When Klout first came out, I was so happy. Finally, someone figured out how to measure social media. I took the time to read as much on it as I could and paid real attention to their algorithm.
I played with Tweeting at different times, tested classic retweets vs quote tweets and watched my Facebook engagement. Klout was a dream for this stats nerd.
Then my Klout score dropped over 15 points in one day. Klout had decided to change it’s algorithm and for an insanely competitive person like me, It pissed me right off.
Klout tried to make it up to us by offering Klout Perks. If you were “influential” about certain topics or had a higher than average Klout score, you would be able to get free things. The caveat was that you could, if you wanted to, talk about the company/product on social media.
I like free things. I like them a lot. I was given movie tickets, swag bags, razors, business cards, deodorant and skin care products. I broke the laws of reciprocity by choosing not to tweet or talk about these products on my social media platforms. Just my preference. I’m a jerk like that.
How did Klout decide the things I was influential about? Good question! It’s based on an algorithm that calculates the topic of the most shared, retweeted and commented content that you post to social media sites. This is easy to figure out right? Nope.
There are some secondary factors at play. If something is retweeted or shared by a person with a high klout score, it is put at a higher priority. Also, if Klout’s algorithm doesn’t understand the topic reference you get into situations like my friend Jessica, who has twin boys, she now influential about the Minnesota Twins on Klout. I’m pretty sure she isn’t a huge baseball fan.
Just when you think you’ve got this figured out, they add an interactive piece to get you to keep coming back to their site. You can now give +K to people on their influential topics. Hell, you can even add your own categories for people.
This is when it gets fun.
What do you get when you marry a social media measurement algorithm based on influence and user generate content? A hilarious good time.
Take my friend Kathleen, she hates cats. This is well known fact among her friends and followers. So, just to be an ass, I give her +K in cats on a weekly basis. Not only does it make me laugh, it’s the topic she is most influential about according to Klout.
Yes, I spend nights going through Klout influential topics and giggling at what comes up. Things like celery, popcorn, taxidermy, pork, unicorns, sparkles and toothpaste all get the +K from me.
Why stop there? I also like to take it to the next level by making a political stance using Klout.
If you don’t know why my top tweet is funny, Google “lake of fire wild rose party”.
Turns out, I’m not the only person who finds giving +K on silly topics and adding ridiculous new influential topics funny. Just check out Justin Bieber’s influential topics:
When I think of Justin Bieber, Hitler, pedophilia and prostitution totally come to mind. I guess the Belibers haven’t figured out how to use Klout yet. Until they do, I will continue to smirk about this.
You know what the best part of messing with Klout’s algorithm and influential topics is? They’ve admitted that giving and receiving +K does absolutely nothing to your Klout score. Nothing!
Q: How does giving and receiving +K affect my topics?
A: Giving +K to others has no impact on your own topics (or Klout Score). Receiving +K will affect the ordering of topics (topics with recent +K are listed first), and the time length that these topics are displayed on your profile (receiving +K allows you to remain influential in that topic for longer).
I’ll keep taking free things and amusing myself by giving +K on silly topics. I’m sure they will figure out a way to integrate these influential topics into their algorithm at some point and I’ll be laughing about Kathleen’s cat influence the whole time.
BTW, want to know my most shared, retweeted and commented on update?
Joke from my 7yr old nephew. How do you get Lady Gaga to wake up? Poker Face
You’re right Klout, I’m SO influential about Lady Gaga.