Can Your Klout Score Change Your Life? Or Get You a Job?

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 or on Twitter: @YouTernMark.

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  • That’s the great thing about social media tools like Klout, PeerIndex, TweetLevel etc. They show that you act in a certain way. They show you understand the game. Nothing more, nothing less.

    You still need to perform all the real world /online actions to be someone worthy of influence online or off.

    Face to face will always be key, but tech offers so many other interim steps in building real deep human connection.

    Great post. Thanks

  • Gabriella Orourke

    Absolutely! Social media tools are not ‘quick fixes’ to good old fashioned hard work and building of relationships. ‘Klout’ measures and tracks observable behavior so it follow that you’ve got to be doing something worth tracking or noting to be noticed! Love the story Mark!

  • I love the example you used of a new person on twitter trying to “game” their Klout score. Social media is really about networking. The better a person is at networking both online and off, the more that will be reflected in any online analytics.

    There are people out there that do not see the benefit of networking, and simply try to abuse chats and groups to further their own goals, without understanding the reciprocal nature of business and people.

    I hope more people read your blog, learn from your suggestions, and start acting on them to improve their clout, and Klout!

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  • First of all, awesome graphic. Boggle was my introduction into wordplay…even rhetoric =)

    I think the “him” you describe represents the new ponzi-scheme dreamer. SoMe is so much a game of carving relationships on and off the grid. I like what Nick said about “transmedia.” Regardless, there is legwork, engagement, sustained attention, and the true valuation of the other as a real person.

    From Mark to Mark,

  • Mark- this is a FANTASTIC post. People forget way too frequently that social media is a great tool, not an end-game activity. If you use it right, it can help you achieve your goals more quickly than before it existed… but it’s not a substitute for developing real life skills and qualities you need for success- like influence- and remembering you need patience to build them.

    Like any metric, people should use Klout to reflect on (1) what they are doing online, (2) determine what’s working for them and what they should be doing different and (3) think about how that connects to their real life goals. They should also understand that if they are going in certain fields, it matters.

    So inspired by your post!

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  • The irony is that if you do the right things in social media (mixing following with followers, engaging individually with tweeps, participating in chats, RTing, posting links you think will interest your followers) you’ll almost certainly raise your Klout score–no “gaming” required. On the other hand, if you try to game your score without doing the right things it might work for a while, but the results won’t carry beyond your Klout score.

  • Kenny Rose

    Mark you hit the mark. Trying to game Klout is nonsense nobody with any credibility will take you seriously as a candidate if you attempt to manipulate processes in this manner. The fact remains you have to work hard, learn and establish credibility. Once you have done that and you deliver at interview you may just get the chance to prove that you have what is takes to make your mark in social media.

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