Will Klout Finally Become Useful for Business?

Attention social media mavens! Klout has altered its algorithm and thus thrown all Klout scores up in the air, prompting many (me) to wonder if this change came about after the role of selecting arbitrary numbers, I mean Klout Scores, was passed over to a new monkey.*

Too harsh? Well, I for one put little faith in the algorithmic prowess of Klout if it took them this long to recognise that Barack Obama is more influential than Justin Bieber!

Many have seen their Klout scores rise by double figures, while others (Justin Bieber for example) have seen their scores fall. As always Klout are keeping their algorithms under wraps, as revealing how they calculate it would make the entire process null and void, if it isn’t already. Just head over to Twitter to see the negative, and often hilarious, reactions to these changes.

So does this change mean users are suddenly more (or less) influential?

In this video released on the Klout website, Klout CEO Joe Fernandez explains how this is the most comprehensive update yet and outlines some of the changes that they’ll be rolling out in the coming months.

The changes seem to be a move in the direction of creating a social hub through which users can interact, which wouldn’t be entirely unlike the social media sites that Klout is attempting to measure. The new site design seems to feature a push to encourage users to invite their Facebook friends to Klout – could they be hoping to create a social media network?

The only interesting factor I could gleam from the updates was the introduction of moments, which will offer comprehensive insight into which pieces of shared content are successful. This, in some ways, would shed some light onto the complex and heavily guarded secret of the algorithm. More importantly it would offer brands and businesses a new social media metric to measure success.

Content marketing is big business at the moment, and getting the balance between what to post and when is a huge challenge for marketers. Klout’s updates could help by shedding some light onto what is successful and give marketers the opportunity to figure out why.

Klout could become a useful tool to be used in addition to sites such as Crowdbooster and Post Rocket  to help optimise content and increase engagement. Unfortunately, users will have to wait until these new changes are rolled out before they can road test the new features. Unless you can use your immense influence to drum up the support of 10 people and convince them to join Klout, in which case you’ll gain VIP access.

*Disclaimer: I am in no way saying the Klout team are monkeys, I just want to make that very clear. I was making a comment on the arbitrary nature of the number, and not the work of the engineers.