Klout is the new Groupon. Everybody’s asking about Klout scores. We hear about Klout swag, Klout Kribs, and Klout parties. Every major blogger – perhaps to beef up their Klout score – is doing a story on… Klout.
And earlier this week, I saw a job seeker claiming he was denied an interview for a social media internship because his “Klout score was too low.” Then he asked, “Is there a way to game my Klout score?”
I admit I was/am confused. This Twitter account has been open just 2 months, he’s tweeted a total of 32 times to just 118 followers. And he somehow blames his failure to get an interview on some ever-changing score based on some always-modified algorithm that even its founders admit is “far from perfect”? And then he wants to “game” his score?
Fact is… he was denied an interview because he chose to work in a field (social media) where it takes some effort to build relationships, and he hasn’t yet effectively used the tools of the trade. Nor has he worked hard enough to establish critical offline relationships – including the recruiter who rejected him – to be considered a contender; to build influence.
That is really what Klout is about, right? Influence? To the point they’ve made the word “influence” a cliché, a buzzword. Soon, we’ll begin seeing the word “influence” on as many resumes as we do “passion” and “detail oriented”.
If you want to be influential – you must put in the effort, both online and offline.
Since this guy is looking for a job, he could dramatically change his Klout score by joining Twitter chats like #jobhuntchat or #HFChat. Or, he could write a blog or two and begin to build an online brand. These two “best practices” alone could net him a couple hundred followers in very short time.
Now that he’s begun to organically build a network, he can expand his sphere of influence by further developing and maintaining effective and rewarding business and personal relationships:
- Develop offline Klout by attending a coffee chat, a meetup, or an industry conference
- Continue to create original and helpful thoughts, and express them verbally and through content
- Be a good digital and community citizen by giving as much as he receives
- Serve as a mentor, or be mentored
- Impress other influencers so they become a champion for him, and his brand
- When a colleague visits his hometown, or he visit theirs, buy a coffee and just talk
Despite the power of social media, nothing builds better relationships than face-to-face interaction.
Influence is not based on some arbitrary Klout score that can be gamed. Clout – with a ‘c’ – is based on sincerity, traction and genuine effort.
And it must be earned.
CEO of YouTern and eJobbz, author Mark Babbitt is a passionate supporter of Gen Y entrepreneurs, a strong advocate of mentorship and co-founder of “Hired for the Holidays“. You can contact Mark directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter: @YouTernMark.