Why Danny Brown is NOT an Influential Shepherd – The Klout Debate

photo credit from Klout.com

Klout is one of the most controversial and yet extremely convenient ways to measure social media presence on the internet today.

There have been plenty of arguments as to why Klout is the best, why Klout sucks, why Klout is completely inaccurate, and why Klout is a stupid program that can be gamed to get a better score.

My readers know perfectly well that I am a Klout supporter, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t read and understand other opinions on the tool. And one in particular caught my eye that I would like to share.

Make Yourself An Influencer By Playing The Klout +K Game is a post by Danny Brown, and is one of the most popular arguments against the +K system. If you’re not familiar with Klout, please click here first.

But for those only unfamiliar with +K, it is a new feature that allows you to let Klout know directly who has influenced you and on what topic. (For instance, you might go to my Klout profile and give me a +K for “social media” because that is what I talk about here. My readers on The Schmittastic Vlogs might go to Klout and give me a +K for “video” because that is 90% of what I do over there.)

Danny used this feature to game the Klout system to show he was an online influencer in “sheep” (please see my conversations with Danny in the comments section for a correction to this statement that I found out is not entirely true), thus proving his point that you can manipulate your Klout score to reflect whatever you want and it is not an accurate measurement system for social media.

Interesting experiment (and quite hilarious actually… you should watch his video if you haven’t already), except Danny Brown is ALREADY an online influencer who has shared his negative thoughts about Klout previously. So he had plenty of readers/advocates on his side to help him achieve his influential shepherd status. So this argument is totally bogus for me because he wouldn’t have been able to pull this stunt off without the help of the people he has already influenced through his social media and blogging advice on DannyBrown.me.

I especially knew his take was a little off because he stated in the post that he is one of the people who doesn’t find real value in Klout because he doesn’t feel “you can measure influence purely by what you do online.”

Huh? Who said anything about that?

Klout clearly states in their bio that they measure your online influence — NOT the entirety of your influence as a human being.

If Klout has an algorithm that measures how many people click my links, retweet my posts, like my status updates, and share my stuff with their networks, there is CLEARLY value in that statistic for me. The first step to making a sale is getting people to respond to your call to actions. What you do from there is up to you. What you do from there cannot be measured by Klout.

If you build trust, relationships and engagement online that lead to an influential online presence and then can’t close the deal by making a sale or getting their e-mail address, that has nothing to do with your Klout score. But having this scoring system as a way of getting started to see where you need to make improvements in your engagement is absolutely priceless to help you measure for success in the long run.

Keep in mind what Klout was built to do and don’t expect it to be the end all be all of your online marketing measurement.

Full Disclosure: I am one of Danny’s readers and respect his opinions a great deal. This one in particular, I just don’t happen to agree with. What do you think about his thoughts on Klout? Do you think he’s right about the +K system?