It was inevitable.
Since social media’s sphere of influence has expanded to include people and businesses around the world, a system in which individuals could be “scored” based upon their effectiveness was bound to take shape.
Klout – which creatively plays off of the word clout – is a social media monitoring website designed for individuals. While it lacks certain tools for businesses, it can be somewhat useful for them, as well.
Klout monitors a user’s Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn accounts to rate them on their effectiveness, which is displayed via a 1-100 score. It doesn’t just look at how often you tweet or how many followers you have – it’s a bit more mathematical than that.
For one, it looks at the effectiveness of those who follow you. If you have 1,000 junk followers on Twitter, your score is guaranteed to be lower than an individual with 500 extremely influential ones. Your consistency (or overuse), retweets, and mentions also play a strong factor in influencing the overall stability of your score.
The system also looks at your Facebook profile, measuring the number of likes and comments per post, as well as how many unique commenters there are. The number of connections that you have on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn definitely count, but there comes a point when you can have too many and the number won’t increase your score.
Again, it really depends upon the kind of people that you surround yourself with – if you keep socially engaged friends, then chances are that your score will be more likely to go up.
After inquiring with Klout via email about how often job seekers put their scores on resumes, they said that there have been a few instances where individuals with the higher Klout score got the job. Granted, these were mainly for PR / social media / community management positions, but there are millions of these types of positions in the world, so it’s an important thing to keep in mind.
Unfortunately, this isn’t necessarily equal. It’s not an individual’s fault that their friends aren’t socially engaged. Having a few hundred good friends on Facebook from college or high school isn’t uncommon, but perhaps only 10 percent of those might actually be engaged.
Furthermore, it’s simply applying another number to a slew of ones already on resumes and applications: college or high school GPA, years worked, SAT/ACT/LSAT/GRE scores, and so on and so forth.
There is an upside, however: Klout is a relatively effective system that will only become more so over time. Today, only the most socially-savvy people are using it, meaning that they understand downsides inherent in the system. As long as they don’t base their decision solely upon (or even majorly upon) the Klout score posted at the top, job seekers will be fine.
It is, though, an intimidating idea that in years to come, individuals will start posting a social media score at the top of their resumes for jobs that they dream of having.
Now is the time to get ahead and make scores as stable as possible.