Why do I want to care? I have so much to keep up with, why do I need to keep up with the perceived perception that Klout's algorithms have about my Twitter account, and Facebook activities? I just got an email from Klout, encouraging me to "click here" for their most important update yet. Here's the thing: I don't care. I care about real clout. And so does this blogger. I barely have time to tweet and read other people's tweets and articles they recommend, and that's what I'm focusing on at the moment. Here's why I don't care:
- Perceived ROI: At the end of the day, if you're using Twitter for business reasons, you only care about one thing, ok, maybe two things: 1. Am I getting sales* after my tweets? 2. Am I getting opportunities that can lead to sales after my tweets?
- Perceived Klout: Does Klout really know who emails me after I've strategically planted some tweets or Facebook updates? Do they know what people want from me after I've put updates into the Internets? No, they don't. Klout knows algorithms and if, mathematically, someone officially RTed me the Twitter way, or replied to me or mentioned me. And they think I'm extra cool if that "engagement" was from a tweeter with super high klout - The Cool Group - as I used to call them in Middle School. Here's the thing: Most people don't participate online. They read/watch, according to a 2010 study by a Forrester Research, reported by CNN and others. The rest are reading. Same with Facebook. Radio silence from most of my friends, yet when I see them in person, they all know. And that's the bottom line. They all know. It's in their brains. And Klout is not in anyone's brain.
- Speaking of brains, Privacy: So you sign up with Klout via your Twitter or Facebook username and password. I'm on security lockdown in my Facebook, and I don't tweet super personal stuff on Twitter because I don't want things floating around the Internets. Even though Klout declares that they don't claim to keep your username and password information in their database, I don't care. Some digits, somewhere, are exchanged. I've seen enough crazy things happen in this world, that I don't trust it. Sure, tell me it's encrypted. Tell me that it's not on file. Do I feel protected by your 20 words of a disclaimer? No. Even if you were telling the truth, I still don't trust it. These two accounts, Twitter and Facebook, can make or break a reputation. I share them VERY cautiously.
So go ahead, Klout me. I'm probably mediocre. And that's not why I don't care about Klout. I just don't. I get what I need professionally from the actual updating and engaging that I do with others on Twitter, and I'll risk the perception that people have when they hover over a profile and it reveals a Klout score. But I've got other things on my todo list that hopefully are going to impact my business right now. It's real clout I'm after.
Am I wrong? What do you use Twitter for, and is Klout important to you right now? Or are you feeling like it *should* and is stressing you out? Tell me in the comments below!
*sales: When I refer to sales, I don't mean a direct sale from your website after one of your tweets, or one that someone made about you. The kind where someone could click on an "add to cart" button and send you sale. I mean income generation - however you make that happen for your industry. Could be invoicing for a corporate presentation. Could be sealing the deal on a speaking engagement that you've wanted, and pursued people on Twitter who could sign you for that gig. Could be establishing yourself as a legal expert over time, so that when someone needed legal help, they thought of you first, and emailed/called/DMed you for a future hire.