Is Klout Inversely Related to Real Influence?

Getting serious about social media

A few months ago, PropelGrowth got more serious about how we were using Twitter. We committed to tweeting daily, we set up a strategy for what to tweet, how often, and how to engage. As we worked on it, we found our Klout scores slowly rising.

Klout became my virtual report card

While I’ve never been convinced that Klout is actually worth watching, I found myself checking it daily, as if it were a report card on my social efforts. During the month of August and the first week of September, my score gradually rose to a 47. Not much compared to some of you influencers out there, but a nice jump from where I started.

As live interactions and influence increased, Klout decreased

But then I started getting really busy. I traveled to speak at a conference in Chicago and to meet with clients in Connecticut, I’m involved in planning several capital markets industry events, which is taking a lot of phone and meeting time. We’ve got quite a bit of new business demand, requiring me to spend more time working with clients to devise their strategy, prepare proposals, develop thought leadership programs, refine messaging, plan events, and oversee content development.

So as my in-person influence increased, my Twitter activity naturally took a hit. The week I went to Chicago, where I was having a lot of real influence, my Klout score fell 12 points.

A social media mistake

Then I read an interesting blog post on the {Grow} blog about a big social media mistake. As I considered the points Stanford made in his blog post, I thought about the fact that most of my Twitter following is made up of social media, marketing, and sales training people. Not my target market. No offense intended to these wonderful people, but my business depends upon my influence with a Capital Markets audience.

Is Klout inversely related to real influence?

My goal is to communicate with the thought leaders in financial technology companies, broker-dealers, exchanges, asset managers and the like. These people are connected to me on LinkedIn and through professional organizations and client relationships, but most of them are not following me on Twitter. So I ask you, could Klout actually be a scorecard of how much I’m NOT influencing my target market? If my Klout score is going up, is it because I’m interacting a great deal on Twitter, but not spending enough time on the phone or in meetings with clients and prospects where I have the greatest influence? So as my Klout score goes up, is my real influence declining?

What say you?

Are you a big believer in Klout? Do you agree or disagree with my premise?