Call me slow but Klout was something I stumbled across six months ago. At first it was something I looked at with amusement, but over time it is something I have started to take more seriously and I’m not entirely sure why. Perhaps it’s down to the ego boost? It could possibly be down to the belief that I might receive free gifts? Whatever it is, in a short space of time I’ve started looking at my Klout score more seriously. Over the last month my Klout score has been steady at around 45, recently hitting the dizzying heights of 46. This feels like an achievement, but I couldn’t say what it is that I’ve achieved. All I know is that whenever Match of the Day comes on my score will rise as I tweet about every game.
There is a lot of talk of people getting jobs because of their high score, and perfectly acceptable candidates rejected because theirs was low. As well as job offers, people have reportedly received speaking jobs as well as some fantastic perks such as test drives, clothes and even awards show tickets. So far my only perks have been some free business cards. Although it does analyse what you are tweeting about it is quite difficult to really track what people are talking about, or as Klout call it, influencing. Some of the main topics I am apparently an influencer in are football, propaganda, Spain and director. Football I understand, being the Leeds United fan that I am I follow a lot of other Leeds fans and most of my conversations are about Leeds or football. Spain is on the list because I went there on holiday last month, Propaganda because it is a club night in Leeds I occasionally attend and director, well, I’m not entirely sure why that’s there. Now more businesses are jumping on the bandwagon. Cathay Pacific Airways have recently introduced an offer to allow anyone travelling with them from San Francisco with a Klout score of 40 or higher to be welcomed into their lounge, usually reserved for first class and business travellers. They will have access to workstations, showers and a noodle bar. It’s just a shame that my nearest airport is Leeds and Bradford. I’m not entirely sure whether it’s something that organisations are doing out of fear. SouthWest Airline removed film director Kevin Smith from a flight, on which he had already taken his seat, for being too big. He launched a scathing attack on the company over Twitter to his 1.6 million followers and the airline were forced in to an apology. His tweets led to many more sharing similar stories and turned into a disaster for SouthWest.
Maybe they’re hoping that bribery will lead to good reviews. It stands to reason that those with high scores will have some level of authority on Twitter. By pandering to them many organisations will feel they are protecting themselves from those who they consider to be their biggest threat on social media. If that is the case however, would they not be better improving their customer service than offering test drives or hotel room upgrades because of their Klout?