help you.

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