Klout claims to measure social media influence, but can it accurately measure the impact of every social media post? In short, no.
Klout only measures Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google +, Last.fm, Foursquare, Tumblr, YouTube, LinkedIn, Blogger, WordPress, Flickr, Bing, and Yammer. It leaves out essential sites such as Pinterest and Vine. How can Klout accurately measure social media influence if it can’t keep up with the latest social media trends?
In addition to not keeping up with trends, Klout neglects offline influence in their calculations. Klout is meant to measure online influence, but online influence often has an offline impact. With the fast pace of everyday life, followers may bookmark a post to read at their leisure without liking or sharing it. The post may influence several followers, but as far as Klout is concerned, those followers were never reached.
Score activity measures the most effective posts on a five point scale. In theory, score activity is a valuable asset because it allows you to compare the effectiveness of different status types. The problem with score activity is that results are not immediate. Results are only updated every 72 hours. Social media managers need to stay on top of their campaigns and make sure that all updates are impacting their fans. A three day delay could cause severe damage to a campaign.
The network breakdown chart is the most useful function of Klout. The chart provides percentages of each social network’s contribution to the Klout score and allows users to see which networks need more attention. A quick glance at problem areas can significantly alter the course of a campaign.
Signups appear to be more important to Klout than statistics. Instead of focusing on the likelihood of influencing friends on certain topics, the friends landing page focuses on the likelihood of influencing friends to join Klout. The influencer landscape is a useless tool that repeats the information on the friends landing page. The most effective tool in the friends section is the compare friends tool, which allows users to compare scores and topics and allows influencers to know they have made an impact.
Klout can be used as a stepping stone to make sure your social media efforts are going in the right direction, but it should not be used as the only method of measuring social media influence. Slow activity updates and a lack of supported sites prevent Klout from becoming a powerful ROI measurement tool.