A while back I received a notification from Klout.com saying that according to their metrics, I am ranked in the top 10% as an influencer in social media. That caused an eyebrow to jump up my forehead: “Who? Me? No way!” But who am I to argue with social media metrics?
What is Klout.com
For those who don’t know, Klout.com is a utility that you can sign up with to track and measure your influence across all your social media accounts. You tell it which media outlets you use and it tracks how much influence you have by watching how many of your posts generate how much interest. Exactly how they do that is a closely guarded secret – and it seems to have changed several times over the past couple of years — but I suspect it has something to do with reading tea leaves.
What are Klout Perks
Perks are awards for attaining certain levels of competence. Again; exactly how, when and why perks are offered is a mystery. They may be more the result of advertising campaigns by their sponsors than awards for my social media expertise. I have received offers of perks several times. Sometimes they were something I was interested in, sometimes…not so much.
One was a promotional package for the TV Show Falling Skies; earned because I’d been talking about the show. The Perk said it would include an advance peek at the two-part Season 2 Premier. I expected to be given a link where I could watch out-takes of the actual shows and read some promotional materials.
What I got, came in the mail: a very nicely produced hard-case with a DVD containing both parts of the upcoming season premier, a booklet of bio information on all the major characters, and a thank-you card from TNT.
The thank-you cards that come with major perks (I have three of these now) include a Code-of-Ethics statement that clarifies that I am under no obligation to talk about the products I received, neither Klout nor the sponsor will abuse my contact info (all I’ve had to give them was a mailing address) and a disclosure statement I’m supposed to make which says that I received these products as an Influencer Perk and I have not nor will I receive additional compensation for talking about the product or the company that produced it.
Social Media Top 10%
When I received the Top 10% Award notice I was given a list of sponsors from which I could choose an award. As always some were completely irrelevant to my life. One caught my eye: Hills, the makers of Science Diet dog foods – a product we use extensively in our dog fostering efforts – offered a sample bag and “goodies” for our dog(s).
Being a natural-born skeptic, I figured this would be about 3 ounces of their dog food and some coupons for their products. But; at least it would likely be something we could use, so I selected that one.
What arrived yesterday was a carton containing a 3.5 lb bag of their newest dog food formulation (no grain, mainly chicken) some promotional material, a cool toss-n-tug dog toy, and a nifty flashy-ball thing that I suspect is a safety device to be clipped to a dogs collar when they go out alone at night. Or perhaps it’s a disco ball for the dog house. All useful and all well beyond my expectations.
Am I a Social Media Mogul
My skepticism still flares up when I mull over that question. Seth Godin I am not. I can’t even pretend to be in that league. I do not obsess over numbers. For me social media has never been about racking up some huge number to show off. I’ve written many articles about why I feel that way, some are available on-line; I’ll include a list of those I can find instead of rehashing it all here. My basic premise, however, is that social media is about relationships, not numbers. Getting a bazillion people to follow/friend/join your circle is pointless if they then ignore you.
I guess that approach is working. I don’t feel like a major influencer, but maybe that too is part of it. What I do isn’t all about me.
In any case, I’ve enjoyed the Perks. If you are offered a Klout Perk, do take a moment to check it out, don’t just assume it is spam and dismiss it.