Recent Facebook Issue on Klout Proves Clout Science Imperfect

I’m decidedly on the fence about Klout. I’m still waiting on a true application of the data it provides. I don’t mean to use it as “you must have a Klout score ‘this high’ to get in to this club” application but as an applicable tool to building your social media and web brand. The trick to Klout is analyzing the data provides to make good decisions about your interactions with your audiences. Otherwise, the Klout score is just a number. A recent Facebook issue has skewed these numbers, but a lesson can be learned from the experience.

Klout LogoI use Klout as a tool to tell me a little about my followers in the social media atmosphere. I believe it will eventually become a tool that many will find as an integral cog in their social media engine. Klout emails come to my inbox on a regular basis to let me in on some of the latest updates or features, and when I found out there was something affecting my Klout score in a potentially negative way in one of these emails it got my attention.

We experienced an issue with Facebook data collection that may have affected your Score. The issue is resolved, but you may see a jump in your Score in the next few days.

Reading on I found expired Facebook tokens were the primary reasons for this recent error, and most of them were likely caused by users who changed Facebook passwords recently. I know I didn’t change my password, but I did make some changes to privacy that might have caused the problem.

Declining Klout Score MatrixMy score had indeed been declining for days. For awhile I found it strange since I was still tweeting on a regular basis and engaging with others. I was fortunate enough to have some returned engagement. Nothing was strangely out of the ordinary, but my score continued to decline. A day after I received this message from Klout my score took a big spike upward to a new high.

Klout’s taking a big leap of faith that they’ve delivered a way to measure how you influence your audience in the social media atmosphere. Unfortunately the numbers are fickle due to the many different networks and security precautions each network takes. When a user changes a password or settings on one of these networks it may render the data from that network useless or nonexistent which could impact the score in a negative manner. The lesson is to follow your strategy and keep evolving regardless of what the score says. When the algorithm gets it right, it will reflect what you’re doing. Use Klout to guide how you’re influencing your network and compare that to your strategy.