With the emergence of social media “experts” popping everywhere and some are aggressively flaunting their Klout scores to intimidate their potential clients and friends, I feel the need to do a breakdown of how this works.
Here is a little bit of a preamble, I appreciate Klout and I have advised some of my friends to use Klout as one of MANY tools out there to analyze how they are doing on Twitter. It is a good tool if you genuinely are interested in authentic engagement but Klout isn’t perfect, nothing is. If you really want to, you can game Klout to get a high score.
Here is how you game Klout:
1) Engage with people who have high Klout scores, people like @hummingbird604 @jason_baker @kempedmonds @vancitybuzz and ignore people with low Klout score
2) Ask controversial questions or ask for RTs, for example “What do you think about #charliesheen?” or “I love iPad 2, RT if you agree.” BONUS: If you exploit trending topics and tag people, it increases your score even faster because it forces people to respond. As an example, “What do you think about #charliesheen? @hummingbird604 @vancitybuzz @kempedmonds @jason_baker”
3) Run contests on Twitter, pony up a few hundred bucks. Heck even 50 bucks will get people excited. “Win $50 bucks, just RT to enter”
4) Campaign people to follow you and make them feel guilty if they don’t. BONUS: Once they follow you, you unfollow them because you score higher if you have more followers than followings
5) Tag everyone in your tweets so you get on their radar in order to achieve #4, for example “Nice to see you tonight @hummingbird604 @vancitybuzz @kempedmonds @jason_baker @more influencers”
You don’t have to add any particular value and still have high score because Klout relies on an algorithm that most definitely take into account of reach, amplification and network. If your “network” are people with high score – well it thinks you are somewhat of a big deal. Begging for RTs give you amplification because you are reaching other people’s network, it doesn’t take into account that you are paying for this reach with contests or because you applied social pressure by tagging people making them obligated to response. If you follow a few influencers, pressure them to follow you and engage in conversation with you then you achieve a high true reach score.
There are people like @hummingbird604 @vancitybuzz @kempedmonds @jason_baker who have achieved high Klout scores because they genuinely engage, they care and they provide value for their followers and you can tell from their interactions on Twitter. Then there are those who game Klout to flaunt, intimidate and make other people feel inferior which is NOT the purpose of social media.
To them I say, “You can game Klout but you can’t game people”