I mentioned in a comment, “Not everyone can be an Ann Handley or a Chris Brogan,” on a blog that explains KloutPout.
TLDR: Klout has special offers for people with high influence scores. Stefania Butler from Clever Girls Collective shared a frustration in being excluded from offers and termed it “Klout Pout.”
I’ve written on this subject twice. I’m not sure why I get fired up and have to troll on Klout – but if I had to guess, I don’t like seeing others compete for a trivial “internet usage score” and businesses to game such relationships and sacrifice the slightly-more-authentic and relevant outreach to fans, and meaningful sources of trusted advice.
My vice is not entirely with Klout. They do have a shared responsibility in this debacle. They encourage the exact behavior that brands have been long-criticized for how they interact with consumers. I find their scoring algorithm interesting – and it’s actually fairly accurate with how someone produces content, their frequency and estimated reach. However, this is not an endorsement to use Klout exclusively for measuring someone up – it is a variable among many to consider.
Brands who use Klout for their branding promotions risk criticism for doing it. Excluding people because they don’t provide enough “impact” for a brand robs the humanity and authenticity in a given campaign. I’ve received two “exclusive” Klout offers; one to attend a basketball game in Los Angeles and another to watch a show aired on cable TV. I wasn’t interested in either of these activities … and I live in Phoenix. In both of these offers, it was “recommended” I mention them across my social graph, but not required. Begging for mentions really shows how connected and loyal I am to a brand.
#KloutPout to me resembles what happens when people don’t feel valued or connected to their impact on the social graph. As I said earlier, not everyone can be an Ann Handley or a Chris Brogan. These people’s professional and personal brands are built on the ability to spread messages, counsel others on content marketing and social media. This is a byproduct of their hard work and hustle to get to where they are today. With speaking engagements, presentations, webinars, an endless stream of blog posts and around the clock accessibility to their fans – it isn’t cheap or easy. It’s no question why they have 80+ Klout. They earned it and they produce enough digital content to back it.
An opposing viewpoint is that these offers are exclusive. They can’t give these offers and promos away to everyone. Exclusivity can help build value. Nevertheless, I find it’s exploitative when it’s done at this level. If someone’s truly influential and meaningful to your brand, then pick up the phone and have a conversation.
Any brand who knows me knows who they’re dealing with. I encourage anyone who obsesses about their Klout score to realize that it’s only one measure of how you use social media. It doesn’t qualify who you are.
If a brand wants to reach out to fans, they don’t have to look far to do it. A mere Google or Twitter search will net more engaged fans. Customer and market outreach is hard work. Don’t think it’s really this easy to get mentions. After all, organic mentions are ones that don’t require any monetary payment or concession. A Klout Perk is paid.